These lovely Icatu beans from the highlands north west of Rio de Janeiro have a great balanced flavour, silky smooth with a marmalade tang and just hint of spice that's perfect for all day drinking.
Having driven down from its’ northern border with Venezuela to Iguazu falls where Brazil meets Argentina in the south, I have some appreciation for the vastness, the emerald green beauty and the potential of this powerhouse of Latin America. Here, nothing is done by halves and the Speciality Coffee Association of Brazil work tirelessly to help farmers improve the quality of their coffee beans, despite Brazil already being the world’s largest coffee producer by far.
At Fazenda Canta Galo in the highlands west of Rio de Janeiro, production excellence along with the adoption of sustainable growing practices has created this lovely balanced coffee that’s perfect for all day drinking.
Fazenda Canta Galo is located in green, hilly country near the town of Areado in South Minas Gerais, at around 800 to 1120 metres above sea level. The coffee farm was founded in 1968, when José Carlos Vieira da Silveira created plantations of Arabica varietals Mundo Novo and Catuaí. Fazenda Canta Galo now produces several single varietal coffees including this 100% Icatu. As well as having a great passion for coffee farming, José Carlos was a far-sighted businessman, always striving to learn cutting-edge coffee management techniques, and so provided his farm with a good basic infrastructure and excellent management practice. After José Carlos died in 1991, his family continued to grow the coffee he loved. The farm is now owned by José Carlos’ widow, Vera Lúcia Oliveira da Silveira, and managed by the couple’s two children, Isaías Pio da Silveira and Andréia Oliveira da Silveira. Isaías and Andréia are following in their father’s footsteps, seeking production excellence. They have implemented in Fazenda Canta Galo what they call a ‘self-sustainable management system’, whose goals are maximum quality and client satisfaction while respecting the following requirements:
• Agricultural planning (strategic and operational)
• Traceability of lots
• Preserving the environment
• Social responsibility
The farm is very well equipped and follows strict guidelines to maintain the intrinsic quality of its coffees. During the harvest and production process, it makes use of the following facilities: a washer; two pulpers, 5,800 square metres of concrete patios; 250 square metres of suspended terraces, with a hot house for beans pre-drying phase; three pre-driers; two mechanical driers to dry the beans; storage and resting bins.
Only 120 of Fazenda Canta Galo’s 400 hectares are used for coffee plantations and processing. The remaining area is used either to protect the environment or for agricultural diversification. A total area of 60 hectares is set aside as a nature reserve, and creeks, springs and other water courses are designated as preservation zones, protecting ground at a 30-metre radius of their banks. Liquid residues from the coffee process are used for ‘fertirrigation’ of pastures that were previously subsoiled. Consumption water and residue water are analysed at least once a year, and waste is collected to protect the local ecosystem.
Fazenda Canta Galo has 30 permanent employees that work on the plantations year round. During the harvest season, from May to September, an average of 100 temporary employees are taken on to work at the farm. Labour and employment laws are respected and child labour is totally prohibited. Farm employees’ school age children go to a local public school – a school bus provided by the Municipality of Areado/Alfenas picks them up at the farm and brings them back at the end of every school day. Individual protection equipment is mandatory for the farm’s employees. Safety training is also provided for specific duties, and there is a registered nurse for first aid care and personal and family health guidance.
800 – 1,120 metres above sea level
Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA)
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