As the world’s largest coffee-producing country by volume, Brazil is an origin that has been named in virtually every story about coffee’s woefully low price in the commodities market. Yet within the specialty coffee market, Brazil’s many and varied growing regions continue to supply the world with incredibly delicious, high-quality Arabica coffee.
With a distinct focus on Brazil from its operations, through its packaging, to the roasted and bagged product, a new roasting company called Mesteeso has launched. The enterprise is the joint effort of Brazilian-born San Diego resident Marcelo Kertesz and Encinitas-based roaster, green buyer and Ironsmith Coffee Roasters Founder Matt Delarosa.
The plan is to source and roast exclusively high-quality Brazilian coffees, then engage customers with a lively, colorful brand that reflects the the Brazilian peoples’ deep, passionate association with coffee, both in terms of production and consumption.
“Mesteeso is a very social, warm and festive coffee brand,” Kertesz told DCN. “This is how [we] Brazilians see ourselves and also how we relate to coffee. Coffee for us is a social moment. In every household you visit in Brazil — doesn’t matter how rich or how poor — you will be offered a cafézinho.”
A longtime marketer and brand-builder by trade, Kertesz tried to capture this spirit through the colorful packaging, with a bright yellow background behind playful typefaces and custom-drawn coffee-plant-life that counters the minimalist designs found on so many contemporary coffee bags today.
Of course, any bag is only as good as the coffee inside it. Delarosa, who has been roasting under the Ironsmith name for the past three years, provides the muscle behind the sourcing, roasting and quality-control operations for Mesteeso. Delarosa told DCN he relies heavily on data and metrics behind his 5-kilo Diedrich roaster to obtain precise, repeatable results that do justice to the coffee being roasted.
“The characteristics I feel I can manipulate are the broad-stroke tastes like sweetness, acidity and body,” Delarosa said. “Whether it taste like melons or cacao nibs isn’t really up to me; the coffee either has it or it doesn’t. It’s my job to roast it well enough so that it shows up.”
To this point, Mesteeso has been sourcing primarily through the vertically integrated production and export/import company Our Coffees, which has a U.S. office in California and operates four farms in the Cerrado Mineiro region, the first Brazilian region to boast the “designation of origin” seal. Said Delarosa, “It’s been really helpful to work with a company like Our Coffees because of its commitment to transparency.”
Initial roasted offerings from Mesteeso include the Cafezinho Omni Roast flagship blend, a Tudo Bem single-origin roast for espresso, a Saudade single-origin for filter drip and a Boa Noite decaf.
The company is currently selling 12-ounce bags of its coffees direct online to U.S. consumers for $16 apiece.