REGION: Chapada Diamantina
ALTITUDE: 1,300 m above sea level
PROCESS: Pulped Natural
OWNER: Cândido Vladimir Ladeia Rosa (AWARDS include first place in Cup of Excellence 2009, 2014. Also #2 in 2015, #4 in 2016)
In the cup: Full bodied, sugarcane sweetness and floral, with cherry, sultana, dark chocolate and roast hazelnuts. Clean and balanced.
Ouro Verde (“Green Gold”) is farm owned by Cândido Vladimir Ladeia Rosa. The 30 hectare farm is situated in the small town of Piatã in Bahia’s Chapada Diamantina region, at an altitude of 1,300 metres above sea level. 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.
Piatã is a very unique and privileged coffee growing area in the Chapada Diamatina region, 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 and results in a very distinctive cup profile that is unique to this part of Brazil and unlike any other producing regions in the country. Generally coffees from this region to be complex and elegant, with a bright and defined acidity, transparent cup profile, with delicate florals citrus and even stone fruit and berries.
Surprisingly, the Piatã growing region has only recently started to become recognised internationally for its high quality.
Piata coffees are now considered some of the best in Brazil. These coffees are extremely limited, and production is relatively small, given the small scale of the farms in this part of Brazil. This particular micro-lot from Ouro Verde was 1800kg in total.
Cândido’s father-in-law, Antônio Rigno, acquired Fazenda Ouro Verde at the end of the 1980s. Antônio is famous in the region for his commitment to quality, and has many accolades for his coffees in the Cup of Excellence competition and other quality awards over the years. He has provided advice and mentorship for many producers in the region including Cândido, who inherited the farm from Antônio.
Today Cândido takes the utmost care of Ouro Verde, applying the knowledge and best practices that he has learnt from Antônio and his own experience with growing coffee. Cândido has a small and very dedicated team, many of who have worked with Antônio and now Cândido for many decades. Together they exert great care to produce the best quality coffee possible, and this has been recognised by many accolades that the farm has won for its quality – both in Bahia’s state-sponsored Coffee Quality Competition several times, as well as the Cup of Excellence.
In 2014, at Brazil’s 100th Cup of Excellence, Ouro Verde placed first, with a score of 94.05 points and fetching $50.20 per pound. This was the second time the farm has been number one – it also placed first in the 2009 competition.
Cândido tries to farm in as sustainable a way as possible, keeping his use of chemical pesticides to a minimum and recycling coffee pulp to use as fertiliser. He has also invested in state of the art processing facilities, always following the specialised technical guidance of AGRIPEC, an agricultural support community.
HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED
Cândido ensures cherries are picked by hand only when fully ripe into hand held basins. During the peak of the season, tractors pick up the cherries twice a day and deliver them to the wet mill, to ensure they do not ferment in the heat of the day. Picking is mainly conducted by women who are extremely disciplined and ensure only the very best cherries are selected. The cherries are delivered to Antônio Rigno’s wet mill which is located down the road at São Judas, then processed using the pulped natural process. After pulping they are sun-dried on meticulously clean patios with their mucilage still attached—spread in layers of about four centimetres and raked several times a day. 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.
Great care is required in order to produce coffee of the quality that Ouro Verde consistently produces, from preparing the land and soil appropriately, growing and planting seedlings, all the way through to processing and storage. Cândido ensures that his processes are reviewed and guided annually by technicians from AGRIPEC, an agricultural support community, and is highly attentive to new technologies or methods that will improve quality.
(info courtesy of Melbourne Coffee Merchants – MCM)