New ongoing coffee: APAS

You may have heard about APAS – The Alto de Serra Producers Association before. Our partnership with those small farmers has been growing strong since 2015. But this year we are bringing something totally new to Australia. Together with the well-known micro-lots there’ll be also our APAS Premium Reserve – an ongoing coffee suitable for blending.

This year, with the intention to increase our support to APAS, Minas Hill Coffee asked 4 producers to join their forces and come up with a special and unique blend. That’s how our APAS Premium Reserve was created – a combination of 34.5% of Sitio Fortaleza (Alessandro Hervaz), 11% of Sitio Bela Vista (Jarbas Cleto), 37% of Sitio Sao Jose (Jose Marciano) and 17.5% of Sitio Nossa Senhora da Aparecida (Nivaldo Donizette). All carefully chosen to make up an outstanding new coffee!

About the farmers:
Alessandro Hervaz has been growing coffee since 1993, when his father bought a farm in São Gonçalo do Sapucaí. He then started learning how to produce coffee, and today works mainly with family farming. Alessandro is also famous for his “Honey & Coffee”  , a special micro-lot called where the production is completely pollinated by bees.

Jarbas Cleto acquired Bela Vista farm in 1985, but the 1st coffee field came only in 1988, with 8,000 ft of Catuai. 2010 market a new sustainable jump to Jarbas, who got the certificate of “Environemtal Licensing”.

Jose Marciano grows coffee in a small piece of land where his family lives producing coffee for 2 generations.

Nivaldo Donizette acquired his property in 1971, when he began to work with coffee. The producer utilizes family farming system and each year they achieve an increase in quality in a sustainable way.

Quality, traceability, good agricultural practices, social and environmental responsibility, and food safety are the main pillars of APAS. Therefore, their members are all certified by Certifica Minas Cafe and Fair Trade.
In 2013, in the 14th Cup of Excellence Early Harvest, 3 coffees from APAS were amongst the 58 best coffees of Brazil, a massive achievement considering it was the first time the producers started to process naturals. In 2017, Alessandro Hervaz’s coffee scored 89.56 and was ranked #7 in the CoE in Brazil (Natural).

About Mantiqueira de Minas

Belonging to South of Minas region, this Origin and Quality Certified (PGI) Regulatory Board coffee, comprises coffees from the small, hilly area, encrusted in the highest part of Minas Gerais. Its coffees display a berry-like aroma, strong chocolate and fruity taste, velvet on palate, due to the high

Minas Hill Coffee celebrates 5 years!

It has all passed too fast but here we are, after 5 years, with heaps of plans for the future!

We may be a young company, but our origins actually began 102 ago, when Francisco Brussi was born in a coffee farm in the region nowadays known as Alta Mogiana (the same place where Bom Jesus is produced)!  Francisco worked as a coffee picker along with his family who had just years before, migrated from Italy. As the years passed, Francisco started working for the Agricultural Department of Sao Paulo State as a coffee classifier. He used all his expertise to achieve excellence in his career, remaining in this position for 35 years, until the day he retired. Who would imagine that Mr. Brussi would be the inspiration for his grandson, Marcelo Brussi, who in 2013 founded Minas Hill Coffee?

The reason behind it all has always been quality. “I realized that there was a misconception about Brazilian coffee in the market” – says Marcelo. “Even though Brazil produces around 30% of the coffee in the world, we couldn’t find the best quality in Australia, people tended to believe that Brazil couldn’t produce excellent beans – but this idea was all wrong.” Minas Hill Coffee was born to showcase the best Brazilians to Australia, and connect coffee roasters to farmers. By buying coffee directly form the producer, it is easy to assure the same high standards from the samples on the production. All coffees are tested, cupped and assessed every time there is a new crop available. Working closely with the producer also brings more flexibility to the company. being able to create special lots and micro-lots on demand. And, most importantly, it is possible to assure that the owner of the land is receiving a fair payment for his product. “Most of our current suppliers have been working with us since the beginning. We grow together, it is fascinating to work in an environment where there is mutual respect and commitment.”

Over the years…

  • 2013 and 2014 were years of hard work to find the highest quality beans and develop the first customers in Melbourne.
  • In 2015 the company decided to expand the operations to Western Australia, a market still strong today.
  • In 2016, Marcelo brought roasters to the origin with him for the first time. It was also when he decided to expand the market and start holding a warehouse in Queensland.
  • 2017 was the key year for the company’s growth, as the Direct Trade operation began, allowing customers to bring FCL and LCL to Australia via Minas Hill Coffee. It was also when the commitment and support to social projects in Brazil became stronger, and the company got the UTZ certification.
  • In 2018, there’ll be again focus on quality, sustainability and commitment with Australian roasters.

