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Sergio Barbosa, D’Barbosa Coffee

Minas Gerais, Cerrado Mineiro, Carmo do Paranaíba, Brazil
Partner since: 2021 Traceable to: Single Estate Altitude: 950
Processing:

Coffee is harvested according to a flavor map done ahead of each harvest, and only after 87% or more of cherries are red ripe with Brix of 27 of above, bhten dried directly on patios for 13 days, before they are taken indoors and rested at consistent, cool temperatures for 21 days before milling

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Community Context

Fazenda Paraíso Chapadão is a third-generation coffee farm, that started out as and has remained 100% dedicated to specialty coffee production. Father and son team Elias and Claudio started the farm, passing it along to Jairo who brought up his son Danilo in coffee. Now, in 2022, this farm is entering it’s fourth-generation as sons Vitor Marcel and Sergio Ricardo take the reins. And they are off to a strong start, first by placing 4th in the Cerrado Mineiro Region awards and, in 2021, winning top spot in the Brazil Cup of Excellence naturals-category.

Their passion for coffee is evident; the farm is one of the few in the region to start off as, and remain to-date dedicated purely to specialty coffee. Their dedication to the environment is as well, having set aside 186 hectares as natural preserves. They have a continuity in leadership and in knowledge that allows for generational investments while adapting new knowledge along the way.

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.