• Country
  • State
  • Region
    Chapada Diamantina
  • Town
  • Altitude
    1,360m above sea level
  • Variety
  • Processing
    Pulped Natural
  • Producers
    Pedro & Delzute Santana
  • Relationship Length
    Since 2015

Great structure and clarity. Apricot, stewed apple and butterscotch, balanced by toasted hazelnut.

Cafundó is a very small coffee farm located in Piatã, in Bahia’s Diamantina Plateau region. Chapada Diamantina translates to ”Diamond Plateau” in Portuguese, and for 100 years, this area was mined for the gemstones embedded in its cliffs. Today the region is famous for its specialty coffee.

The land on which Cafundó sits was acquired by Pedro Santana from a friend in 1989. Pedro, who was based in bustling São Paulo for many years, purchased the land in the pursuit of a slower and simpler lifestyle with his family. He was a banker at the time, stressed and working long hours with little reward. Originally from Piatã, Pedro decided to invest in coffee cultivation, taking advantage of the farm’s high elevation (1,360 metres above sea level) and exceptional conditions for growing coffee. He named his farm after the microregion where it is located, cafundó (which translates to ‘very very far away’ in Portuguese), because it is both physically and mentally far removed from the hustle and bustle of São Paulo.

Cafundó extends over 28 hectares, of which five are under coffee.  A mix of varieties are planted – around 50% of the trees are Red Catuaí, 30% Yellow Bourbon and 20% Red Catucaí. Coffee grows here under the shade of Gravellia trees on the plantation. The shade, along with the farm’s high elevation, results in the beans maturing slowly, giving time for concentrated sugars to develop and resulting in a very sweet and complex cup.

Over time Pedro, with the help of Silvio Leite and neighbouring producer Antonio Rigno (who owns Sao Judas Tadeu), began to focus on specialty coffee. In 1999 he won the Best of Bahia competition and in 2006 the farm was recognised in the Cup of Excellence for the first time. He is supported by his wife, Delzute Araujo Mesquita, who works by his side on the farm, and together the pair have won many accolades and recognition for their high-quality coffee. You can read a short interview with Pedro here.


Piatã is a unique and distinct coffee-growing region. The coffees produced here tend to be very floral, sweet and complex, and quite different from those that we source elsewhere in Brazil. There are two main factors behind this: coffee grows at elevations of up to 1,400 meters above sea level, which is very high for Brazil; additionally, temperatures in Piatã range from about 2°C to 18°C in winter, some of the lowest in the country. Combined, the high elevation and cool climate are key in slowing down the maturation of the coffee cherries, leading to an increased concentration of sugars in the bean. The result is a cup profile that is bright, transparent, and distinctive. Piatã’s relative closeness to the Equator line ensures coffee trees can experience such drastic conditions without being affected by frost, unlike other, more traditional coffee-growing regions in the country.

Piatã’s terroir is unique in Brazil, and contributes greatly to its strong regional distinction. The soil is nutrient-rich and slightly humid, creating a healthy and diverse ecosystem that is home to some 1,600 individual plant species. While the highlands of the Chapada Diamantina are rugged and dry, the area surrounding Piatã is filled with streams, waterfalls and even swamps, providing water for irrigation and agricultural techniques.

The town was first internationally recognised for its high quality in 2009, when five of the top 10 spots in Brazil’s Cup of Excellence came from Piatã. The region’s dominance in the competition has continued every year since, particularly in 2016 when an astounding 19 of the 24 winning lots came from Piatã!  These coffees are extremely limited as production here is relatively low, given the small scale of the farms in this part of Brazil. MCM has been sourcing coffee from this region since 2012, thanks to the support of longtime partner and coffee mentor Silvio Leite. Head here to learn more about beautiful Piatã, and here for more on Silvio and the incredible work he’s done in Brazil.

The region of Piatã is the traditional home of the Cariri and Maracá indigenous people, who were defeated during the Portuguese invasion of Brazil in the seventeenth century. While most of the remaining Cariri people were displaced to other regions within the state of Bahia, eventually becoming members of other indigenous communities, the Maracás have a nearby municipality located on their historical capital city named in their honour. The word “piatã” translates to “hard foot or fortress” in the indigenous Tupi language (which was spoken by most First Nations People along Brazil’s coast).


Coffee cherries at Cafundó were picked selectively by a small team of women (called ”panhadeiras de cafe”), who are extremely disciplined and ensure only the very best cherries are selected. The coffee was then processed onsite at the farm, using the pulped natural method, through which Pedro aimed to try and preserve the coffee’s inherent and best properties.

This lot was processed using the pulped natural process. After pulping, the coffee was sun-dried on pristine patios with some of its mucilage still attached. The parchment was spread in layers of about four centimetres and raked several times a day to ensure the coffee dried evenly. Finally, the the coffee was separated into numbered lots which were stored and rested in parchment in a purpose-built warehouse, and then cupped for quality control prior to export.