Spotlight On: Chapada Diamantina

Published 18 Jun 2024

Earlier this year, our dear friends and Brazilian supply partners Silvio Leite and Fabiano Borré visited Australia, bringing a wealth of knowledge about specialty production in Brazil and the remarkable terroir of the Chapada Diamantina region, where they both grow and process coffee. The duo held incredibly fun and informative events, where they delved deep into the region’s cup profile, and explained how environmental conditions and farming practices come together to make it so distinct. 

This week, we’re excited to release the video recording of their presentation in Melbourne — and to celebrate, we’re shining a spotlight on the exceptional offerings we source with Silvio and Fabiano’s help. Scroll below to watch the recording, and read on to learn more about what makes this part of the world so special!

We’ve celebrated coffees grown near the Chapada Diamantina town of Piatã for well over a decade, because they are some of the country’s most complex and elegant offerings. Producers who farm in the hills that surround the town are consistently recognised in the country’s Cup of Excellence competition for good reason, as lots produced here are floral, refined and incredibly distinct.⁠

As Silvio Leite explained during their March event, collaboration and cooperation amongst the community’s farmers is a key factor in Piatã’s success. In a town where everyone knows each other, working together ensures the overall prosperity of the region. This community-minded approach is exemplified in Antônio and Terezhina Rigno, who own and operate São Judas Tadeu – one of Piatã’s most respected farms, having taken out the top spot at Brazil’s CoE multiple times. Their hard work, expertise and exceptional coffees have been a driving force behind the region’s international recognition, and the couple continues to promote Piatã’s success through their mentorship and support of neighbouring producers. Today, the farm’s future lies in the shoulders of producers like Silvio himself, and his farm Cerca de Pedras, Kleumon Moreira, of Sítio Canaã and Aneiuson Souza of Sítio Capão.

Every time we visit Piatã, we are invigorated by the honest, open and engaging interactions we share with its community. During trips, we spend as much time sharing meals and cups of coffee with farmers and their families — like we did last year when visiting producers Pedro and Delzute Santana’s farm Cafundó — as we do learning about the year’s harvest and cupping the season’s best lots, resulting in a strong a sense of connection and transparency. As Silvio states: “We have many smaller producers in Piatã, and they are doing better and improving their lives by producing high quality coffee. I’m happy to be transparent with them and with buyers like MCM, because you know all of the suppliers, you can talk to them, and you can see how well they are doing and the recognition they are receiving.”

Since 2015, we’ve also been working closely with Fabiano Borré, who spearheads coffee operations at Fazenda Progresso, his family’s estate. The Borrés play an important role in our Brazilian sourcing program because they supply us with larger lines that are perfectly suited for espresso blending, and smaller microlots like Airumá and Sincorá that shine as filter and single espresso offerings. Over the years, Fabiano has continued to experiment and invest in equipment and processes that have improved the quality of his coffee, and has implemented a robust quality control program and dedicated lab with a talented cupping team. 

Remarkably, the Borrés apply the same level of dedication to the well-being of their staff and the environment of Chapada Diamantina. Not only are workers provided with buses to and from work every day, but they also 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. 

When it comes to their preservation efforts, the Borrés are just as mindful, and have invested in technology that helps them ensure that only the correct amount of water is dispensed to their various plots through a pivot irrigation system — thereby optimising water usage and minimising waste. 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 required minimum of 20%.

We’re currently showcasing a handful of coffees from Chapada Diamantina and the network of innovative, forward-thinking producers Silvio and Fabiano are a part of. Whether you’re after a microlot with delicate flavours and refined acidity for your filter menu, or a rich, full-bodied line to include in your latest espresso blend, we have a Brazilian offering to suit your needs. Check out the offer list and reach out for samples!