Varginha. In 1996 three teenager girls purportedly saw an ET in Varginha and somehow this turned into an “incident” and this “incident” turned into a major marketing campaign for the city (and, as you can tell by the photo, for the amiable aliens as well). So here you have it, yours truly with the ET of Varginha.
Patrocinio. I was a little under the weather this evening; the immune system a little worn down due to travel and lack of sleep. Akio recommended four things that I have taken upon myself to dub “Akio’s 4 C’s.” They are Vitamina C, Canja (Chicken Soup), Cachaca, e Cama (Bed). The canja you see below was from Restaurant Jamaica, a well-known restaurant in Patrocinio. The white object in the upper-right corner is an egg. For an extra 10 reais you can get a “Single Origin Canja” with an egg that came from the chicken used to make the broth. (And if you understood that joke, you just might be a coffee geek.)
Patrocinio. Daterra deserves several pages due to their dedication to quality and sustainability and due to our offerings of their best coffees. For now I will just concentrate on this visit. I will start off by saying this: When you walk around Daterra, you get the idea that no matter how much you love coffee, owner Luis Pascoal loves it more. At every turn you find innovation and dedication to the nth degree. [read more]
Campos Altos. Akio took me to Campos Altos, on the outskirts of the Cerrado region. He wanted to introduce me to Ze Maria Domigues, a reputable producer known for quality. Ze Maria has been able to preserve a strain of Bourbon Coffee on his farm that is both resistant and full of flavor. There is the theory that older strains are less “watered-down” and more flavorful.
Patrocinio. Fazenda Botânica, owned by Paulo Almeida, was the first of three visits on this rainy day. Akio of Cerrad coffee was kind enough to arrange the visits and take me to visit the farms. The first two farms we visited belong to the Almeida family. They are located in the “privileged” Chapadao do Ferro region. This region is unique in that it is the only volcano in the Cerrado region and because of this has rich soil and a higher altitude. [read more]
Patrocinio. Today was my first cupping with Akio and Cerrad – a coffee sourcing company Akio runs that focuses on sending high-quality Cerrado coffees to Japan. Akio a great example of a person whose curiosity and dedication to discovery generate a wealth of knowledge while maintaining humility. He prepared the cupping for me to better know Cerrado coffees, and also to discover my personal tastes to facilitate communication in the future. For me it was a great opportunity to cup with someone who had dedicated themselves to sourcing the best coffees in the Cerrado region. [read more]
One of the farms in the Cerrad farmers group is Fazenda Boa Vista II. Clezio took me to Boa Vista II today and was able to show me both their production as well as some coffee agronomy basics. [read more]