I was finally able to visit Fazenda Capetinga, a farm outside of Tres Pontas known for its consistent quality. Three generations of Nogueiras currently run the farm: Eduardo Sr (Eduardo), Eduardo Junior (Eduardinho) and Eduardo Neto (Duzinho). Duziniho is actually with us at Casa Brasil in Austin this spring, having just graduated with an agronomy degree from the Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA) and learning our side of the business before heading back to Tres Pontas.
Separation of Lots
Eduardo has three separate patios, one each for unripes, ripes, and floaters. The unripes are separated in the pulping process (they are separated since they are not pulped). The ripes are pulped (thus all ripes are pulped natural). The floaters are separated by screen size and the larger coffees become his “natural” or raisin coffee. The lots are further subdivided by time of harvest and processing. The separation of lots is essential for quality for several reasons, but mainly in that it allows for homogeneous drying of the coffee.
Capetinga is 100% mechanically harvested using the two harvesters pictured here. The flat topography in the region is someone reminiscent of the Cerrado region, and the mechanical harvesting allows for taller tree growth and an immense decrease in harvesting costs. The shortage of harvesting labor in Brazil has become a major problem for many producers.
All coffee is processed (washed, separated, pulped if necessary and taken to the appropriate patio) within hours of being harvested. And all coffee on the the farm passes through this concrete hopper. Given that Capetinga produces around 250,000 lbs of coffee every year, the concert to align harvesting and processing is key. The flow control ensures that the processing equipment functions properly.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
Capetinga expends a lot of resources annually for social and environmental causes. The farm buses all children that live on the farm to school in Tres Pontas. Apart from paying fully for each family’s participation in Brazil’s socialized medicine system, (SUS – Sistemo Unico de Saude), Capetinga pays for dental coverage and for a doctor to come every other week to the farm. Capetinga is Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, and Utz Certified.
Fazenda Capetinga prunes a large portion of the trees (esqueletar in Portuguese) every year. This diminishes the bi-annual fluctuations in production and allows the plant to expend less energy in transporting nutrients.
Here Eduardo shows this years growth. Next year the coffee will produce fruit here.
The boiler/radiator system constructed in-house provides a consistent flow of heat without the risk of overheating. The boiler is heated by burning coffee residual materials (hulls, etc) as well as wood from the tree pruning. Capetinga uses a rotary dryer and 3 vertical dryers. When possible, all copy reaches half-dry on the patio before moving to the vertical dryers. When necessary, the rotary dryer is used as a pre-dryer.
Here are some other photos from my trip to Capetinga.