Sincorá

  • Country
    Brazil
  • State
    Bahia
  • Region
    Chapada Diamantina
  • Town
    Mucugê
  • Elevation
    1,150m above sea level
  • Variety
    Catuaí
  • Processing
    Pulped Natural
  • Owner
    Borré Family
  • Awards
    Cup of Excellence 2015 #15, 2017 #20

Sweet and buttery. Golden Delicious apple, lemon and almond, with a creamy body and clean aftertaste.

Sincorá is a microlot selected from Fazenda Progresso, a stunning farm in the Brazilian state of Bahia that is owned by the Borré family. It is named after the Serra do Sincorá, a breathtaking chain of mountains surrounding the property which are part of the Chapada Diamantina National Park.

ABOUT FAZENDA PROGRESSO

Fazenda Progresso is a beautiful farm nestled in the Chapada Diamantina mountain range, in the heart of Bahia. The farm is located near the town of Mucugê, and sits on a plateau at 1,150m above sea level surrounded by the Chapada Diamantina National Park, which is known for its mountainous cliff formations (Chapada) and 19th-century diamond mining (Diamantina). This high elevation plays a key role in the quality of the coffees produced here, as does the region’s climate. Hot days and cool nights, with an average temperature variation of just 10°C, create the ideal conditions for slow coffee cherry maturation and the gradual development of natural sugars in the fruit, resulting in a sweet and complex cup.

Fazenda Progresso is owned by the Borré family who have been in business for three generations. The history of the farm dates back to 1984 when the Borré family migrated from Southern Brazil to the northeast and purchased some land in the municipality of Ibicoara, near the town of Mucugê. In the early years, the family tried growing crops such as soybeans, wheat and English potatoes. The potatoes turned out to be an incredibly successful crop, stimulating investments and making the family one of the largest producers of potatoes in Bahia.

In 2005, the Borré family sought to diversify the activities on their land and quickly recognised that the high elevations, plentiful rainfall, and rich soil found on their property were ideal for the production of specialty coffee. The family’s youngest son, Fabiano Borré, spearheaded the coffee program, investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure and agricultural practices to ensure they could produce the very highest quality coffee possible. Fabiano has surrounded himself with an exceptional team and sought advice from some of the most respected professionals in the field, including Silvio Leite, founder of the Cup of Excellence and president of the Brazil Specialty Association, who has over 30 years of experience in coffee grading, tasting and quality control.

Today, some 530 hectares of the property are dedicated to coffee. This land is divided up into different plots and processed separately, using Fazenda Progresso’s meticulously designed infrastructure. Over the last decade, Fabiano has continued to experiment and invest in equipment and processes that will improve the quality of his coffee. He has implemented a robust quality control program and dedicated quality control lab with a talented cupping team headed up by Ednaldo Nascimento who has worked with Progresso since 2010. This focus on quality was rewarded the first time Progresso entered coffee into the Cup of Excellence competition in 2015 and placed 15th – a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work, resources, and focus that has been put into producing exceptional coffee. They also went on to place 20th in the 2017 Cup of Excellence.

The Borré’s motto is ‘Mindful Coffee’. This describes their commitment to acting mindfully and ensuring that their family values and vision (that centre around excellence, innovation, and environmental and social responsibility) are informing every decision they make and defining how they do business.

Fazenda Progresso’s people and their welfare are enormously important to the Borré family, and they take great care to create an excellent work environment for their staff. Buses are provided to and from work, and clean and welcoming lunch facilities and bathrooms are also provided. The staff also receive insurance, protective wear, sunscreen and biannual health check-ups by a resident doctor. Additionally, the family offers financial support to a local school that is located in the village next to the farm, are making strides to build tourism in Mucugê, and working closely with the state government to get the region recognised for its agricultural excellence.

Caring for the environment is a core value for the Borré family, who take great care to protect and preserve the ecological health of their area. Water is sourced from a nearby lake and is carefully conserved, with meteorological stations positioned throughout the farm to monitor the nutritional needs of each plot and ensure that only the correct amount of water and nutritional inputs are dispensed to them through a pivot irrigation system — thereby optimising irrigation and minimising waste. Coffee pulp from processing is composted (along with potato wastage, which is very high in potassium and great for coffee trees) and used to fertilise trees throughout the plantation. In recent years, the Borrés have begun harvesting beneficial bacteria and microorganisms from the farm and cultivating them in bioreactors, to be used as naturally derived fertilisers and pesticides in place of chemical inputs. As further proof of their commitment to environmental sustainability, 75% of the property is preserved as native land, well above the national minimum of 20%.

The Borré family business has always been managed and directed by family members and is now in its third generation of operation. You can read an interview with Fabiano Borré here.

ABOUT MUCUGÊ

Located in Brazil’s state of Bahia, the town of Mucugê is considered the gateway to the Chapada Diamantina mining region. It is the traditional home of the Maracás indigenous people, who bravely defended their land during the Portuguese invasion of Brazil in the seventeenth century. While they were eventually defeated by the foreign invaders, the nearby municipality of Maracás is named in their honour and located on their historical capital city. The word “mucugê” comes from the indigenous Tupi language (which was spoken by most First Nations People along Brazil’s coast), and it refers to the mucujé, or couma rigida plant, an edible sap tree found throughout the region.

Due to the fierce battles that occurred and the mountain ranges that surround Mucugê, colonisation was slow to occur — but once gold and diamonds were found in the local rivers and waterways, the town quickly became the capital of the nation’s mining industry in the 1800s. Over the next century, the town rose in prominence as diamond mining boomed in Brazil — but its importance declined sharply once the industry faced competition from other countries and synthetic diamond production. Its population dropped as low as 400 inhabitants in the 1960s and 70s, as mining practically disappeared. The land surrounding the town was left depleted and its population exhausted, as diamond mining is incredibly invasive and arduous.

Mucugê has seen a resurgence in the last 40 years, as the local government has put conservation efforts at the helm and agriculture has become the main industry of the region. With the establishment of the Chapada Diamantina National Park and a greater emphasis on preserving the region’s biodiversity and history, Mucugê has become a favourite tourist destination for Brazilians. Companies like Fazenda Progresso, who have adopted the use of technology and strict environmental policies, are a great example of what the future holds for the region.

HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED

This lot comes from the Fazenda Floresta plot of Progresso Estate. This coffee was carefully hand-picked by a specially trained team in August. It was then processed via the pulped natural method: the cherry’s skin and fruit were removed and the sticky, parchment-covered beans were soaked in a tank with water for 12 hours. The coffee was then dried on raised beds  in a greenhouse environment for a total of twelve days. The coffee then received a final touch of drying in mechanical dryers at 33 degrees celsius to ensure the remaining moisture was homogenised. Progresso has done a lot of experimentation with drying and has found that this method yields the very best results and ensures that the coffee holds its quality over an extended period of time.

Once dry, the coffee was cupped by the QC team and placed in large silos to rest. Once approved and ready for export it was processed at Fazenda Progresso’s dry mill which is also located on the farm.

WHAT IS IN A NAME?

When Progresso was first founded, it was given its name ‘Progresso’ which translates quite literally to ‘Progress’ in English. This name reflects the family’s concept and philosophy of business – which has been held and passed down across generations and is still very relevant to the family’s ethos, business culture and drive today. It portrays their boundless energy, their entrepreneurial spirit and drive, and their unwavering commitment to quality and improvement in every working day. We feel very lucky to be working with Fabiano and the Fazenda Progresso team and look forward to sharing their coffees with you for many years to come!