Farm – Santa Lucia
Altitude – 980masl
Location – Araxa, Minas Gerais
Preparation – Natural
Variety – Natural
Owners – AC Cafe
Certification – Rainforest Alliance
Brazil Santa Lucia is located in Araxa in the state of Minas Gerais, and, with a total size of 5300 hectares, is one of the biggest farms in Brazil! More than 3000 hectares of the land are allocated for permanent natural forest reserves, which is three times more than the legal requirement under Brazilian law.
The farm was established in 1998 by ‘AC Café’ which is a family run business with a background in farming coffee, cattle and sheep. In 2011, they decided to separate the three arms of their business in order to improve the quality of product produced. There are now two agronomists looking after this farm, Piccian and Willem, who oversee all aspects of production.
The wet mill based on site is brand new and can separate beans into 7 stages of maturation. Santa Lucia also uses two mechanical pickers, which are the only ones of their kind in the country. They are of French design and are used for olives and grapes as they are more efficient and are kinder to the trees, working on gentle shaking rather than the mechanical metal fingers seen elsewhere. These machines also mean less cherries drop to the floor which dramatically reduces the risk of Brocca (the small beetle which lays its eggs inside coffee cherries).
Once the cherries have been machine picked they are taken to the wet mill where they are processed according to maturation – e.g pulped natural or natural. There are 20 mechanical dryers on the farm and 96 silos to store the coffee. Coffee is dried on the patio for 24/30 hours before being put into a mechanical dryer for around 12 hours at 40 degrees Celsius. The coffee is then cupped from each dryer by the quality control team who separate it into
lots based on this assessment.
This year, the farm has seen around a 10% loss in yield due to the drought which has drastically affected many farms throughout Brazil, however the clay loam soil making up much of Santa Lucia’s terrain is excellent at retaining water and we are really confident in the cup quality of this lot.