Onze Mil Campo Decaf, Brazil
Our current organic, speciality seasonal decaf is a blend of naturally processed coffees from the Onze Mils Virgens (50%) and the Campo Alegre (50%) estates. Both estate coffees are Red and Yellow Catuai varieties. The coffees are decaffeinated by the CO2 process. Let's explore the stories behind each coffee.
Onze Mils Virgens, Cerrado Mineiro, Brazil
Ana and her brother
Onze Mil Virgens sits at an altitude of 1160 MASL. It has been in Ana Cecilia Velloso’s family for four generations. Although she is an architect by training, her relationship with coffee started at birth. Her great-grandfather, Miguel Veloso, was a pioneer in the Carmo do Paranaiba region. When he first established São Luiz Estate (of which Onze Mil Virgens is part) in 1969, the Cerrado Mineiro was agriculturally underdeveloped and there was no coffee to be found. Manoel Veloso dos Reis, Ana’s grandfather, was also a pioneer. He took over from his father, strengthened the family’s legacy, and founded the town’s first agricultural cooperative. He was also the first to implement drip irrigation and to work with pulped naturals in the region.
Red Catuai plots
The family has long been acknowledged for its quality in coffee production, but the reputation didn’t immediately correlate to commercial recognition. Ana’s direct involvement with the farm started in 2013, and since then she and her brother, Lucio Velloso (who has worked on the farm since 1998), have followed in their ancestors’ pioneering footsteps. As fourth-generation farmers, they have had to balance traditional insight with the demands of today’s market. They set their sights on the specialty coffee market, but they realised the high natural quality of their coffee wasn’t going to be enough. Innovation (just as in their great-grandfather’s and grand-father’s days) was going to be the key to success. They too have been pioneering users of technology to add Speciality coffee production and this coffee is testament to that.
Drying and sorting the coffee cherries
Campo Allegre, Sul de Minhas, Brazil
The cool, green hills of Sul de Minas provide ideal conditions for coffee growing and produce some of Brazil’s finest beans. The region is known locally as ‘Vertentes’, because it forms a border between two very important basins in Brazil: the Grande River Basin (which runs to the south) and the São Francisco River Basin (which runs to the northeast). It is here that we find Campo Alegre (Happy Field), one of the three ‘production plots’ (or sub-farms) of Fazenda Samambaia. Currently, Samambaia is divided into 3 different production areas: Campo Alegre, Samambaia and Condomínio. All are situated in the same microregion and the distances between them are around 15 km each. Campo Alegre occupies some of the higher points of Samambaia, lying between 950 and 1,150 metres above sea level.
Campo Allegre Farm
There is also a sizeable varietal garden on Campo Alegre where the farm grows 19 different Bourbon varieties. This garden is a project that has been undertaken in partnership with a well-known agricultural research institute in Brazil (in the Samambaia plot, a parallel project has established an additional 54 varieties coming from all parts of the world).
1-year old coffee tree (above)
Drying the coffee