2011-2012 Brasil Harvest Visit

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Postby Emilio » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:33 pm

I was just recently in Brasil, as a farmer/exporter, I try to go every year to see how their crop is doing. With no exceptions, every year I see a higher and better quality harvest than the previous.

It was a group of five us from El Salvador and we were hosted by P&A, a representative agent of Pinhalense Agricultural Machinery. Our trip was from the 13th to the 17th of June; we traveled through the Northeastern part of Sao Paulo state, as well as the Southwest part of the state of Minas Gerais, area known as Sul de Minas. The Pinhalense Factory is located in a small city called Espiritu Santo do Pinhal, known as Pinhal…

Our first day we visited the Pinhalense factory. Pinhalense apparently is the biggest coffee processing machinery manufacturer in the world… They claim that their machinery is responsible for processing more than half of the world’s coffee production. It was great to get to visit the factory since for the rest of the week we went and check out different plantations and mills that used their equipment.

Second day we travelled to the Pocos de Caldas region, there we visited two different plantations, Santa Lina and Recreio, originally a single plantation but was split in two by the family that owned it. They both are similar in size and elevation, from 1,000 to 1,200 mts, with an area of about 400 acres each. Currently they are producing Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon, Mundo Novo, and Icatu. Have to say though, that for some of us that cupped the coffees, the Yellow Bourbon was outstanding. Recreio has done really good in COE with that Yellow Bourbon. Pocos de Caldas is one of the regions that the RG trip to Origin is going to visit in July/August… This mountainous area does resemble some of the regions in Central America…

The following day we travelled to the Cabo Verde Region in Sul de Minas were we where hosted by Renato from Ponto Alegre Estate Coffees. This was actually the second time I had visited Renato and it really is the most impressive operation I have seen in Brasil and probably anywhere else… The highlights of his operation have to be his wooden silos and the traceability at all levels of the operation… Incredible…

The fourth and last day in the coffee region we visited two different farms, very near Pinhal, they are both located above 1,200 mts, which for Brasil, that is pretty high up… One that really caught our attention was Fazenda Vargem Grande Estate, owned by the Contini family… In this place we encounter an amazing operation… It is a 225 acres plantation with a mill that process all its coffee… There are actually no employees except the family… There are a couple of tractors and a harvesting machine, so no hand picking at this plantation… At the mill, the de-pulping is made by two brothers, the patio drying by the sisters and cousins, and the machine drying by the older siblings… Their coffee varieties are Acaia and Mundo Novo. We cupped this coffees the last day and were impressed since all the picking is done by machine and there is really no trace of unripe beans on the cup… Really no astringency at all… On the contrary… Sweetness and a very clean body… The Brazilians have really perfected I think, the selection of the unripes by the milling machines… It is really impressive to see the quality they pick, and the selection the machines do… and most impressive is that the cup has not unripe taste at all…

The last day we spent the night in Sao Paulo… A city of eleven million people with a great night life specially at the downtown area know as Avenida Paulista…

I do believe there are still spots available for the RG origin trip to Brasil 2011… I really encourage RG members to go and check it out… It is a great experience; you really get to see a little bit of everything… Actually the only thing I’ve never seen in my travels to Brasil is a Robusta Plantation… Actually only twelve of the 50 million bags they produced last harvest are Robusta…

Anyone interested on viewing some pics of the trip…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/77691455@N ... 967959323/
Emilio López Díaz
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:07 am
First Name: Emilio
Last Name: Lopez
City: San Salvador
State: SS
Zip Code: 503
Company: Cuatro M, Single Origin Coffees
Occupation: Grower, Miller, Exporter and Roaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2001

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