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A Dry Brazilian

March 11, 1998

Brazil is practically synonymous with cheap robusta coffee, but it has a climate as suitable for quality coffee as any country. A Brazilian plantation named Fazenda Vista Alegre is making an impressive bid to be recognized as a top-ranked producer of coffees from the arabica varietals Mundo Novo and Catuai. The top of its line is what it calls natural dry coffee--the coffee cherries are left on the tree for two months after the usual harvest time (possible only in areas with dry harvest seasons) and then the beans are aged for two or three years. The resulting coffee may change your opinion of Brazilian coffee forever. It's smooth and fragrant, with aromas of cherries and tobacco and a hint of the wininess of Yemen.

Brazil FVA Natural Dry Coffee, $12.50 a pound, City Bean, 8457 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, and 10911 Lindbrook Drive, Westwood Village.

Got Ice Cream?

Girl Scout Cookies are an iconic American flavor. And, of course, cookies and ice cream are a natural combination. Idea! Dreyer's is making a limited-edition mint chocolate ice cream with Girl Scout chocolate cookie wafers already mixed in. A portion of the proceeds goes to support Girl Scout activities. The ice cream, which debuts in stores today, will be in supermarkets only through August.

Dreyer's Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie ice cream, $5.29 a half-gallon, at supermarkets.

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