The farm Pe de Cedro in Brazil
When Edson Morais de Barros bought Pe de Cedro Estate in 2012, it already had a reputation for producing high quality coffee.
As the current owner, Edson continues to build the potential of the farm and the Mantiqueira de Minas region.
He collaborates closely with the team of agronomists from COCARIVE and the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) to produce coffee that fulfills the highest potential of his farm.
The agronomists advise on new machinery and processing techniques and innovations in coffee cultivation practices.
In addition, Edison has put together a team of coffee production experts who are employed year-round at his farm and the estate’s wet mill.
They follow up closely with all day-to-day quality processes.
Harvest & Post-Harvest at Pe de Cedro Farm
Pe de Cedro produces coffee in line with the Best Coffee Practices and the region’s coffee traditions that gave Mantiqueira de Minas the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) certificate.
This means the estate follows environmentally friendly practices and uses the approved coffee varieties.
Unlike many of the farms in Brazil, all harvesting at Pe de Cedro is done manually.
One of the essential coffee practices is processing cherries the same day of harvesting.
Pe de Cedro uses a classic Pinhalense machine for de-pulping.
This removes the cherry skin and basically all mucilage from the parchment.
This parchment then goes to the drying patio.
The quality team spreads out the parchment in a thin layer for drying.
They watch over the drying process, raking the parchment regularly so the beans dry slowly and uniformly.
Once dried to a moisture level of 12%, the parchment is moved to wooden bins in the storage room.
Here, the beans undergo a necessary resting period to stabilise humidity.
One month later, they are sent to COCARIVE warehouses in Carmo de Minas for storage.
At COCARIVE, they run various quality checks on the coffee.
For cooperative members, after the drying stage, the parchment coffee goes to the COCARIVE warehouses.
The cooperative takes further care of grading, commercialization and export.
They have their own quality lab and storage and milling facilities in Carmo de Minas.
COCARIVE gives support to its members in all parts of the production chain.
Their team of agronomists and technical experts assists with cultivation techniques, machinery, storage and finally commercialization of the beans.
At the dry mill where they prepare the coffee for export. COCARIVE has its own laboratory for quality control.
Their team of trained cuppers and Q graders makes the first selection based on cup quality.
They will verify which lots are suitable and of high enough cup quality for specialty microlots.
Their quality control team checks the quality of every lot at a variety of times throughout the dry milling process analyzing both on physical and cup characteristics.
All COCARIVE member farms have the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) certificate.
On top of that, they are all certified by the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA).
This certificate is a guarantee from BSCA that every aspect of labour at the farm is legal.
It also guarantees the implementation of environmentally friendly practices on the farm during all steps of the coffee production process.
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.