Farm: Ipanema Farms
Varietal: Acaiá, Topázio
Processing: Pulped Natural
Altitude: 780 to 950 metres
Owner: Ipanema Agricola
Town / City: Alfenas and Machado
Region: Sul de Minas Gerais
Ipanema Gourmet - Brazil
At Mercanta, we deal directly with farms and cooperatives of all sizes, large and small. What all share is the production of the very highest quality coffee. Ipanema has been producing coffee since the 1970s and is certainly one of the largest farms with whom we work. Their production stretches over more than 4,500 hectares total area, composed of five farms, all of which are located in the Sul de Minas region of Brazil. Approximately 70% of Impanema’s total land is devoted entirely to coffee (the rest is primarily conservation area). It is not surprising, then, that the total annual production at Ipanema exceeds the annual production of several of the world’s smaller coffee-producing countries!
Ipanema’s infrastructure, located at two processing centres in Fazenda Capoeirinha and Fazenda Conquista, can prepare up to 140,000 bags a year and in the peak of the harvest the company’s cupping team analyses more than 300 samples per day. The Acaciá and Topázio varieties that are blended to produce Ipanema Gourmet are produced at Fazenda Capoeirinha, which ranges from 780 to 950 metres above sea level (for a full farm description see below). These coffees are all prepared using the pulped natural process.
In addition to its coffee production areas, Ipanema also cultivates a sustainable harvest of eucalyptus trees. Unlike most other coffee farms that grow eucalyptus, this is not a diversified timber crop; the eucalyptus at Ipanema is grown exclusively to provide the natural fuel required during the coffee drying process.
Not surprisingly, Ipanema is one of the largest employers in the area and offers around 2,000 jobs during the peak harvest time, in addition to its 300 regular jobs. The workers enjoy many benefits such as free distribution of soy milk, food staples, a medical plan, transportation and lodging.
Located in the region of Sul de Minas, in the municipality of Alfenas, the Fazenda Capoeirinha was the first property acquired by Ipanema, in 1969. Of its 2,200 hectares of land, 70% are used for producing coffee, while the remaining 30% comprises reserves and protected forest areas.
Soil: Resting on metamorphic rock, the soils are argillaceous (formed from sedimentary rocks and deposits) and rich in decomposable minerals, which have a great capacity to retain water.
Climate: The region is characterized by a mild subtropical climate, with rainy summers and dry winters, favorable for the cultivation of coffee. Temperatures range from 24ºC [75ºF] in the summer to around 18ºC [64ºF] in the winter, but can fall below freezing during severe winters. Average annual rainfall is about 1,440 mm [57 inches] (average of last 10 years).
Altitude: The estate has coffee plantations from 780 to 950 meters [2,550 to 3,100 feet] in altitude. It should be noted that cultivars descended from the “Bourbon” are produced at altitudes above 900 meters [2,950 feet].
Irrigation: Fazenda Capoeirinha has 290 hectares irrigated by a drip system, which is considered to be the most economical in terms of water use per hectare.
About the Varietals:
Acaciá: The Acaciá varietal is a hybrid from the Mundo Novo plant. Found primarily in Brazil, it is best grown at 800 metres or above. Fruit is large in size and is predominately red in colour.
The varietal is very well-adapted to the Brazillian climate and is not frequently found outside of Brazil.
Topázio: The Topázio varietal is a cross between Mundo Novo and Yellow Catuai that was developed in Brazil in the 1960's at the Agronomy Institute of Campinas and first introduced commercially in Minas Gerais.