At the Source
Farmed in the Cerrado Mineiro region in the countryside of coffee-rich Minas Gerais, Brazil, Veloso Coffee has been producing specialty coffees in this region for decades, embodying the wisdom passed on from generation to generation and embracing sustainable innovation.
This coffee, which comes from the Veloso family’s Paraiso and Santa Cecilia farms, exemplifies the microterroirs the family is careful to study and cultivate on their land. It’s a common practice in Brazil to utilize a “mapping phase” to prepare for selective mechanical picking, which prioritizes only the ripest coffee cherries. Mariana Veloso says this plan depends on GPS technology, in which they go to geographic coordinates every year at the same point and collect the samples in the lower middle, middle and upper thirds of the plants. It is also crucial for producers focused on quality: “With these results, we can plan a better harvest and post-harvest, and even have data about the maturation of a specific variety in a specific area, about the nutrition of each plot, irrigation and uniformity of the plants.”
The coffee is grown on wide plots surrounded by protected wildlife regions. The Velosos maintain 38% of their land as natural forest, which is well above the Brazilian agricultural regulation of 20%. For them, investing in reforestation and conservation of the local biodiversity proves to neighboring farms that it is an important component of the collective sustainability of coffee. The lot here is naturally processed: it is spread on drying patios until they reach an 11.5% moisture content, then dry-milled.
Its sister component is sourced from Cenfrocafe, which stands for Central Fronteriza del Norte de Cafetaleros, an association of more than 3,000 smallholder farmers in the Cajamarca region of Peru. Cenfrocafe works within the communities of the farmers they serve not only to improve farm output quality and teach best practices, but to provide financial assistance and short-term credit to economic stability to the region year over year.
Education is also an important tenet of Cenfrocafe’s mission. Besides providing agronomic assistance, Cenfrocafe collectively owns and operates coffee shops in Jaén, Piura, and the capital city of Lima. Their goal is to prepare and showcase varying levels of quality of coffees grown locally, which is an unprecedented opportunity to encourage sensory development on a local level.