OUR FIRST ORIGIN TRIP TO MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL.
ORIGIN TRIP (BRAZIL) PART 1 FAZENDA SANTA CRUZ
Sourcing phenomenal Speciality Coffee is our main focus at Soma Coffee Company, last year we fulfilled one of our biggest goals of travelling to origin and meeting the amazing people that grow the plant we know and love.
We arrived in Sao Paulo in July and took a beautifully scenic drive to Minas Gerais, The Brazilian Coffee growing capital some 5 hrs from the city. Upon arrival we wasted no time & headed straight towards a familiar named farm, Fazenda Santa Cruz. We were overwhelmed by this coffees quality at the beginning of last year when it was part of our offering and jumped at the chance to meet the people behind it and secure some fresh crop for the season ahead.
Josiani Moraes & her team greeted us with open arms at the gates of her farm welcoming us to a spread of Brazilian delicacies overlooking her impressive operation of farmland, processing stations & drying patios.
We could not refuse after our long journey from Ireland and what better way to get to know everyone than over some traditional & regional dishes.
From here we were taken into their coffee lab to taste their latest crops in preparation for a full breakdown of their farming & Speciality Coffee growing principles which included making their own compost from harvest waste, experimenting with new and diverse coffee varieties, picking only the ripest cherries by hand and constant development of coffee processing techniques.
We then took to the farms vintage bus that brought us through the Brazilian mountains to see the coffee harvest in action, we met on the hillside with their skilled team of pickers and headed into the coffee plantation to pick some coffee. An amazing experience being able to hand pick the coffee we roast and serve at Soma. From here we trecked to the next plantation of machine picked farmland where we mounted the picking machines that allow Fazenda Santa Cruz to cultivate part of their 485 hectare farm.
Fazenda Santa Cruz is located in the Southern part of the state of Minas Gerais, in an area called Paraguacu, a place with excellent land, it is a hilly region that gets a lot of water. The Farm was acquired in 1992 but at that time there were only oranges grown on the farm and in the surrounding areas. After surviving a crisis in 1998 the owners Giovanni Batista Bragagnolo & Josiani’s Moraes, took the decision to remove the orchards from the farm and plant their first coffee trees. This was when the family began to invest in technology and infrastructure for coffee production.
The whole property is connected through eco pathways, allowing the local fauna to move easily around the farm, also in an attempt to increase the afforestation, 400 thousand native trees were planted in the area. The seedlings were grown in the farm’s seed bed through donations from partners such as the federal institution. Water saving is also an important issue, and so the farm has biodigestores to treat the residual water and a recycling system for the water from the coffee washers. Every year they run lab analysis on all the water that is used for human consumption, following the WHO’s guidelines and the National Council of Environment.
We then made the trip back down to the processing plant to see all the the fresh coffee berries that had been picked that day get washed, dried, hulled & ready for sorting. Fazenda Santa Cruz do all of this on site where as some farms would outsource these stages to Cooperatives.
It was then finally time time to cup some of this farms amazing processes and varieties, and it did not disappoint. To be able to taste these coffees with the owners, farmers, cultivators & processors was life changing. We got an amazing feel for this farms coffee and picked some outstanding coffees for this years offering, we even brought & brewed Josiani some coffee from her last crop that we roasted at Soma. Such a surreal experience being able to share this with her.
The Fazenda Santa Cruz 2022 Crop is due in for arrival this summer and we are beyond excited to receive it, roast it & share it all with you.