Fazenda California 100% Mundo Novo Washed
Farm: Fazenda California
Varietal(s): 100% Mundo Novo
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 800+ metres above sea level
Owner: Luiz Rodrigues
Region: Norte Pioneiro do Paraná
Prizes: 2015 Brazil COE, #16
Norte Pioneiro do Paraná is located on world’s southern borderline for specialty coffee production. Located right at the base of the‘coffee belt’ on the Tropic of Capricorn, the region has distinct characteristics not shared by its northern neighbor of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, which are characterized by a warmer, more tropical climate.
The farm, for the past three years, has been 100% mechanically harvested, though Luis’s innovations have enabled them to do a special ‘selective’ process that ensures only the ripest cherries are picked per pass.
The farm currently performs five processes: fully washed (somewhat unusual in Brazil), pulped natural, black and yellow honey, and natural. The process that is picked for each lot (usually about 30 bags in size) is often determined by the climatic conditions at the time –particularly drying conditions. The majority of coffee on the farm is wet processed, which lends itself better to the cool wet conditions of the region. Honey processing is reserved solely for long periods of sunny, warmer weather. Fazenda California’s wet processing is unusual. After being picked, the coffee is delivered tothe farm’s mill, where it is ‘doubled fermented’.
This method of fermentation –which Luis learned from a COE winning Nicaraguan farmer –starts with the freshly harvested cherries being delivered to the farm’s flotation tank where instead of being floated and pulped it remains, still in its skin,for 24 hours, gradually pre-fermenting ‘in the cherry’.The coffee is then pulped and fermented again for another 24 to 48 hours before being washed and delivered to patios to dry.
Due to the region’s cool climate, fully washing and fermenting coffees can often be tricky.
Coffee can take up to 7 days to ferment fully, which leads to the risk of over-fermentation and also takes far too long to manage for the farm’s size. By pulping first in the cherry, the fermentation process is given a controlled ‘head start’ which also shortens the fermentation time after pulping. The result is a better, more reliable fermentation in half the time. To help deal with the unpredictableweather, the farm also has an integrated drying system which combines sun dryingon patios and controlled used of guardiolas. Normally coffee starts its drying period in the centrifuge, where excess water from the washing process is removed.
The parchment is then delivered to sun-dry on the farm’s extensive patios. When it reaches 70 to 80 percent humidity, the coffee is then moved to mechanical dryers where it dried at a slow, even 30-40 degrees. It is then rested for 7to 10 days and returned to finish drying until it reaches 11% humidity, at which point it is delivered to the farm’s warehouses to rest before being milled and exported.
Each lot is cupped twice: once for defects (after the first drying period) and later after it has rested at 11% humidity for quality scoring.
In addition to coffeeand quality, Fazenda California is fully committed to social sustainability and has invested in school programs and church renovation for the workers on the farm.