Beans: Obatā (Maria Lucia)
Shop: Sofa Cafe, Rio de Janeiro
Last week I was in Rio de Janeiro where I visited two coffeeshops: Bastarda Cafe (amazing) and Sofa Cafe (Specialty shop). I took home a batch of Obatā coffee beans which I’m going to review here.
Obatā: Background information
The Obatā coffee plant is actually a hybrid plant which was created by IAC (Instituto de Agronomia de Campinas) in the city of Campinas, state of São Paulo in 2014. It is a mouthfull for an institute that created this plant out of the Arabica Mundo Novo and the Sarchimor plant. The result was the Obatā plant which produced beans with a high acidity, full body and sweetness that would make a very nice cup of coffee.
The Obatā bean that I am going to review here comes from the Baoba Farm near Rio. De plants were cultivated at 1100m altitude while using the natural washing proces. The farm is situated in the Sāo Sebastiao da Grama area.Obatā: Opening the package and extra review information
When opening the package you can see that this is a light roasted bean. The colors are nice light brown and even. The scent isn’t in your face and is soft to the nose. When grinding the coffeescent spreads out but not to much. It has a sweet and biscuit-like after-scent which is nice.
This review is going to be a little different from the usual way I do my reviews. This has everything to do with the characteristics of the bean. Since a normal espresso did not give me the results I was expecting, I went on the internet to dig up some extra information about this bean. It was then that I discovered that I needed to adjust my extraction, temperature and amount of grinding to get the best results.
Obatā: The tasting
When I extract my first espresso (18 grams, 25 seconds, 30ml) the taste of the espresso is a bit bland. The sensation in my mouth is thick and creamy because of the crema and the texture. There seems to be a hint of chocolate and the acidity is high. Somehow this espresso just doesn’t do it for me. The same happened when I extract another cup; the coffee was nice, but the aftertaste, tones anf flavours just weren’t getting to the front that much.
After scrounging the internet I found an article where someone mentioned to prolong the extraction up to 35 seconds, let the espresso cool off just a little after preparing and use about 20 grams.
Obatā: 20 grams, 35 seconds
So here I was: 20 grams, 35 seconds, aprox 40 ml of Obatā espresso. Again the crema was thick and rich, the sensation was still creamy-isch. The acidity was lowered a little making it very pleasant and balanced. Now I could taste a choco/caramel-like tone combined with a sweetness that made me think of fruits. The aftertaste lingered with a hint of sugary biscuits. Now here was the full potential of the Obatā bean!
Obatā: The verdict
The Obatā bean I had was a hard nut to crack it seemed. I am not sure if it was the batch that I got from Sofa Cafe, but after throwing the rules of espresso overboard this coffee became a very pleasant one to drink. As a cappuccino it drank very pleasantly due to the sweetness in the coffee. If you are in the neighbourhood of @sofacaferj you could easily pop inside to get a batch. I do have to warn you about their prices: I had 250gr of Obatā and 250gr of Red Catuai and had to pay 100 reais (26,- euro). It is very expensive, but in my case I paid up because I wanted to review the Obatā beans for you.