Farm: Pedra Redonda
Varietal: 100% Catuai
Processing: Pulped Natural & dried on Patios
Altitude: 980 to 1,400 metres above sea level
Owner: José Bernardes Santana
Town / City: Araponga
Region: Matas de Minas, Minas Gerais
12 February 2015
Overall: Toffee, roasted nuts & chocolate
Pedra Redonda 100% Catuai - Brazil
This 100% Catuai lot come from Fazenda Pedra Redonda, which lies between 1,050 to 1,320 metres above sea level in the green hills of Matas de Minas, a fertile, mountainous region in the south-east of Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. The area has a long history of producing coffees of excellent quality, thanks to its altitude (some 80% of farm area lies above 1,000 metres), temperate climate and fertile soils.
80% of the region’s agricultural income comes from coffee. Most of the farms throughout the region are small or medium size, and most rely entirely on family members or collaborate with “partner” farms (parceiros) to work the farm. The majority of these farms do not use pesticides.
José Bernardes Santana has been farming coffee in the region for more than 30 years. He runs Fazenda Pedra Redonda with the help of his two brothers, Donizete and Geraldo. Donizete oversees the coffee plantations, where a minimum of pesticides are used in order to protect the local ecosystem. The farm employs 30 permanent workers and all work is carried out by hand as the mountainous terrain makes the use of machines impossible.
The farm’s workforce swells to between 80 and 100 people during harvest, all of whom are formally registered in accordance with Brazilian law. The coffee is picked by hand when the cherries are fully ripe. Pulped natural lots are then pulped immediately and moved onto the farm’s patios, where they are dried in the sun until they reach the optimum humidity level. Geraldo is responsible for overseeing coffee processing and quality control, and constantly strives to identify problems and improve quality.
The Fazenda Pedra Redonda has a very developed system of administration that allowed the farm to identify and correct any production issues that have appeared over the years. They are constantly seeking to improve the quality of their processes and coffees.