Coffee category: Balanced
Process: NaturalWhat to expect: A great example of a really well processed, smooth tasting, Brazilian coffee. Expect notes of raisin and almond with a smooth chocolatey body.
Producer: Jean Vilhena Faleiros
Region: Alta Mogiana
Altitude: 900 - 1,200m above sea level
Farm size: 150 hectares
Coffee growing is a tradition kept in the family for generations in the Santa Monica farm. Located in the Alta Mogiana region spanning the northern part of Sao Paulo state and the south of Minas Gerais, its owners are farmers who care about what they do. In addition to planting and picking coffee beans, they also process them at the farm. The natural wealth of Alta Mogiana is a great ally in the development of high-quality coffees due to climate conditions perfect for growing coffee trees. Equally important, altitudes between 900 and 1200 meters above sea level give the coffee a unique flavour that distinguishes it from other regions. For this reason, it's not surprising that Santa Mônica farm cultivates high-quality Arabica crops with notes of chocolate, caramel and nuts – the result of a meticulous work developed over time by generations devoted to these lands.
Coffee is a family tradition
Jean Vilhena Faleiros runs the Santa Mônica farm and is no stranger to coffee. Son of coffee farmers, he is the 3rd generation of growers and was born and raised surrounded by coffee. His attention to detail coupled with years of coffee experience make him a talented producer, having been responsible for consecutive years of excellent coffee. His father Laece França Faleiros is also a passionate and experienced coffee producer involved in coffee farming from beginning to end since he was 12 years old, and owns the Eldorado farm with his wife Maria Lucia.
Santa Mônica coffee
Since 2010 the family farms shifted its focus from large-scale efficiency to aiming for specialty coffee. The move was highly successful and rewarding, placing them as winners of the Alta Mogiana Competition and high rankings in the Cup of Excellence many times in the last decade.
The farm focuses on an Arabica bean variety known as Catucai which is a cross between Catuai and Icatu. Catucai can be both yellow and red and is well-known for its high productivity and yield.
The coffee is produced at an average altitude of 1200m above sea level and naturally processed (dry process), which is why it has typically notes of chocolate, honey, nuts, caramel, and brown sugar. It also makes for a very good espresso. Dry processed (naturals) coffees are dried in the full cherry prior to de-pulping on cement patio. Naturals tend to have more fruit and fermented flavours because the bean has more time to interact with the natural sugars from the cherry as enzymes break down the mucilage around the bean.
Fazenda Santa Mônica is keeping up with sustainability. The reduction of chemicals is their biggest challenge and their goal is to preserve the microbial life in the topsoil to maintain fertility. They are pioneers in that. In order to reach their objective, they produce and apply biological inputs that contribute in turn to restore the balance of the environment.
"The Farm works with pesticides that do not harm the environment like biological ones, the fertilizers are made with organic mineral formula, to preserve our fauna and flora."