Disclaimer: We recieved both the Brooks Wines and the Nossa Familia Coffee as samples for review.
Coffee and Wine
Blogs like Strong Coffee to Red Wine show that I am not alone in appreciating both coffee and wine. I had not had never thought to combine these two loves before this tasting. I can think of a couple of reasons for this omission. As one tee-shirt slogan states: “Coffee keeps me going until it’s acceptable to drink wine”. To my mind, coffee is a drink to start the day. Wine is a drink for the evening.
The second reason is to preserve my taste-buds. The strong flavours of coffee interfere with wine tasting.
Thus when Brooks Wine offered us a chance to attend a virtual tasting featuring wine and coffee I was intrigued.
Jimi Brooks founded this Williamette Valley winery in 1998. He died in 2004 from a heart-attack at the age of thirty-eight years old. His son, Pascal, was eight years old. Jimi’s sister, Janie, took over running the winery until Pascal was ready. Chris Williams, a friend of Jimi, continued as the lead winemaker
A couple of quotes from Brooks Winery gives an insight into their approach:
We are committed to producing exquisite wines without manipulation
Be good to the land and the harvest it bears.
A further insight can be gained from the “Beyond Brooks” series of events, one of which we attended. These events highlight not only Brooks wine, but other producers in the area. Making the tastings not just about themselves.
Certified B Corporations
Amber Comments: Aside from the fantastic coffee and wine tasting, this discussion talked about Brooks Wineries passion for being B-Corp Certified and looking for partners who share their business ethos which happily included Nossa Familia Coffee. This was only the second time that I had heard of this term and certification so it peaked my interest. According to BCorporation.net:
“Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good. The values and aspirations of the B Corp community are embedded in the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence.”
Nossa Familia Coffee
The featured business in our “Beyond Brooks” session was Nossa Familia Coffee. The name means “our family” in Portuguese. The founder, Augusto Canrneiro, came to Portland from his native Brazil to attend college. He met his wife in Oregon and stayed in the US. Augsusto’s family started growing in the 1890s. Work that has now passed to the fifth generation.
Nossa Familia started by importing from his family’s farms. It has expanded to bring in coffee from other farms and other countries.
Augusto talked about the importance of the soil, the climate, and sustainable practices. Coffee growing echoing the art of viniculture. The science and geekery of roasting also drew parallels with that of winemaking
They provided two bags of coffee beans. My favourite was Full Cycle, which offers a wonderful balance of body and delicate floral notes. A blend with the majority from Augusto’s family farms. The rest from Nicaragua and Guatemala. This coffee works as both a straight espresso and with a dash of steamed milk on top.
We tasted two Pinot Noir wines from Brooks: Johan and Cahiers. The former is a single vineyard wine from the Johan vineyard. Cahiers is French for notebook; named in memory of Jimmi’s love of reading and writing.
The Johan had a subtle nose of red fruit, tobacco, and herb. The tase was floral with strawberry and vanilla. Dust laced through the wine and pepper emerged in the finish.
Cahiers had a more assertive bouquet with lush cherry. The wine was acid led, with orange citrus notes. A simpler wine, but that simplicity was a positive attribute. In the finish herb infused coffee flavours emerged.
The Pinot peeked my interest in the wide range of Riesling wines from Brooks wine. I hope that when we visit Oregon wine country we can taste a wider range of their wines.
As well as the two bags of coffee beans, Nossa Familia sent us two coffee bags. These are like tea bags, but larger and with a finer mesh. They make a delightful coffee. Ideal for when traveling is once more possible, since coffee in hotel rooms tastes like warm water. I ordered a couple of dozen from Nossa Familia