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2023 • Anaerobic Process
with notes of
  • Plum
  • Toasted Almonds
  • Dark Chocolate

During our visit to Daterra last summer, we were delighted for the opportunity to try a number of unique variety separations, including various selections that remain in development as part of Daterra’s ongoing research efforts with the Agricultural Institue of Campinas in Brazil. With a large percentage of coffee production in Brazil occurring in full sun, areas like the Cerrado where Daterra is located, have become increasingly aware of the impact of drought and changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change. One of the coffees that we tasted was the current Education Lot selection, called Aramosa, which was designed in part to address this changing reality. The genetic material of Aramosa is still in what Daterra refers to as a “pre-cultivar” stage. Not technically a variety in its own right, Aramosa is a type of hybridization involving a cross between two distinct species of coffee: arabica and racemosa. The result of this cross culminates in high drought and pest resistance from the racemosa species, as well as high cup quality from the arabica species. Research into new genetics like these is just a small part of Daterra’s ongoing efforts to address the future of coffee production in a changing climate landscape.

Encompassing a staggering 6,405 hectares (~16,000 acres) of tropical savannah in Brazil’s Cerrado region, Daterra produces coffee on a dramatically different scale than every other farm that Passenger currently purchases from. While the Daterra project was originally founded by Luis Pascoal in 1973, coffee production did not begin until 1983. In the years since, a broad expansion of the company’s coffee operations has been a key area of focus in pursuit of its triple bottom line: “People, Planet, Profit”. Consistently lauded as the most sustainable farm in Brazil, Daterra holds the country’s first Rainforest Alliance certification, is a certified B Corp, and is an important contributor to ongoing coffee genetics research in Brazil.

Given Daterra’s size, its status as a negative emissions agribusiness (i.e. a business that absorbs more CO2 than it emits) is all the more inspiring. More than half of the farm is reserved exclusively for natural preservation and 300 hectares of land have been intentionally reforested in recent years. The team has planted over 600,000 native trees in Cerrado since the beginning of the project, and in 2021 they announced an ambitious commitment to increasing their carbon sequestration a further 50% by 2030, with the planting of 20 million additional trees. In our most recent visit to Daterra, they were nearing completion of a solar farm that they hope to eventually grow to use as the sole source of electrical energy for operations at Daterra.

As part of our education lot menu, we hope this Aramosa selection provides a unique look into how coffee plant genetics are being leveraged to respond to climate change’s effects on coffee production while simultaneously working to meet consumer demands for a high-quality experience in the cup.