Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting

Sitio Araucaria: Kleber de Castro Junqueira


Characteristics of the coffee lot

  • Processing system: Pulped Natural
  • Variety: Yellow Catuaí
  • Lot size: 26 bags

Characteristics of the property

  • Location: Carmo de Minas - State of Minas Gerais
  • Region: Sul de Minas
  • Total area: 37,5 hectares
  • Coffee growing area: 16 hectares

Property acquired in 1993, from Pedro Henrique Junqueira, cousin of José Wagner Ribeiro Junqueira, father of the owner. Despite being an acquisition, this piece of land has been in the Junqueira family for seven generations. It was part of the Sesmaria das Três Barras [Três Barras Land Grant], granted by the Portuguese Crown to Manoel Ramos da Silva at the end of the 18th Century, later acquired by a forefather of the family, Custódio Ribeiro Pereira Guimarães, in 1811.

Through the years the land suffered natural subdivisions and, in 1993, the property was transferred to the successors of Mr. Custódio Sr.

José Wagner Ribeiro Junqueira, owner of the plot of land known as Serra das Três Barras, which was also part of the above-mentioned Sesmaria, has been investing in coffee production quality, activity that was incorporated by the family in the mid-19th Century.

Coffee processing system

Coffee is picked manually, because of the topography of the land, and the derriça [enfolding a coffee tree branch with the hands and sliding them where the beans are, letting the beans fall on a piece of cloth] uses appropriate cloth materials. The pulped natural cherry coffee is obtained by the "wet method", in which the dry and green beans of coffee are separated from the cherry beans using a mechanical washer. An appropriate pulper removes the green coffee and leaves only the ripe (cherry) beans.

The pulped beans are immediately taken to the concrete terrace, where the drying phase begins and subsequently is completed in suspended terraces. After the beans are dried, the coffee is kept in bins with wooden floors and walls, to rest for approximately 30 days. The coffee is then processed and transferred to the warehouses of Cooperativa Regional dos Cafeicultores do Vale do Rio Verde - COCARIVE - in the City of Carmo de Minas.

The whole process is performed jointly with Fazenda Serra das Três Barras. Fazenda Serra das Três Barras and Sítio Araucária are neighbors and the cost of implementing and maintaining a sophisticated coffee processing structure is expensive, reason why the owners decided to make a joint investment.

Concern with quality

Choosing varieties and land to plant coffee was made with the technical assistance of EMATER and technicians of COCARIVE. The planting system, all on the same level, and taking into consideration soil preservation, varies between 3,000 to 5,000 plants per hectare. Soil analyses demonstrate that fertility is very good, with high grade of potassium, good base saturation and adequate capacity of cation exchange. Coffee plantations are at an altitude between 1,100 and 1,350 meters, with mild climate and good annual rainfalls.

The property has 6 hectares of forest reserves with native trees, typical of the Atlantic Rain Forest, and some well preserved springs. There is awareness that quality does not consist in beans that are good looking, have flavor and taste, but also of respect to the environment, for this activity to be developed in a sustainable way.

Labor and the environment are respected. Currently the property has six permanent employees, who live in brick-built houses with piped water and electricity at the farm, or live in the City of Carmo de Minas. During the harvesting period, temporary labor is hired, and receives bus transportation to the farm and all benefits according to Brazilian labor laws.




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