Ricardo Bartholo | Fazenda Cinco Estrelas
Patrocínio municipality, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Full natural and dried in the sun and mechanical driers
May - August
Minas Gerais is the largest of the three major Brazilian growing regions with six micro-regions, which account for 50 percent of Brazil’s production. From this magnitude of coffee, we landed on a special treat traceable to a single estate in the Cerrado micro-region, which is known for its rolling hills and uneven terrain lending to farms that are small to medium in size. Ricardo Bartholo and his son Gustavo own and operate Fazenda Cinco Estrelas, which is a 320 hectares coffee estate. Ricardo is particularly interested in sustainability and has invested heavily in converting his production from conventional coffee to fully organic coffee. Fazenda Cinco Estrelas was the first farm in Brazil to sell carbon offsets through a United Nations sponsored program started in 1998. With the funds, Ricardo has converted 180 hectares to fully organic. To achieve organic certification Ricardo had to work particularly hard on soil nutrition which is notoriously poor in the Cerrado. He created a state-of-the-art in-house bio-lab on the farm which produces 12 different types of bacteria and fungi used in biofertilizers that are directly applied to the coffee, acting as a natural pesticide and herbicide, protecting the coffee from pests, leaf rust and other threats. This system has ensured Ricardo can eliminate chemical inputs from his production process altogether. The cherries for this particular lot were selectively picked and taken to cement patios to dry in very thin layers and moved constantly to ensure uniformity.