Farm: Fazenda Caxambu
Altitude: 930 - 1,150 metres above sea level
Owner: Carmem Lucia Chaves de Brito and family
Town / City: Três Pontas
Region: Sul de Minas
Overall: Black cherry, plum, toffee
Fazenda Caxambu - Brazil
The Chaves de Brito family has been farming coffee in Brazil’s Sul de Minas region for over a century. The current generation - Denise, Letícia, Carmen Lucia, Paulo Fernando and Paulo Roberto - are passionate about producing top quality coffee on their family farm, Fazenda Caxambu.
'Caxambú' means ‘music box’ in a mix of Afro-Indian language. It is a symbol that brings uncommon musicality to the farm’s coffees. Local legends have it that 'The Earth carries us and guards our steps. Heaven feeds our Soul and Heart to enjoy the unique moments of life.' Carmen Lucia and her family also hold that each bean of coffee takes with it the history of the places and hands it has passed through.
Caxambu lies at between 930 and 1,150 metres above sea level in the rolling hills of south Minas Gerais, close to the small town of Três Pontas. This temperate region has average temperatures of between 21°C and 23°C, with an annual rainfall average of 1800mm - ideal conditions for producing coffee.
Caxambu extends over a total of 380 hectares, of which 280 hectares are under coffee. The farm is planted with a big range of different varietals, which are carefully demarcated in separate plots: Yellow Bourbon, Yellow and Red Icatú, Rubí, Mundo Novo, Acaiá, Caturra, Yellow and Red Catuaí, Topázio and the newly Added Acara. First planted 2 and a half years ago, 2020 marks the first harvest of the Arara variety at Fazenda Caxambu; already Carmen Lucia says she is in love with this cultivar.
Being an extremely vigorous and strong variety, Arara is able to face climate issues, such as high temperatures. As well as being hardy trees, Arara produces beans much bigger than other common varieties found in Brazil, with around 84% being screen size 16 and up. In the cup, the team from the farm found very interesting and pleasant notes; a creamy and full-bodied drink with caramelized notes.
The farm’s cherries are picked by hand when they are fully ripe, with various passes to avoid harvesting green cherries. This particular lot was processed using the natural method. The cherries are carefully delivered to dry on the farm’s extensive patios without being pulped. Once there, they are turned regularly to ensure even drying. Once the beans reach optimum humidity they are rested in the farm’s purpose-built warehouses until they are ready to be milled and, then, exported.
In addition to producing coffee of exceptional quality, Caxambu is committed to contributing to the well-being and education of those who work for them. The farm has 50 full-time employees and 17 families housed on the farm itself and offer their entire worker's training and continued education through a partnership with the National Rural Learning Service. Caxambu also has a school, which serves the children of their employees.