Farm: Fazenda Sao Judas Tadeu
Varietal: 100% Catuaí
Processing: Pulped natural
Altitude: 1,300 metres above sea level
Owner: Antonio Rigno de Oliveira
Town / City: Piatã
Region: Chapada Diamantina
Sao Judas Tadeu - Brazil
Fazenda São Judas Tadeu lies outside the small town of Piatã in Bahia’s Chapada Diamantina region, rolling along the hills between 1300 to 1380 metres above sea level. It is owned and managed by Antonio Rigno de Oliveira, who has been farming coffee in the region for more than 25 years. Antonio’s coffees have been placed in Bahia's state-sponsored Coffee Quality Competition several times, and his coffees regularly place in Cup of Excellence competition, recently securing the number 2 slot in 2014 for pulped naturals, scoring 93.36 on the table. This particular lot placed #16 in 2016’s Cup of excellence – a particularly competitive year! Mercanta is proud to continue to support this exceptional farm in multiple ways!
Fazenda São Judas extends over 35 hectares, 15 of which are under coffee. The farm is mainly planted out with Catuaí varietal trees, although Antonio is also trialling some Bourbon varietal trees and will continue planting these if his trial is a success.
Antonio tries to farm in as sustainable a way as possible, keeping his use of chemical pesticides to a minimum and recycling coffee pulp to use as fertiliser. Much of the farm is covered by natural forest, which Antonio both protects and extends by regularly planting trees. He has also invested in modern processing facilities - including a wet mill and both conventional and covered patios.
São Judas Tadeu’s cherries are picked by hand when fully ripe, with two passes being made daily during the peak of the harvest. The cherries are then taken by tractors to the wet mill for pulping. The pulped natural process beans are sun-dried on patios with their mucilage still attached - spread in layers of about 4cm and raked several times a day. The drying coffee is often covered during the hottest part of the day in order to ensure even drying. Finally the beans are separated into numbered lots, which are stored and rested in parchment in a purpose built warehouse, and then cupped for quality control prior to export.
Great care is required in order to produce coffee of the quality that Fazenda São Judas Tadeu consistently produces, from preparing the land appropriately, growing and planting seedlings, all the way through to processing. Sr. Rigano ensures that his processes are reviewed and guided annually by technicians and is highly attentive to new technologies.