Celso & Gertrudes - Sitio Boa Vista
This indulgent coffee is grown by Celso and Gertrudes at Sitio Boa Vista, their 12-hectare farm surrounded by natural springs and forests. Celso and Gertrudes work closely with agronomists to improve soil quality and take steps to grow their coffee biodynamically using as few agrochemicals as possible.
When asked about the secret to their success, Gertrudes answered, "Carinho e Amo" – affection and love. With every sip, you can taste this attention to detail, dedication, and care.
Their farm, Sitio Boa Vista, sits atop the Zani Mountain Valley, overlooking the town of Caconde - just a short drive down the road from FAF. The family shares:
"Our methods of production were for commodity purposes until 2006 when we began to pulp our coffee after harvesting. We then discovered that our coffee was truly special and went on to win the specialty coffee contest for the state of Sao Paulo two years in a row. In the third year, we placed amongst the 50 best coffees of Brazil in the Cup of Excellence."
In 2007 we met Marcos [Croce], who helped us take samples of our coffee to the United States, and thus, we realized our first ever direct-trade sale outside of Brazil. Marcos has continued to take our coffees to other countries and to tell our story.
"On our farm, the springs are protected and the garbage is selectively separated and taken to recycling depots. We do not use agro-toxic chemicals in our soil and most of the products we use are organic. Our harvests are done completely by hand selectively and almost all done by our own family. Our drying process has traditionally been on cement patios but beginning with this upcoming year  it will be done on raised beds.
FAF works with specific leaders in different valleys and regions who serve as point people to assist with the organization of the farmers and coordination of spreading information. With many of our past offerings from Caconde, we've discussed the work of long-time FAF partner João Hamilton Dos Santos.
With coffees from Celso and Gertrudes, however, they handle each step of processing on Sitio Boa Vista entirely. Coffee cherries are first selectively harvested, which is very rare in a country where mechanical harvesting is the dominant method. They then utilize an electronic color sorter to ensure the top lots are full of perfectly ripe cherries. And finally, coffees are dried naturally on raised beds.
Until 2007, Celso & Gertrudes, producers from the Caconde region of Sao Paulo (map), focused their work on the commodity market. That meant growing and processing as much coffee as possible without considering the impact of heavy use of synthetic chemicals on their farms, not to mention the poor quality of the final product. The reality of "C" market (low prices, volatility, etc.), together with the unsustainable farming practices, forced Celso and his wife Gertrudes to either quit coffee farming altogether or change their philosophy drastically.
cup tasting notes.
cherry, almond, citrus
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