Fazenda Progresso in the Chapada Diamantina region of Bahia. The region is known for its mountainous cliff formations (Chapada) and 19th-century diamond mining (Diamantina). This beautiful farm has been owned and operated by the Borré family since its establishment in 1984. We spent three days at Fazenda Progresso, touring the expansive 25,000 hectare farm. The family are one of Brazil’s largest producers of potatoes, which has allowed for considerable reinvestment in the farm – the introduction of coffee in 2005 and the construction of meticulous infrastructure, social projects in the surrounding villages where workers commute from and most recently a breath-taking vineyard and winery with sweeping views of the surrounding Sincora mountain range. Most importantly, we also selected the Brazilian competent for Coffee Coffee. This year marks the seventh year we’ve purchased coffee from Fazenda Progresso
Our base for three days whilst we visited farms in the surrounding region. Piatã is a unique coffee-growing region. The high altitude and cool climate slow down the maturation of coffee cherries, resulting in an increased concentration of sugars in the coffee bean.
Coffees from Piatã have continued to dominate in Brazil’s Cup of Excellence program since 2009 when an attention-grabbing five of the top ten coffees were from the region.
Fazenda Cerca de Pedra São Benedito
Silvio Leite has played a pivotal role in the development of specialty coffee, both in Brazil and globally. Silvio is incredibly humble, with a genuine passion for both coffee and the people within the coffee industry. In 1999 he co-founded the Cup of Excellence (COE) and co-authored the technical protocols for the COE. Silvio’s purchase of Fazenda Cerca de Pedra São Benedito in 2019 was the realisation of a career-long dream to produce his own coffee. Not only is the coffee produced on Cerca de Pedra São Benedito delicious, but Silvio and his team use the farm as an educational reference for many of the small producers in the region.
In 2016, the then 25 year old Kleumon Silva Moreira, purchased the parcel of land he named Sitio Canaã (“The Promised Land”) in his home town of Piatã. Kleumon is quiet and meticulous, diligently planting and maintaining a wide range of coffee varieties on his 10-hectare plot whilst also managing Silvio’s farm.
Jose Joaquin’s family farm and Pedro and Delzute Santana
Jose, his wife, and three sons have called this beautiful farm home for the last 13 years. Coffee production on their 6-hectare parcel of land is very much a family affair, with the only additional assistance coming in the form of four seasonal workers during the peak of harvest. A short walk and you will find the neighboring coffee farm of Pedro and Delzute Santana. Pedro and his wife were originally from São Paulo and acquired the land in the hopes of a slower lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, they aptly named their farm Cafundó, which translates to ‘very, very far away’.
Aneilson is a trained agrologist and third-generation farmer who inherited Sitio Capão from his father. From an early age, Aneilson recognised the advantages of coffee production, planting his first coffee plants on the farm at the age of 14. Aneilson is incredibly dedicated to his farm and his family, working tirelessly to advance the quality of coffee produced on Sitio Capão and growing a range of fruits and vegetables which he sells at the local markets.
São Judas Tadeu
Antônio Rigno and his wife Terezinha are much-loved and influential in the town of Piatã and have been farming in the region for more than 40 years. In 2003 with the guidance of Silvio Leite, the Rigno’s overhauled both their harvest and post-harvest processes, investing in infrastructure and staff training. Antônio and Terezinha have gone on to win countless accolades for their coffee, but in true Rigno-style, Antônio credits his success to his team, most of whom have been with him for over 20 years.
Until next time...
We had such a wonderful time visiting Brazil, learning more about the producers we work with and selecting coffees for the year ahead. We can’t wait to share them with you.