THE PRODUCTION OF SPECIALTY COFFEES
The Coffee Cycle
The process of producing a specialty coffee begins with the selection of the seeds. Well acquainted with this, Fazenda California has selected partners in the IAC (Agronomic Institute of Campinas) as high quality seeds suppliers of Coffea Arabica. Arising from its special seeds, the seedlings begin their journey, growing as a miracle of nature in majestic trees, which will generate the coffee fruit, called cherries. After two to three years, with the first spring rains (August / September), the flowers exude their fragrance of coffee peculiar plantations. Like magic, the white flowers turn into a solid green, with small fruit ready to develop into red or yellow cherries. The harvest season begins in autumn (April / May), with the ripening of the first cherries, and should be closed until next spring (August / September), as trees can be prepared for a new cycle of nature.
Production Management: State of the Art in the Specialty Coffees Production
The maintenance of a coffee plantation viewing to produce magnificent specialty coffee lots requires the combination of nutrition programs, management of pests and diseases as well as soil protection. The sustainable production system adopted by Fazenda California covers them all, turning the coffee plantation into a garden surrounded by nature and human development. This production system envisages:
- The coffee plantation is an integrated part of the eco-social system;
- The use of good agricultural practices throughout the cycle;
- The increase of organic matter content in the soil;
- Reduction in the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides;
- Improvement of water use throughout the process;
- The use of IRDS (Integrated Recommendation and Diagnostics System) to ensure fertilization and plant nutrition;
- The use of compounds in the nutrition program making good use of
coffee processing organic waste;
- The use of IPMD (Integrated Pest Management and Disease) causing a direct reduction in pesticide use due to the increase in the population of "natural enemies" (Organisms such as birds and spiders that help to control pests and diseases);
- The use of rows of trees to reduce impact of wind on the farming, creating a natural system to reduce the potential for infection of some coffee diseases and increasing the population of natural enemies to help IPMD program;
- The use of Brachiaria (type of grass) to promote ground cover throughout the year and prevent erosion. This technique has an integrated role with all other points presented above. The reason is that this technique reduces herbicide use, improves efficiency of water use, increases the organic matter content in the soil, reducing fertilizer use by recycling of soil nutrients, and increases the population of "natural enemies". This is what we call the State of the Art in Specialty Coffee production for the consumer, the environment and the society.
Outstanding coffees coming from special projects, such as different barrels ageing (wine, whisky, rum, cachaça and cognac), double fermentation, fermentation with yeast milk, lemon grass, rose.
• African-Style Fermentations
• Ethiopia-style fermentation
• Kenya-style fermentation
• Burundi-style fermentation
• Pulped Natural, Cherry Natural and Fully Washed
• Controlled Yeast Fermentations
The Arabica coffee usually requires six to ninet months between the spring flowering phase and stage of ripening in the autumn of next year. Coffee is a beautiful oval fruit that becomes a red or yellow cherry when ready to be harvested. When it is mature, the cherries begin a process of natural drying, if transforming initially in raisins and, finally, presenting an external appearance of dried fruit. On Fazenda California, the harvesting operation is seen as part of the ongoing process in search for quality of the final product to be obtained, which started in the choice of seeds and ending only after the consumption of coffee is ready to be tasted. Coffee is a non-acclimate fruit, that is, after harvested the ripening process is interrupted. So when the cherries are mature they have the greatest potential for quality, which should be identified and established. Several procedures are early adopted in the search for the treasures of nature:
- Employees specific training on harvest operation (all the farm employees receive good hygiene practices each year before the beginning of the coffee harvest, as well as harvesting and operational training);
- Dropping the coffee to be harvested on polypropylene cloth, or mechanical harvesting, avoiding contact fruits with the soil;
- Use of selective harvesting with two or three turns, manual or mechanized, 100% ownership.
- Transportation, receipt and immediate processing (wet mil) of the harvested coffee crop, avoiding chemical and biological reaction so downgrading the quality of the product;
Provided that the search process for exceptional coffee lots is initiated in the harvest, the post-harvest battle is to assure that these treasures of nature have their features identified and maintained so that they can arrive intact to the sophisticated palates around the planet and provide the unique pleasure that only a majestically cup of specialty coffee obtained from a microlot can offer. The post-harvest stage is divided into wet mil, drying, storage and dry mil. All processes are accompanied by a specialized team, so that each batch of coffee presents a different and specific management due to its peculiarities in order to determine and identify the sensory attributes inherent to each one.