Farm: Sítio Morro Agudo
Varietal: Yellow Catuaí
Processing: Natural; Dried on patios & finished in mechanical driers
Altitude: 1,000 metres above sea level
Owner: Fatima de Oliveira Bueno Alves
Town / City: Guaxupe
Region: Sul de Minas Gerais
Overall: Plum, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Medium Dense Body
Sitio Morro Agudo - Brazil
The history of Sitio Morro Agudo started long before the farm’s current owner - Fatima de Oliveira Bueno Alves - purchased the farm in 2001. In fact, the history of coffee farming is deeply entwined in the family’s history, extending back into the late 1800s when her great-grandfather, Mr. Mario Marques Bueno, acquired his first property and began cultivating coffee in Brazil’s privileged Minas Gerais region.
The passion for coffee culture has been passed from generation to generation and has most recently found a home in the heart of Ms. Oliveira Bueno Alves. When she purchased Sitio Morro Agudo, located in the southern region of Minas Gerais, she did so with the knowledge that coffee truly was her calling. Since then, she has managed and worked on the farm full-time, ever striving to improve cultivation techniques and produce the highest quality coffee possible.
The property’s name hails from a well-known hill in the area called Morro Agudo (meaning simply ‘Acute Hill’). Keeping things simple and descriptive, the family decided to give the same name to the property.
When Ms. Oliveira Bueno Alves purchased Sitio Morro Agudo, coffee was already planted on the farm’s green hillsides. However, Fatima was committed to improving on the already existing agricultural structure. Today, coffee is the farm’s main activity, and great care is given to every aspect of farm management. In particular, plants are kept supple and healthy through regular pruning. 15% to 20% of the farm’s trees undergo ‘skeleton’ pruning annually (with significant reduction of branch growth on the sides and top of the coffee tree). 5% of the farm’s trees are stumped or pruned drastically. Furthermore, soil care and management is completed with attention to maintaining the optimal soil fertility. This has meant that despite an average tree age of 17 years, the farm is kept at optimal production. The farm’s diminutive 9 hectares of coffee plantation means that almost all labour can be supplied by the immediate family, with friends and extended family being ‘called in’ to help at peak times, such as the harvest. The family keeps 7 additional hectares under strict conservation, dedicated to indigenous tree species and wilderness.
The farm’s primary cultivation is Red Catuaí, Yellow Catuaí, and Mundo Novo – all varieties that have been chosen due to their ideal adaptation to the region, climate and soil. Lots are separated by day and by coffee variety.
All coffee on the farm is processed using the natural method. After being selectively hand-picked and sorted, the ripe coffee cherry is delivered to the farm’s patios to dry in the sun. It is dried here for five days, while being regularly turned, and is then delivered to the farm’s mechanical driers, where it is dried at a regular and even temperature of 45˚ C for three additional days.
The farm’s current challenge is the cost of production, which is high considering the small size of the farm. Ms. Oliveira Bueno Alves wants to begin to implement technological solutions to improve processes and agricultural management in the near future, including the mechanisation of harvesting in the more level areas of the farm.