There’ll be a cupping in Melbourne to celebrate 5 years of success, hard work and our loyal customers. If you’re around, come and join the party! On the table, micro-lots from Pedro Gabarra, together with the new ongoing coffee: APAS. The event will be held on:

Thursday, 15th of November, 5.30pm – 9pm, @ our warehouse (17/9 Dawson St. Coburg 3058).

Food and drinks will be provided.

Cerrado Mineiro – The first Designation of Origin in Brazil

“Coffee with Altitude” is possibly the best way to describe coffee produced at the Cerrado, northwest of Minas Gerais state. A powerful range of tastes and aromas comprise this region, ranging from nuts and caramel aroma, citric acidity, moderate to full-body, hints of chocolate taste and a long and pleasant aftertaste, making this region the number 1 in Brazilian blends’ choice.

Cerrado Mineiro was the first region in Brazil to receive the quality recognition through the Designation of Origin certification. The area has 210 thousand hectares, and produces an average of 5 million bags of coffee a year, being responsible for 12.7% of the Brazilian production and 25.4% of Minas Gerais production.


At the Cerrado Mineiro, you’ll find an exclusive coffee, as the terroir is one of the factors responsible for the tasting notes. The area is also well-known for the unique human and cultural elements, such as the growers’ know-how and expertise. The perfect definition of seasons, with hot and humid summer and mild and dry winter, is another feature of Cerrado. The certification of Origin and Quality is only given to producers who follow the same processes at the production, such as being situated in an minimum altitude of 800m above sea level and scoring at least 80 SCAA points.

The advantages of acquiring products from a designated area is the transparency about the origin, farmer, history and processes behind the coffee beans. The Cerrado Mineiro Federation is a non-profit organisation created to represent its producers; control the origin and quality; and focus on the future of the farmers and the region, applying sustainable practices.


Font: Cerrado Mineiro


Quality meets social awareness

Being part of the community and the areas in which we operate is no longer just a basic call but has been transformed into the essence of our own survival.

“We want to ensure that our suppliers feel valued, because the type of coffee we work with takes time, dedication and well-being of them”, says Marcelo Brussi.

Investing in education, citizenship and the quality of life of those involved with coffee brings Minas Hill Coffee a great responsibility and satisfaction.

For us, it is a great pleasure to work with farmers such as Pedro and Newton Teixeira. Father and son, owners of Santo Antonio and Pinhal farms and committed on developing the small communities in the surrounding areas. They currently have 5 different and permanent projects that aim to create environmental awareness, a better relationship between families of workers and a hope for a better future for the generations to come.

Environmental Awareness: Since 2013, and in partnership with a local school, children have the opportunity of getting involved with the environment through a seminar held at the school + annual visits to the farm. During every visit to Santo Antonio & Pinhal farms, they are encouraged to plant trees and observe their growth and progress year after year.

Wings:  This project includes the construction of nurseries to shelter and reintroduce wild birds to their natural habitat. It also aims to educate people about the importance of environmental balance and the harmful effects of animal trafficking.

Parents & Children, an image: With the purpose of valuing the hard work done at the coffee farm and stimulating creativity, this project brings children to the farms to take pictures of their parents at the workplace. At the end, the photos are given as a gift to the families.

Photography: The purpose of this project was to create the Coffee Festival in Santo Antonio do Amparo. Coffee is the main economical activity in the region, and the reason why it is important to spread the awareness.

Coffee & Art: Through research about artists, photographers and other creative tools, children and teenagers are encouraged to experiment in the activities held in a coffee farm. Afterwards, their work is exposed in the Coffee Festival held every year in Santo Antonio do Amparo.

Minas Hill Coffee is aiming to implement and collaborate with others projects with all its suppliers, in all Brazilian states. “The Brazilian reality cannot be compared with the Australian reality. Brazil suffers too much from the lack of basic structures”, says Marcelo Brussi


Why are coffees from Piatã, Bahia so special?

Piatã, a town located between two mountain ranges, and close to Diamantina Plateau National Park, is the highest point in Bahia, at 1,400m above sea level. The high altitudes and temperatures that vary from 2°C to 18°C in the winter make Piatã a very unique and privileged coffee growing region in Brazil. The area is situated in the latitude 13º South, closer to the Equador line than the traditional coffee regions in Brazil, such as Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. That’s why producers from Piatã can grown coffee in higher altitudes without worrying about frost.

