Europe is the largest coffee importer, but despite this fact, the culture of coffee in Europe has been traditionally poor in terms of supply quality. This has changed dramatically during the past decade thanks to globalization and the migration flows, allowing the introduction and exchange of different coffee cultures.
In Mint’s home country, Spain, the change has been huge but the vast majority of coffee consumers still drink something called torrefacto coffee. Torrefacto coffee is a rare thing only seen in Spain and Portugal, and is produced when white sugar is added during the roasting process.
The sugar burns and creates a shiny black film on the beans which prevents oxidation, supposedly extending their lifespan. The practice is believed to have emerged after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) when food was scarce and coffee too. The addition of sugar enabled roasters to produce the same amount of coffee with fewer beans, and to use cheaper, lower quality beans in the process since the sugar masked the taste of the poor base product.
The result is a coffee that’s very dark and very bitter, so bitter, in fact, that many people add even more white sugar to sweeten it. The complex aromas and flavors of quality coffee are all but lost. Another problem is that most Spanish supermarket brands contain a blend of natural and torrefacto beans, extending consumer’s attachment to this kind of coffee. So, in a country famed for its gastronomy, why do the Spanish endure torrefacto?
Most likely reason is habit. People are used to that kind of coffee and reluctant to change, but specialty coffee in Spain has become quite popular and there’s not turning back.
But what is specialty coffee and why is it different from torrefacto coffee or even regular coffee? Well, specialty coffee is stored or delivered as whole beans, either in one-pound bags or in bulk, and needs to be ground before it is brewed. Commercial coffee is usually roasted and packed in large plants.
Speciality coffee has existed for a long time. We tend to think of specialty coffee as being a new trend, yet even as far back as the early 1900s, discerning customers like the Hotel du Crillon in Paris specified that their coffee was to be bought from select micro-lots on specific farms in certain regions of Guatemala. The term “specialty coffee” was first used in the 1970s in the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, just a few years after the opening of the first Starbucks store. Since then, coffee went from a modern convenience to a drinking experience. Improvements in agricultural, roasting and brewing technology, and an increased demand for high-quality coffee have put specialty coffee in the hands of coffee lovers across the globe.
Mint Restaurant has always been very interested in delivering the best gastronomic experience possible. This ethos lead us to be awarded by the Micheling Guide in 2021 as a recommended restaurant. Following this pursue of excellence in all we do, we embraced specialty coffee a couple of years after we opened in 2017 and since then we have fallen in love with the product and the process surrounding it.
While doing our own research with local suppliers, we discovered a passionate group of people in 80+, dedicated to change the narrative of coffee in Spain and decided to make specialty coffee stand out while removing old missconceptions.
Since then, Mint Restaurant has partnered with 80+ to offer specialty coffee to our customers, while educating about what makes it unique and about the nuances you can discover with different processes and origins.
This Yellow Bourbon is produced in Brazil by Nazareth Pereira from the Fazenda Sertão farm. It's a fantastic example of how the Brazilian coffee producers are always capable of growing interesting coffees for the specialty coffee world. This natural process coffee surprises with its extreme sweetness and a very clean low acidity, able to give you a very elegant and velvety cup of espresso.
Carmo de Minas is a part of the region of Sul de Minas that historically has been dominated by smaller coffee producers. The town of Carmo has a high number of specialty coffee producers. The harvest period is from late May until September.
Specialty coffee is defined as any coffee that scores above 80 points on a 100 point scale. Typically, specialty coffee is grown at high altitudes, with much care and attention from the farmer. From there, it is sold at a premium to coffee traders, or direct to roasters. The roasters then create custom profiles for each coffee, enhancing and highlighting their natural flavors. Baristas then use the carefully grown and roasted coffee to produce quality beverages, often with high precision and specialized equipment.
Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world producing 2.7 million tons, around 39% of global coffee production.
An 850-hectare farm with 330 hectares planted in coffee of several varieties, including Red and Yellow Bourbon.
We selected Nazareth's Formula II because it represents what we stand for: quality, history, tradition and supporting women-led business.Natalia Albero Mint Restaurant Owner
The world is constantly evolving and we felt we needed to embrace new technologies allowing a wider audience to connect with us and share the passion for what we do.
NFT's is one of those things than when it clicks, you realise the full potential to change the world for better. Artists from all over the world have been able to create careers without middlemens and in a secure and reliable way.
From the very beginning of this project, we wanted to include this new technology to create a physical product (coffee) that is connected to art and technology. So we partnered with Carolina from Atelieê 407 to create a collection that represents the history of coffee and specifically, the one that a small farm from Brazil is producing
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Roasted by 80plus Specialty Coffee Roastery
Carrer Verneda del Congost, 7, 08160 Montmeló, Spain
Nazareth's Formula II Specialty Coffee
Terroir: Carmo de Minas, 1100-1450 masl
Farm: Fazenda Sertao
Producer: Nazareth Pereira and family
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Aroma: Honey and milk
Flavour: Milk chocolate and almonds