Located in the northeastern region of Brazil, Planalto de Bahia, pronounced as "Pla-nal-too de Ba-hee-a," is a unique coffee-growing area, renowned for its high-quality beans. Situated at an altitude of around 950 to 1,250 meters above sea level, Planalto de Bahia is part of the Chapada Diamantina coffee-growing region. An interesting fact about this region is that it has volcanic soils, which are responsible for imparting the distinct flavors and characteristics to the coffees grown here.
Coffee cultivation in Planalto de Bahia dates back to the late 19th century. However, it wasn't until the 1970s that the coffee industry in this region started to gain momentum, with more farmers recognizing the potential of the area's unique terroir. Over the years, Planalto de Bahia has become one of Brazil's most respected coffee-growing regions, producing high-quality, specialty-grade coffees that are sought after by roasters and coffee enthusiasts around the world.
While specific farming and processing methods in Planalto de Bahia may vary among individual farmers, some general trends can be observed in the region. Most coffee farms in Planalto de Bahia are small to medium-sized family-owned estates. These farmers take pride in their coffee production and work closely with agronomists and other coffee professionals to implement sustainable and innovative farming practices to improve the quality of their beans continually.
One of the most common processing methods used in Brazil, including the Planalto de Bahia region, is the natural or dry process. In this method, coffee cherries are harvested and laid out to dry in the sun, with the fruit still intact. Once the cherries are dried, they are hulled to remove the dried fruit and parchment, revealing the green coffee beans inside. This processing method tends to impart fruity and sweet flavors to the coffee, which is a characteristic often associated with Brazilian coffees.
Another processing method that can be found in the region is the pulped natural or honey process. In this method, the outer skin of the coffee cherry is removed, but the sticky mucilage surrounding the bean is left intact. The beans are then dried with the mucilage, which imparts additional sweetness and complexity to the final cup.
Coffees from Planalto de Bahia are typically characterized by their balanced and complex flavor profiles. They often exhibit notes of tropical fruits, such as mango and papaya, as well as citrus and floral nuances. The acidity is generally bright and lively, which complements the sweet, fruity flavors. The body of these coffees is medium to full, with a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.
In addition to these general characteristics, individual farms within the Planalto de Bahia region may produce coffees with unique and distinctive flavor profiles, thanks to the variations in microclimates, soil types, and farming practices. This diversity makes Planalto de Bahia a fascinating and exciting region for coffee lovers to explore and enjoy.
Overall, Planalto de Bahia is a captivating coffee-growing region that has a rich history and a promising future. Its unique terroir and the dedication of its passionate farmers have resulted in exceptional coffees that continue to delight and impress specialty coffee enthusiasts across the globe.