Region: Patos de Minas, Cerrado
Altitude: 1100 MASL
Farm: Fazenda Catanduva II 130 Hectares
Arabica Varietals: Red Catuai
Process: Anaerobic Natural
Owner: Mariê Sasaki Nakao
In the cup: Berry, grape, winey, juicy, sweet and delicious.
Owner Mariê Nakao comes from a family of coffee producing pioneers in Cerrado Mineiro. Even with her family history of coffee production, coffee wasn’t always a clear path for Mariê. She graduated school with a degree in law and another in psychology and spent many years caring for her own children before, in 2004, she moved back to Patos de Minas to work on her parent’s farm. Together with her brothers, Mariê organizes the 3MC Nakao group, a growers focused on specialty coffee production in Patos de Minas.
In 2019, Mariê’s son, Victor Nakao, joined the team and helped focus on producing specialty coffees. By focusing on improving the post-harvest process, Victor improved quality at Fazenda Catanduva II tremendously, taking their quality to an entirely different level. In 2020, lots from the farm placed in several quality contests, including Expocaccer’s Treasures of Expocaccer 2020, where 5 of their lots made it the final rounds. Mariê was also honored with the Sustainable Quality award from Nespresso.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
After harvest, ripe, red cherry is sealed in plastic barrels to ferment anaerobically for 48 hours. Victor has been experimenting with yeast cultures to ensure more uniformity between lots. Following fermentation, cherry is laid on raised beds to sun dry. Cherry is raked frequent to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 30 das for cherry to dry.
Treasures of EXPOCACCER
Producer-members of Cooperativa dos Cafeicultores do Cerrado (EXPOCACCER) cultivate coffee in Cerrado Mineiro and certify their coffees with the region’s Denomination of Origin.
In 2020, EXPOCACCER hosted a quality contest called “Treasures of EXPOCACCER” that sought to identify and reward high quality coffees produced in Cerrado Mineiro. The highest scoring lots were auctioned and the profits delivered to the farmers to recognize their coffee’s superior quality.
Sucafina Brazil was proud to participate in Treasures of EXPOCACCER as a partner. We purchase 3 lots and are proud to have paid a premium that we hope will encourage a continued emphasis on quality in the future.
Coffee in Brazil
Just under 40% of all coffee in the world is produced in Brazil – around 3.7 million metric tons annually. With so much coffee produced, it’s no wonder that the country produces a wide range of qualities. Brazil produces everything from natural Robusta, to the neutral and mild Santos screen 17/18, to the distinctive Rio Minas 17/18. In recent years, Brazilian producers have also begun investing more heavily in specialty coffee production. Through our in-country partners in Brazil, including our sister company, we are able to provide a wide range of Brazilian coffees to our clients: from macrolot to microlot.
Today, the most prolific coffee growing regions of Brazil are Espirito Santo, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Bahia. Most Brazilian coffee is grown on large farms that are built and equipped for maximizing production output through mechanical harvesting and processing. The relatively flat landscape across many of Brazil’s coffee regions combined with high minimum wages has led most farms to opt for this type of mechanical harvesting over selective hand-picking.
In the past, mechanization meant that strip-picking was the norm; however, today’s mechanical harvesters are increasingly sensitive, meaning that farms can harvest only fully ripe cherries at each pass, which is good news for specialty-oriented producers.
In many cases and on less level sections of farms, a mixed form of ‘manual mechanized’ harvesting may be used, where ripe coffee is picked using a derriçadeira – a sort of mechanized rake that uses vibration to harvest ripe cherry. A tarp is spanned between coffee trees to capture the cherry as it falls.
With the aid of these newer, more selective technologies, there’s a growing number of farms who are increasingly concerned with – and able to deliver – cup quality.
(Info courtesy of Sucafina)