Small Producers of Piatã

  • Country
    Brazil
  • State
    Bahia
  • Region
    Chapada Diamantina
  • Town
    Piatã
  • Elevation
    1,300-1,400m above sea level
  • Variety
    Red and Yellow Catuaí
  • Processing
    Pulped Natural

Bright and tropical, with green apple, mandarin and pineapple. Caramel sweetness with great structure and a balanced, clean finish.

This coffee comes from a small group of producers who have farms Piatã, a privileged coffee growing region in Bahia’s Chapada Diamantina 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.

Piatã is a very unique and distinct coffee growing region in Brazil. Coffee grows at elevations of up to 1,400 meters above sea level, which is very high for Brazil. In winter, the temperature ranges from 2°C to 18°C, and these factors, combined with the area’s rich soil and growing conditions, present favourable conditions for the production of high-quality coffee with a cup profile that is very bright, transparent, and distinctive.

This region has only recently started to become recognised internationally for its high quality since the 2009 Cup of Excellence, where five of the top 10 spots came from Piatã. The region’s dominance in the awards has continued every year since and incredibly, in the 2016 Cup of Excellence Pulped Natural competition, an astounding 19 of the 24 winning lots came from Piatã!

Piata coffees are now considered some of the best in Brazil. These coffees are extremely limited, and production is relatively small, given the small scale of the farms in this part of Brazil. Melbourne Coffee Merchants have been sourcing coffees from this region since 2012 and working with esteemed farmers like Antonio Rigno of Sao Judas Tadeu and Pedro & Delzute Santana of Cafundo. Many of these connections have been made possible thanks to our dear friend, coffee mentor and sourcing partner in Brazil, Silvio Leite.

Silvio has a deep understanding of Brazilian coffee and was one of the founders of the Cup of Excellence (which started in Brazil). Nearly 20 years ago, Silvio began working with coffee producers in Bahia and recognised the incredible potential this region had to produce exceptional coffee. Over the last 2 decades, Silvio has played a pivotal role in mentoring and sharing his expertise with producers in the region and has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of these producers and connect them with specialty coffee buyers across the globe, including Melbourne Coffee Merchants.

In recent years, Silvio has been working on a project to connect with some of the lesser-known, and new and upcoming small producers in Piata to improve their quality and connect them with speciality coffee buyers, and in doing so help them capitalise on this region’s rich potential. Out of this, the ‘Small Producers of Piata’ project has been born, which brings together exceptional coffees from these producers in a blend and showcases everything we look for from this region; exceptional sweetness, pretty floral notes, a complex bright acidity, and wonderful clarity in the cup.

Silvio currently works with over 60 small coffee coffee producers in the region, who all own 5-10 hectares of land. This particular lot comes from seven small producers; Cristiane Quintela, Agnon Araújo, Dorivaldo Antônio de Novais, Leandro Silva Souza, Alaíde Araújo Oliveira, Alcides Santana de Oliveira and Aneilson Souza Santos.

This coffee was produced using the pulped natural processing method. Coffee was hand pulped on each of the small farms and dried on patios with the mucilage still attached – spread into thin layers and raked several times a day.  Each lot was cupped by Silvio and his team, and all lots scoring above 86 were put together in this blend. The coffee was then milled at Fazenda Progresso, in Mucugê.

 

This is our first year of buying coffee in this way with Silvio, and we are very excited about its potential. Our hope is to continue to feature this unique blend in years to come, and in addition, uncover fantastic new small producers in the region and also start to feature their coffees as standalone single producer lots. When we asked Silvio what his hopes for the future were he explained “…To show the world, through the work of these farmers, the richness of flavours and characteristics that are still relatively unknown in Brazil. And be able to bring international recognition to them, that will improve their quality of life. I hope that in the next couple of years, the new generation will join and bring new energy to this legacy. “