All these factors, combined with the area’s rich soil and intensive care are favourable to producing high quality coffee. Renato, owner of Fazenda Vista Alegri, says that due to the climate, he is able to delay the ripeness process and that is the reason why his coffee is able to embody so many sugars.

For over a century, this area was famous by its gemstones (specially Diamonds) and beautiful mountain scenery. Today, the region is notorious for its specialty coffee, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world. Coffees from Piatã have a cup profile that is very distinctive, bright and transparent. Other notes normally found are molasses, citric fruits, red fruits, intense aroma and high complexity. They are real hidden gems.

The region started to gain international recognition since the 2009 Cup of Excellence, where half of the top 10 coffees were from there. In 2015 Cup of Excellence, the first and second place where also from Piatã. Last year, in the 2016 COE Pulped Naturals there was a complete dominance in the awards, an astonishing 19 out of 24 winning coffees came from the little town in Bahia!

This year, Minas Hill Coffee brought 6 different micro-lots from Piatã to Australia. To receive more information about them, contact 

5 Days as a Green Bean Buyer in Brazil

Going to the origin is one of the most unique experiences for any coffee lover. Besides finding hidden gems and unique flavours, it is rewarding to exchange knowledge and learn from the ones responsible for growing and processing the coffee we drink in Australia. Our relationship with the farmers gets stronger every time we visit them. And we develop great appreciation for the awesome work they do. That is one of the reasons why we visit Brazil every year.

So, today let us share with you what it is like to be traveling from farm to farm in Brazil.

Day 1 – Getting there!

Travelling from Australia to Brasil means to be at least 24 hours en route. As there is no direct flight, our itinerary involved a stop in NZ and another stop in Chile. We finally landed in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city (around 12 million people!) where we could rest for one night.

Day 2 – Fazenda Bom Jesus & GIMA

The first farm visited was Fazenda Bom Jesus, in the city of Franca, Alta Mogiana region, where our friends Flavia and Gabriel have been growing coffee for nearly 150 years. The area is impressive, approximately 8,000 hectares where they plant mainly Bourbon and Mundo Novo varieties.

But this year there was something even more special about our visit. For the first time we were able to be part of the opening ceremony of GIMA, the Intermunicipal Games for the Environment. For 10 years Bom Jesus farm has been organising this event to create environmental and social awareness on youngsters by performing sports, dance and cultural activities. There were more than 900 children from 4 different small cities there, on a special moment to share knowledge and entertainment. It was impressive to share moments with sons and daughters of coffee pickers, these people are surrounded by coffee since they’re born.

The highlight of the day was to deliver 20 bikes to children, all bought with money raised by our friends from Disciple Roasters and the earnings of their coffee shop last year on Christmas Day! Moments like these really make you feel emotional, it was a unique experience to be there knowing that each bag of Bom Jesus has an impact on the development of children in need. It was one of the moments where you believe a good action can definitely change the world.

Day 3 – On the way to Minas Gerais

The best way to move around the countryside of Brazil is by car. After having rented one, the next stop was Sao Goncalo do Sapucai, a small city with around 20 thousand inhabitants, located in Southern Minas Gerais. I was lucky to be part of the Rosario festivities, the most traditional party in the area, dated from 1880 and linked to the religious calendar (exactly 50 days after Easter).

Day 4 – Farmers from APAS

The day started early. At 7.30am, Ademilson Noiman picked me up for a breakfast with the members of APAS. Let me explain, APAS stands for the Association of Producers from Alto da Serra, founded in 1996 by a group of
small farmers, aiming to improve their production conditions and quality. From this union, and by being able to join local competitions, such as COE, they could discover how special and unique their coffees are.
The association is located in the south of Minas Gerais, in altitudes between 1,000m and 1,400m above sea level. Quality, traceability, good agricultural practices, social and environmental responsibility, and food safety are the main pillars of APAS. Therefore, their members are all certified by Certifica Minas Cafe and Fair Trade.

The most touching aspect of travelling to the origin to me is to see with my own eyes how we can change the lives of small producers by buying their amazing coffee and bringing it to Australia. These humble farmers are just so grateful for being able to send their coffee overseas, and knowing that people really appreciate the hard work they do the whole year just for those few micro-lot bags. Their testimonials made us speechless. As we always say, coffee is made of stories, and people.

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit all the farms, some of the farms we went were: Pinheirinho, Sao Jose, Bela Vista, Nossa Senhora & Aparecida. Even though they are in the same region they are a bit far from each other. It was time to leave to the last stop: Santo Antonio do Amparo.

Day 5 – Santo Antonio & Pinhal Farms

During the last day of the trip we visited Pedro and Newton’s farms. Pedro is the 5th generation of coffee growers in his family. Their farmhouse was built in 1824, nearly 200 years ago!

