Sitio da Torre (meaning ‘Site of the Tower’) is located in Carmo de Minas, in the highlands of Mantiqueira de Minas, Southern Minas Gerais. The altitude in this region varies from 1100 to 1300 meters above sea level.
Sítio da Torre extends over 65 hectares, 35 hectares of which are dedicated to coffee production. The farm cultivates several different coffee varietals, including Bourbon, Acaia, Catuaí, and Catucaí. This particular lot is 100% Yellow Bourbon, which is harvested and processed separately from the other lots to maintain its distinct characteristics. Only 600kg of this special micro-lot were produced.
The Pereira family has specialised in coffee for four generations. Today their farm is managed by Álvaro Antônio Pereira Coli who works the land that his great-grandfather planted with coffee in the 1860s. Alvaro took over the estate in 1995. Historically, the farm produced more conventional coffees, however Alvaro has spent the last two decades investing in improvements on the farm to allow them to focus on producing the highest quality coffee possible, in a manner that is economically viable, socially responsible, and environmentally friendly. As a result he has doubled his estate’s income and dramatically improved his farm’s potential to produce exceptional quality.
Processing At Sitio Da Torre
In order to guarantee quality, Pereira Coli employs a number of skilled workers to carry out most of the production process by hand. Cherries are carefully hand-picked when they are perfectly ripe and dried in thin layers in the sun on raised beds (at least 20 times per day) until they reach 11.5% humidity. Workers turn the coffees regularly to ensure the coffee dries evenly, and each lot is numbered and kept separate until it is cupped and its quality assessed.
The combination of the fantastic natural conditions of this region, combined with Pereira Coli’s meticulous crop management, and careful post-harvest processing and selection results in excellent quality, award-winning coffees year after year. Their coffee has been recognised many times in the Cup of Excellence awards, and we are very excited to share it with you!
Background to Carmo de Minas
Over the past decade, Brazil as a nation has experienced fantastic economic growth in every field, with higher purchasing power and an ever-increasing standard of living. At least 20 million people have risen above the poverty-line and the middle-class has grown by 40 million in a relatively few number of years. The value of labour has also increased: Brazil now has full employment and rising wages. All of this naturally affects the cost of coffee production in general, but it especially affects labour-intensive coffee (read: new processing methods with even higher costs). In some cases it is difficult to find labour at all, especially for farm work. Incentives must be strengthened in order to keep people at work within coffee.
And as the world’s largest producer of coffee, Brazilian coffee is the main component of blends all over the world. Thus, the price paid for Brazilian coffee is a reflection of the fact that coffee from here is considered a base product. In parallel with fluctuations in world markets and in the pricing of coffee in general, the specialty coffee segment has established its own price dynamics.
Although coffee is an old commodity in Brazil, over the past 10-12 years, the country has been showcasing its very best coffee and it has only been in the last 7-8 years that coffee in the Carmo de Minas municipality has been particularly noteworthy.
Carmo is one village among twenty in the Mantiqueira region, south of the Minas Gerais county, in Sul de Minas. In the same way that Burgundy is an important name in the French world of wine, Carmo de Minas has become a destination in the Brazilian coffee world. Some of its distinction can be attributed to topographic and climatic conditions, but as always, there are people engaged – from picking coffee cherries to processing; both crucial to the quality of the product. People make the difference.