- Producer — Flavio Bastianello
- Origin — Brazil
- Region — Nova Venecia, Espirito Santo, southeastern Brazil
- Terroir — 120 masl, warm tropical climate
- Process — Natural (carbonic maceration)
- Variety — Conilon
Please note that our Elevated brewing coffees are dispatched every Wednesday.
Walnut + Milk chocolate + Silky
View taste card here.
Robusta, canephora and conilon
In the 12 months from July 2021 to June 2022, Brazilian coffee production totalled 3.5 billion kg. Of which more than a third was canephora coffee - more commonly known as robusta - and of that, 10% was conilon - a coffee plant highly prevalent in southeastern Brazil with genetic differences to canephora but considered to be the same species.
In 2022, conilon was projected to contribute £2.2 billion to the total revenue of Brazil's coffee sector - one fifth of the overall amount. In short, conilon is a pillar of the country's coffee landscape.
Historically, conilon has been used primarily in caffeine-infused products and as freeze-dried instant coffee. Subsequently, with the flavour profile being of little concern to the end consumer, the focus of producers has been on farming resilient plants that yield high volume, quickly.
But now everything is changing. Since the turn of the century, producer cooperatives have been established, government and university-led scientific research projects launched, cup of excellence competitions established, all with the shared goal of realising the full sensory potential of Brazil's conilon crop.
Investments in post-harvest processing methods by on-the-ground support organisations such as Cooabriel have returned particularly remarkable results, and there is recognition that these coffees are now presenting sensorial attributes attractive to consumers of the world's best arabica coffees - historically the pinnacle of coffee's flavour potential.
Cooabriel and the Federal Institute of Espirito Santo
Founded in 1956, Cooabriel - The Agricultural Cooperative of Sao Gabriel Coffee Growers - is the largest robusta coffee cooperative in Brazil. Working across Espirito Santo and Bahia states, the cooperative provides infrastructure, equipment and training for 6,500 producers.
Bricks-and-mortar Cooabriel stores offer everything from plant nutrition and pest protection to specialised tools and machinery. Each branch offers face-to-face technical support and advice from in-house experts. If a cooperative member can't visit in person, they'll find support via a dedicated call centre. There's even a Cooabriel smartphone app.
In 2021, the cooperative launched a project with the Federal Institute of Espirito Santo (IFES) with the goal of transforming the perception of conilon coffee, and therefore how its utilised and consumed. Labelled Cafe Conilon - Single Origin, the project involves 1,060 member families across three years of post-harvest research.
This milestone work is helping to build the first chemical and sensory matrix for conilon coffee - accelerating ongoing efforts to promote this long undervalued subspecies and introducing its producers to new, more valuable markets. There are promising signs that the initiative is already having significant impact.
Every year, Cooabriel hosts the annual Conilon Excellence Contest to uncover the finest conilon coffees produced across the cooperative. Silvio Leite - a specialist with a reputation as one of Brazil's leading coffee sensory analysts and on the judging panel for the 2022 event - believes the results of this latest edition show that:
'We are facing a historic milestone - the discovery of a coffee drink. The conilon has shown qualities never seen before. This is the fruit of the work of producers, science and the result of the investments in pursuit of these discoveries.'
This specific conilon coffee is the work of Flavio Bastianello. Farming in the municipality of Nova Venecia, Flavio entered this lot to place second overall with a score of 89.1 points out of 100. Twenty years of investment is now bearing fruit - Cooabriel is playing a key role in the sensory development of Brazilian conilon.
In the cup this coffee has bold flavours of milk and dark chocolate, with notes of walnut and hazelnut.
- Best: Pour over with the Orea Brewer V3
- Great: Filter (batch brew, Chemex)
Freshly-ground beans will help you to brew a cup full of flavour, check out our selection of manual and electric coffee grinders.
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