The Journal

Samba Time

An invitation to try an exceptional coffee from the world's number one coffee producing nation.
Scroll for more


As Frank Sinatra once observed, they’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil. However, with a remarkably diverse climate and topography it’s no surprise that Brazilian coffee varies enormously. Different beans, different producers, different methods. Not all Brazilian coffee is worth serenading but we’ve found one that is 100 per cent song and dance material.


In our ongoing exploration of exceptional coffees from around the globe, we’re particularly delighted to invite you to try one of our favourite Brazilian coffees from Fazenda Santa Cecilia in Carno de Paranaiba, the renowned estate run by Pedro Humberto Veloso and his family.

What makes it special? The quality of the cup, simple as that. Think roasted hazelnuts with luscious caramel and chocolate; bright on the palate, full in body with perfect balance and irresistible sweetness. It’s an absolute gem and perfectly represents the very best of Brazil.

The quality is no accident. What you taste and smell – the olfactory experience is so important in coffee – is a tribute to the skill of our master roasters but also the care and passion of the Veloso family which has been producing seriously good coffee in Santa Cecilia since 1977.


Coffee wasn’t grown in Brazil before the late 1720s when seeds were smuggled over the border from French Guyana. Today, it accounts for 40% of the world’s coffee supply.


The coffee is grown at an altitude between 1050 and 1200 metres in a climate ideal for producing top quality coffees, with well defined seasons: a wet summer and a dry winter. Harvesting and processing is personally supervised by Pedro Veloso who spends the early mornings traversing the 1300-hectare estate with its highly sophisticated irrigation and fertilisation system before overseeing farm operations. (The estate is certified by the Rainforest Alliance).

The beans are 100 per cent Arabica, a combination of some of the best varietals: mundo novo, yellow and red bourbon, catuai and catucai, harvested in the dry season when natural sun drying helps to lock in all that creamy sweetness.


Why, you may ask, are we recommending you try a Single Origin Brazilian coffee now? Timing, simple as that. Our experts believe this estate-grown coffee, from this year's harvest, is at its peak now. 

It is often forgotten that coffee is seasonal. Harvests take place at different times of the year in different regions due to enormously varied climatic conditions, latitudes, altitudes and terroir. The harvest in southeastern Brazil is different to that in other regions of Brazil, which in turn will be different to harvests in Honduras, or Nicaragua, or Ethiopia. Even within Minas Gerais, a huge state the size of France, there will be seasonal variation. Think of the difference between Bordeaux and Burgundy, the Loire and the Rhone. And, just like wine, there can be vintage years and disappointing years.

We think Fazenda Santa Cecilia, right now, is not only a joy to drink but is the perfect expression of Brazilian coffee from this region. You won’t be able to taste it in October, or next spring. It’s a precious, ephemeral thing, like Jersey Royals or English asparagus or a slice of homemade fruitcake at the village fete. It's now or never. When it's gone, it's gone.


A second pertinent question would be: Why would I want to try this Brazilian beauty when I know exactly what I’m getting with my trusted Nero Classico? It’s a good question.

Classico is our award-winning house blend crafted with high quality beans sourced from a variety of leading estates around the world, depending on season and market availability. Deep, rich and intense, it is the ultimate expression of a punchy, Italian-style espresso; hence the name. To maintain consistency all year round it is made in our Roastery in Battersea to a very precise recipe established by our founder 27 years ago. As an everyday coffee we think it’s unrivalled.

But it’s always good to venture outside your coffee comfort zone. That’s why we started our single origin series, to showcase exceptional coffees with unique characteristics. Ultimately, coffee is no different to other drinks or foods. We pick and choose according to mood, or to satisfy curiosity. On a hot summer’s day a cool Provencal rosé might serve as the perfect aperitif but who says you can’t also enjoy a luscious Sauternes with dessert? A penchant for the occasional Trappist beer doesn’t mean you will abandon your favourite session ale. Flinty cheddar all year round, creamy Vacherin when it’s in season.

It’s the same with coffee. Classico will always hit the mark but occasionally, with the sun on your back, you might want something with a little more samba in its soul.

Use of Cookies