Santo Antonio operation is impressive and a great example of the unique opportunities afforded by the highly established Brazilian coffee industry. The group of farms, each of which are outstanding feats in and of themselves, have a centralised lab, warehouse and dry mill where a dedicated quality control team of Q Graders cups and manages quality for the collective. Working as a group via the lab enables these estates to share and gain from the collectives many years of combined experience.

Today, the farm operates in reforestation, but the coffee production is the main activity. They hold Rain Forest Alliance and UTZ Certifications and they are working on a project to protect injured birds in the region.

To finish the visit to Brazil, the most amazing sunrise I’ve seen.


Discover Sitio Boa Vista

Alessandro Alves Hervaz and his family have been growing coffee since 1993. They currently have 2 small properties: Sitio Esperanca and Sitio Diogo. They also lease 3 other small farms: Sitio Grotao, Sitio Boa Vista and Fazenda Fortaleza, where he lives, making it a total of 19 hectares of land only. They operate as a Family Farm, the title given to small farms owned and operated primarily by members of a single family.

As a member of APAS – Association of Producers from Alto da Serra – he works closely with other small producers, focused on specialty and natural coffee only. Since 2013, they started to peel the coffee beans, drying them in suspended yards and putting them into greenhouses. At first, Mr Hervaz admits that it all seemed impossible to be done, but thanks to his family’s hard work they are now proving that selected coffees result in a high quality product. They were even surprised by the new notes and flavors he found on his coffees. Flavors that they couldn’t even imagine it existed, and they keep working on always raising their standards.

At Sitio Boa Vista, Alessandro created a special micro-lot called Honey & Coffee, where the production is completely pollinated by bees. This coffee represents the beautiful work they do with beekeeping in the coffee properties, always aiming to improve quality and variety of their products.

Why have you decided to produce specialty coffee? – we asked Alessandro.

“Most of the farmers will say that the reason why they produce specialty coffee is to be able to sell it for a higher price, I don’t think this reason is wrong as the producers need to receive a fair payment. A special coffee is produced by a special farmer and he needs to be rewarded for that. However, what motivates farmers from APAS to make specialty coffee is not only the aggregated value on our product, but to know who is buying our coffee and where in the world are people drinking it. It is really rewarding to a small coffee farmer to know that his name is being printed in coffee bags around the world. It makes us very proud and even more passionate for what we do. Over the past years, we’ve been receiving many positive feedback and we hope a lot of roasters out there can buy our coffee and help us spread the story behind coffees and farmers from APAS over the globe.”

Thank you, Alessandro! We from Minas Hill Coffee also feel very proud to be able to bring such a special coffee to Australia!

For more information about APAS, contact

The best of March: Micro-lots from APAS

APAS (Association of Producers from Alto da Serra) is located in southern Minas Gerais, Sao Goncalo do Sapucai, Ferreiras District, a region that stands out for its natural beauty, pleasant climate, fertile soils, altitudes between 1000 and 1300m, favorable to the production of specialty coffees. The association is formed by a group of 36 producers who every year keep seeking for improvements in the quality of coffee produced, which has been evidenced by the participation in quality contests in the last 5 years.

In 2011, during the 1st Cup of Excellence Natural Late Harvest organised by BSCA, APAS had 2 producers among the finalists in the International phase, one of them wining the 16th position. At the 8th Contest Quality Coffees of Minas Gerais, organised by EMATER-MG, 2 producers were once again finalists. In the contest of Coopervass, where 3000 lots participated, the 1st, 4th and 5th positions awarded were producers from APAS.

The coffees produced in this region, specially the natural ones, have cached the attention of the public after receiving excellent scores above 80 points on the rating scale SCAA. Consequently, the number of producers seeking to improve the quality through pulped coffees has increased.

Along with beverage quality, traceability, good agricultural practices, food security, social and environmental responsibility is the work of APAS, through the certifications such as Certifica Minas Cafe and Fair Trade.


