Fazenda Monte Alegre
Belo mount, Sul de Minas region, Minas Gerais state, Brasil
Our days on the estate, learning to recognise defects
Monte Alegre is a large fazenda that produces qualities of coffee that are as varied as the requests of its buyers. What I found most amazing was the impeccable organisation of the entire production process, from the nurseries to the rebeneficio (where the coffee is prepared for export).
It is here in this fazenda that I was lucky enough to meet and spend time in the company of Jorge, a long-time taster and a great connoisseur of coffee (both high and lower quality), who was more than willing to share his knowledge with me. It is also thanks to him (and his assistant Thiago) that I found out that in the case of export coffee as many as 20 cups are tasted, and learned to recognise, through ‘cupping’, the difference between fermented (and therefore defective) coffees and fruity coffees, or between ‘riado’ and ‘rio’ coffees (both defects, but ‘Rio’ being the most serious).
Environmental sustainability and judicious management of resources to produce excellent coffee
Where does the coffee we have selected come from?
At the beginning of 20th century, the Monte Alegre Farm, was already a respected and well-known coffee producer. Besides coffee, other crops were also grown in the farm, such as sugar cane for the production of brown sugar and “rapadura”.
In 1917 the Vieira Family bought the property, and since the nineties the new owners began to direct the farm activity towards the production of specialty coffees.
The farm is located in the southern part of the state of Minas Gerais, the main coffee production area in Brazil and it produces estate coffees with different characteristics and organoleptic profiles, in full compliance with social and environmental aspects related to work.
More than 20% of the farm area consists of a natural reserve (Legal Reserve and Permanent Preservation Areas), aimed at the preservation of biodiversity, ecosystem and natural resources.The owners also invest in sustainable measures such as water recycling, reforestation, conscious use of energy, integrated management of solid and liquid waste, wastewater usage for irrigation, and a careful management of the fertilizers (they mainly use a combination of cascara, parchment, bacteria, condensed milk and phosphorus as fertilizer).
An effective management system promotes a process of continuous improvement: today, every single batch of coffee is entirely traceable, and all the data are collected, recorded, analysed and shared with those who, like us, buy coffee from the fazenda.
The coffee is planted, cultivated and harvested according to the most modern techniques and agronomic recommendations, always respecting the concept of sustainability.
How is this coffee produced
Among the coffees of the Fazenda Monte Alegre, we have chosen a fully washed coffee, harvested by selective picking; the mucilage is removed through biological fermentation in water tanks, adopting techniques that minimize the water consumption. The coffee is then sundried on patios.
We have selected this coffee, for it has the typical character of the washed Brazilian arabica coffees and for its incredible consistency. These two characteristics make it a perfect component of our specialty coffee blends.
- Botanical variety: Acaiá e Catuaì
- Processing: washed
- Harvest: May – September
- Drying: sundried on patios
- Altitude: 1.000 – 1.100 m asl
- Quality/screen: NY2