Farm – Fazenda Ouro Verde
Altitude – 1000m above sea level.
Location – The Cerrado, Minas Gerais.
Preparation – Natural.
Varietal – Red Catuai
Owners – The Naimeg family
Certification – Rainforest Alliance
Brazil Ouro Verde (Green Gold Farm) is one of four farms owned by the Naimeg group, a family business headed up by the founder Gerson Naimeg. Gerson, the son of a German settler and Brazilian mother, established his first farm in 1965 when he bought a small plot of land in Uba located in northern Paraná. Like many others, he and his family moved to the Cerrado to avoid the annual threat of frost and now they have four farms in the region. Brazil Ouro Verde is around 130 hectares in size with 100 hectares set aside for coffee and is located near the city of Patos de Minas, at an altitude of approximately 1000 meters above sea level. Yellow Icatu coffee grows successfully on the local clay loam soils and harvesting is mechanical thanks to the flat lay of the land. Once the coffee has been harvested it is washed and channelled in water to separate the dense ripe cherries from the floating secondary quality ‘floaters’. It is then pulped in a Pinhalense pulping machine and laid out on raised African style drying beds where the beans, still coated in their sticky sweet mucilage, are allowed to dry gently in the sun over a period of about ten days. During this time the sugars and enzymatic by-products are absorbed into the heart of the bean lending the cup its distinctive sweet and full bodied flavour – great for espresso. The farm has won awards in national espresso competitions in recognition of its good character in the cup. Once dry the parchment coffee is put into ‘tulhas’ (large wooden vats), where the moisture and flavour is allowed to even out during the resting period.
In line with Brazilian law, 20% of the land at Brazil Ouro Verde is given over to a nature reserve where indigenous plants provide a habitat for wildlife. This coupled with the social standards which have been established for the people that work the land, has led to Rainforest Alliance certification for the farm.