Farm: Sítio São Gabriel
Varietal: Yellow Catuaí
Altitude: 1288 metres above sea level
Owner: Aimar Izidoro do Carmo
Town / City: Araponga
Region: Minas Gerais
Overall: Fermented strawberries, lychee, rum
Sitio Sao Gabriel - Brazil
Located in Matas de Minas, Sítio São Gabriel has been in Aimar’s family for over 40 years. Although Aimar has been growing coffee for most of his life, he claims that it wasn’t until he started planting and growing specialty, that things start to get better.
The story of Sítio São Gabriel began over 40 years ago when Aimar's father bought the land. Originally, before the Carmo’s took over, the farmland had been used for grazing cattle. This had led to the soil becoming infertile, due to overgrazing. Seeking to make the land fertile again and guarantee a better quality of life, the family started to plant coffee. Today, the Carmo family’s hard work has paid off, as Sítio São Gabriel has rich enough soil that no fertiliser is needed.
As well as coffee, Sítio São Gabriel is home to a small amount of corn, planted by Aimar (pictured) and his wife. However, it is from specialty coffee that the family guarantees their livelihood. Aimar says it was after he started working with specialty coffee that things greatly improved. The farm was able to win a number of awards and become to be known for its high-quality product. This led to further improvements on the farm by the family, as they searched for ways to continue to improve their product. Today, Aimar is the second generation of coffee producers in his family, but says he hopes farming will become a tradition in his family, and that his children can continue the legacy left by his father and their grandfather.
Great care is taken when harvesting the coffee. Amir and his family make sure to pick only the ripest fruit, as well as separating the lots into the day they were picked. For processing, coffee is first dried on concrete patios. These were built by Aimar close to his property, thanks to the above-market prices he received for his specialty coffee. His drying method of choice consists of spreading the coffee thinly on the terrace to dry. The coffee is covered with tarps at night or during poor weather. On sunny days, the tarp is lifted; with the coffee rotated around 10 times a day. Once the coffee has reached the ideal moisture percentage, beans are gathered, bagged and stored. Shortly before shipping, beans will be hulled, ready for transport.