Cerca de Pedra São Benedito Pulped Natural

  • Country
    Brazil
  • State
    Bahia
  • Region
    Chapada Diamantina
  • Town
    Piatã
  • Elevation
    1,270m above sea level
  • Variety
    Red and Yellow Catuaí
  • Processing
    Pulped Natural
  • Producer
    Silvio Leite
  • Awards
    Cup of Excellence 2021

Elegant and lifted, with great complexity and sparkling acidity. Peach iced tea, apricot and mandarin, with a silky, tea-like mouthfeel.

This coffee was produced by our dear friend, coffee mentor and sourcing partner in Brazil, Silvio Leite. This is Silvio’s second harvest from his farm, Fazenda Cerca de Pedra, São Benedito, which is located in Piatã, a privileged coffee growing region in Bahia’s Chapada Diamantina region.

We have worked with Silvio for many years to source the very best coffees that Brazil has to offer; however, this is only the second year that we have been able to actually purchase coffee produced by Silvio himself! For many years he talked about his dream of owning his own farm, and we were thrilled to see this dream become a reality in 2020.

As Silvio states, “This farm comes as a fulfillment of a dream. Having been in the coffee business for over 40 years, the dream of producing my own coffee comes true now with Fazenda Cerca de Pedra Sao Benedito, and my first harvest.”

Silvio purchased this 30-hectare farm in 2019. Currently, 6 hectares are planted with coffee, including some Gesha, SL-28 and Pacamara varieties that Silvio is trialing on the land. This particular lot is a 50/50 mix of Red and Yellow Catuaí. 

To ensure he is set up for success, Silvio has an all-star team – Antônio Rigno (of the multi-award-winning São Judas Tadeau) is acting as Silvio’s advisor, Kleumon Silva Moreira (owner of Sitio Canaã) is the manager of the farm, and further assistance is provided by Wedson Marques de Souza, whose farm placed 4th in 2021’s Cup of Excellence competition. Silvio has worked as an advisor and business partner with these producers for many years, and there is a lot of trust and mutual respect between each of them. With all four minds together, we are excited to see what they are capable of! 

When asked about the future of the farm, Silvio explained that his ultimate goal is to make the farm “a model… a coffee school to showcase how to sustainably produce specialty coffee. With the help of an agronomist, we are sharing this knowledge with many small producers in the region who may not have the resources to afford external consultation and advice.” We are excited to see how the project develops over coming years!

Head here to learn more about Silvio and the incredible work he’s done in Brazil.

ABOUT PIATA

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 traditional coffee-growing regions in the country.

Coffees from Piatã are considered some of the best in Brazil. 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.

HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED

At Cerca de Pedra São Benedito, processing starts on the field. The team closely monitors the Brix degree of coffee cherries, as this gives them a good indication of when they have hit peak maturation – the perfect time for picking. Cherries were carefully harvested by hand, mostly by local women (called “panhadeiras de cafe”) who are extremely disciplined and ensure only the very best cherries are selected.

 

This coffee was then processed using the pulped natural process. After pulping, the beans were dried in greenhouses with their mucilage still attached—spread in layers of about four centimetres and turned several times a day. At this stage, the coffee is practically left in the shade, as this slows down and extends the drying considerably. Silvio tells us this is key in improving and ‘saving’ the fructose and all positive attributes found in the remaining mucilage, as these contribute to a higher quality in the final cup. Finally, the beans were separated into numbered lots, and later stored and rested in parchment in a purpose-built warehouse. They were then cupped for quality control prior to export.