Minas Hill Coffee has been working with APAS for the last 4 years, and this partnership ensures the acquisition of a limited production from the Borges family every year. Around 100 bags are delivered yearly, displaying excellent coffees that are also social and environmental responsible. At the moment, there are 7 exclusive micro-lots available:


  • Bela Vista Lot Q-139
    • Varietal: Yellow Catuai, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m
  • Bela Vista Lot Q-141
    • Varietal: Yellow Catuai, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m
  • Pinheirinho
    • Varietal: Red Mundo Novo, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m
  • Boa Vista
    • Varietal: Yellow Catuai, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m
  • Nossa Senhora
    • Varietal: Yellow Catuai, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m
  • Sao Jose
    • Varietal: Red Catuai, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m
  • Aparecida
    • Varietal: Yellow Catucai, Process: Natural, Altitude: 1330m


For more information contact


Brazilian Cupping Night & the future of Specialty Coffee


On the 21st of February, Minas Hill Coffee organised its first Cupping Night of 2017 in Melbourne, showcasing the best of Brazilian Specialty coffee, including exclusive micro-lots. Amongst the 13 coffees on the table, there were 2 Cup of Excellence displays, participants of the most prestigious competition and award for high quality coffees.

The event was also an opportunity to discuss the future of Specialty Coffee and the role Brazil plays in the industry. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer, accounting for almost 32% of all coffee produced in the world. It is also the largest producer of Specialty Grade coffee. The specialty coffee sector currently accounts for close to 12% of international coffee markets. On regards to the local customer, coffee is the second most consumed beverage in Brazil, loosing only for water, and specialty consumption is growing fast and consistently in the country.

Strong initiatives, as the foundation of BSCA (Brazil Specialty Coffee Association) in 1991, seek to disseminate and stimulate technological improvement in the production, commercialisation and industrialisation of specialty coffee beans in Brazil, improving the quality and envisioning commercial opportunities. BSCA also aims to promote the environmentally sustainable development of the industry, certifying lots and monitoring specialty coffee quality control seals.

The coffee nation has 16 different producing regions, and the combination of flavors makes Brazil unique, complete and deliciously attractive to be explored. “Every season, we bring the farmer’s stories and passion from Brazil to Australia, simply because we believe that a coffee without a story is just a meadow without flowers. It misses an important part. More than just coffee, we are about people. We build relationships with coffee-growing communities and empower them to work with us, not for us. Specialty grade coffee carries the passion and dedication from those who plough the soil, picked and processed the ripe cherries. Quality comes into bump expenses and a blessed sweat.” Said Marcelo Brussi from Minas Hill Coffee.

James, from Disciple Roasters, told about the experiences he had when visiting farms in Brazil last year. “Now, every time I roast a coffee from Bom Jesus farm, I remember of Flavia and Gabriel, how passionate about coffee they are and how hard they’ve worked to produce this wonderful coffee that we are lucky to have in Australia. It is also a motivation for myself, to treat those coffee beans with the same care and respect, aiming to extract the very best coffee I can.”

For the future of the Specialty Coffee industry, and they have all agreed, it is crucial to invest in education and awareness of responsible sourcing and production. At the end of the day, we all need to learn to value this little and affordable luxury item: an excellent cup of delicious coffee.

Top Scorers Specialty Coffees from Brazil to be cupped in 3 cities in Australia

Minas Hill Coffee, a boutique green coffee beans reseller, will showcase some of its best samples of Brazilian Specialty coffee in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

The cupping sessions will be held in February and March 2017 and the top tier of Cup of Excellence (COE) winners, specialty micro-lots and other interesting Brazilian coffee initiatives will be tasted. “The partnership we have with farmers allows us to bring the true spirit of the labour and passion throughout the coffee chain – from the crop to the cup,” says Marcelo Brussi, director of Minas Hill Coffee.

All events are free and will be sanctioned by the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) aiming to promote the best of Brazilian coffee. Roasters and coffee connoisseurs are welcome to join the cupping sessions and share the farmer’s stories from the world’s largest coffee producer.

  •  Melbourne:
    21st of Feb, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, The Cullen Hotel (164, Commercial Rd, Prahan, VIC 3181) | RSVP required HERE
  •  Perth:
    2nd of Mar, 5:45pm – 7:45pm, Black Matter Coffee Roasters (10/73 Walters Dr, Osborne Park, WA 6019) | RSVP required HERE
  •  Brisbane:
    9th of Mar, 5:45pm – 7:45pm, venue to be confirmed | RSVP required HERE

About Minas Hill Coffee:

Our origins began 102 years ago, when Francisco Brussi was born, in a coffee farm in the region where nowadays is known as Alta Mogiana. Francisco worked as a coffee picker along with his family who had just years before, migrated from Italy. Later, Francisco was employed by the Agricultural Department of Sao Paulo State, as a coffee classifier utilizing his expertise to achieve excellence in his career. He remained in this position for 35 years until his retirement.

Mr Brussi was the inspiration for his grandson Marcelo Brussi, who in 2013 founded an enterprise in a distant land. Minas Hill Coffee, and once and for all, showcases to the Australian market the reason why Brazil is considered one of the best countries to grow specialty coffee.