Soba — Buckwheat Noodles
The coffee we serve at Miho Museum comes from the Jacarandá Estate in Brazil. It has a refreshing sweetness and deep aftertaste that spreads across your palate. As you draw your face closer, warm steam and rich fragrances rise from the coffee-filled cup. Where does the mildness of this coffee come from? Around the time the coffee berries ripen, the mucilage or juicy pulp between the beans and their outer skin begins to permeate slowly throughout as the beans are sun dried. The beans were slowly roasted to draw out its sweet flavor, but that is not the only secret to this special taste and fragrance
In 2012, Cassio Franco Moreira of the Jacarandá Estate came to visit MIHO MUSEUM. He explained to us about the farm and their coffee with his relaxed facial expression. While managing his family coffee plantation, Cassio also works enthusiastically for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). His grandfather, Carlos Franco, was the first coffee grower in Brazil to have taken on the challenge of producing organic coffee beans about twenty years ago. At that time, no one questioned the use of agrichemicals. But one day, a cow accidentally drank liquid fertilizer that was meant to be used in the fields and died. Seeing this, Carlos realized that he should not spray his coffee field with pesticides and other agrichemicals. He immediately stopped using them and switched to organic farming.
Then, in 2007, touched by the strong wishes of Miho Museum’s restaurant staff, members of the Jacarandá Estate created a special area to grown coffee beans using Shumei Natural Agriculture farming. The Shumei Natural Agriculture field uses absolutely no agrichemicals nor fertilizers, even organic ones. This field relies solely on nature’s bounties and great efforts were made to prepare an amiable environment for the plants. Recently, coffee saplings were planted in banana fields because the two plants grow well together in the same soil. Tall trees can also be seen interspersed among the coffee trees. These tall trees, known as Pereira, provide a full verdant canopy during the hot season for the coffee plants, which do not thrive in strong direct sunlight. In the cold season, when the Pereira leaves fall, the dried foliage offers a warm cover for the roots of the coffee trees, and from between the barren branches pour in sunlight, which gently warms the ground. These plants coexist on the Jacarandá Estate. Perhaps, at a glance, it looks like a jungle. But isn’t this nature itself?
Incidentally, at the moment, the harvest at the Jacarandá Shumei Natural Agriculture field appears to be declining. Cassio explains that this is because the roots, which had been absorbing the nourishment from organic fertilizers that were previously used, has been steadily growing under the ground and is in the process of absorbing sufficient nourishment from the soil to become stronger. His confident, calm words take a positively natural stance. By the time the soil returns to its true natural state, we can look forward to the coffee which will fully absorb the energy of the earth.
On top of these, all the labor at the Jacarandá Estate is done manually. Although the reason in part has to do with their jungle-like fields with bananas grown on a hillside, the people here greatly value the toils of the land which has been continued from generation to generation. They take pride that the people of this land will live here for a very long time and that their work will be continued by the next generation. The mild and gentle flavor of Jacarandá’s coffee is filled with the warmth of Grandpa Carlos who has cared for his farm employees like family.
We hope you will enjoy the flavor of nature’s gift, the coffee of the Jacarandá Estate, which connects coffee making that values people and nature to the next generation.