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Eduardo Jose da Silva, Fazenda Tabocas

Cerrado Mineiro, Arapua, Brazil
Partner since: 2021 Traceable to: Single Estate Altitude: 1144

Cherries where harvested and put to directly dry in thin layers on asphalt patios where they are raked 12 times a day for twenty days before resting in a cool warehouse for 30 days before milling.

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Community Context

(Mr. Eduardo Silva’s story, as told to us by his wife Mrs. Maria Silva; verbatim):

“He is 84 years old and has been working in a farm since he was a child, when he used to help his father in beans’ plantation.

Eduardo and Maria met, got married and bought a piece of land from his father’s farm neighbor. They started planting corn and beans. After they bought their first tractor, they were able to prepare the land for the first coffee plantation and they have this tractor up the present days.

Forty five years ago Mr. Eduardo produced the first coffee seedlings and planted the first crops at the Tabocas farm. Also, he used to produce seedlings for sale. Mrs. Maria used to help him at the farm and drove the tractor many times to carry the seedlings for planting.

Although Mr. Eduardo has an advanced age, he is very active and goes to the farm every day to work. They were quite surprised and happy for winning the 2nd place at Cerrado Mineiro Region Awards Natural Category. They are proud for this acknowledgment which is a consequence of 45 years of hard work.”

(Mrs. Maria Silva was amazed when she was told that their champion lot is on its way to the US, she never though that their coffee would travel so far. What she would like to share with people that will have a cup of coffee of this lot is that it was produced with lots of love and dedication.)

Country Context

Brazil is to other coffee-growing countries as Jupiter is to other planets – huge, and deserving a category of its own. But despite its size, we don’t look to Brazil as a source of specialty; we were once told that asking for a sample of SSFC 17/18 is like asking for a sample of a ‘big mac’.

This, however, is an old view from an older generation. We now have a younger crop of farmers entering the specialty scene – this generation was raised with the Internet, knows 21st-century coffee, and are excited to find out what’s possible for their family’s farm.

But it’s a struggle to convince parents that this new approach is not just youthful fantasy – with one approach working so well for so long, it’s hard to take specialty seriously. This battle seems to be happening inside households across Brazil, as city-dwelling, college-educated sons and daughters return to the family farm to help their baby-boomer parents prepare for retirement.

Despite this tension, wherever we look we see small successes building a case for specialty, one win at a time. It could be glowing feedback, a good yield, a high price or even just the smallest recognition by someone outside the family. And the case is growing especially strong in the area around Sao Gortado where we find Yuki Minami and Aequitas coffee educating farmers on what they have and what it’s worth. Here we find farmers in their 20s and 30s standing on the shoulders of giants; they are looking near into the future, and see specialty where we in the US have not yet.