REGION: Chapada Diamantina
ALTITUDE: 1,360m above sea level
PROCESSING: Pulped Natural
FARMERS: Pedro & Deesute Santana (awards Cup of Excellence 2006, 2014)
In the cup: Elegant and vibrant, with a silky mouthfeel, mandarin acidity and notes of plum, honey and white blossom.
Cafundó is a very small—five hectare—coffee farm located in Piatã, in Bahia’s Diamantina Plateau region. Chapada Diamantina translates to ”Diamond Plateau” in Portuguese, and for 100 years, this area was mined for the gemstones embedded in its cliffs. Today the region is famous for its specialty coffee.
The land on which Cafundó sits was acquired by Mr. Pedro Santana from a friend in 1989. Pedro, who was based in bustling São Paulo for many years, purchased the land in a pursuit of a slower and simpler lifestyle with his family. He was a banker at the time, stressed and working long hours with little reward. Originally from Piatã, Pedro decided to invest in coffee cultivation, taking advantage of the farm’s high altitude (1,360 metres above sea level) and beneficial setting for growing coffee.
Piatã is a very unique and privileged coffee growing region in Brazil, with high altitudes and temperatures that vary from 2°C to 18°C in the winter. These factors, combined with the area’s rich soil and growing conditions, present favourable conditions for producing high quality coffee with a cup profile that is very bright, transparent, and distinctive. This region has only recently started to become recognised internationally for its high quality since the 2009 Cup of Excellence, where five of the top 10 spots came from Piatã. The region’s dominance in the awards has continued every year since and incredibly, in the 2016 Cup of Excellence Pulped Natural competition, an astounding 19 of the 24 winning lots came from Piatã!
Cafundó extends over 28 hectares, of which five are under coffee. The farm’s name, cafundó, translates to ‘very very far away’. Which it is—both physically and mentally far from the hustle and bustle of São Paulo. Coffee grows here under the shade of Gravellia trees on the plantation. The shade, along with the farm’s high altitude, means that the beans mature slowly, allowing sugar concentration to develop and resulting in a very sweet and complex cup.
Over time, Pedro, with the help of farmer Antonio Rigno, began to focus on specialty coffee. In 1999 he won the Best of Bahia competition and in 2006 the farm was recognised in the Cup of Excellence for the first time. He is supported by his wife, Delzute Araujo Mesquita, who works by his side on the farm, and together the pair have won many accolades and recognition for their high quality coffee.
HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED
Cherry beans at Cafundó are picked selectively by 30 women (called ”panhadeiras de cafe”), who are extremely disciplined and ensure only the very best cherries are selected. The coffee is then processed using the pulped natural method, through which Pedro aims to try and preserve the coffee’s inherent and best properties. After pulping, the beans are sun-dried on patios with some of their mucilage still attached. The beans are spread in layers of about four centimetres and raked several times a day to ensure they dry evenly. Finally, the beans are separated into numbered lots which are stored and rested in parchment in a purpose-built warehouse, and then cupped for quality control prior to export.