In October 2017 we were lucky enough to visit the beautiful Serra do Cabral, where the Flanzer family, Marcelo, Roberto and their father Henrique run Ecoagricola. We had a tour of their farm and processing plant and were extremely impressed with the attention to detail and passion for producing coffee.
Since 2015, Ecoagricola has embarked on a quality-driven project for post-harvesting with the University of Lavras (UFLA), coordinated by Professor Flavio Borém. Professor Broém is one of the world’s leading coffee quality researchers, and his advice has been crucial in informing the farm’s post-harvest practices. 100% traceability is maintained from the moment the cherry is picked. This means that during quality control and sensory analysis, any quality issues can be traced back to the individual hectare, helping identify and prevent any future issues.
This year we’ve tasted some interesting new experimental lots from the farm and the one we’ve chosen is a natural ‘Tropical Fermentation’.
Cherries are collected ripe and closed in bags for around 24 hours below the coffee tree, in the shade, where the heat is not so strong. On the next day, cherries are washed and then slowly dryed, usually in raised-beds, being moved many times a day. After drying, they rest for at least 30 days in the absence of light and heat. This is a process they started to test in 2017 (along with other methods) in very small quantities and in various times of the year. Now, they are narrowing the technique and working to produce this process on a larger scale – increasing the size of their microlot. The climate at the Serra do Cabral is very dry during harvest and the natural fermentation of the cherries, provide the unique conditions to achieve this different and amazing profile.