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 marcelo@minashill.com.au

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 marcelo@minashill.com.au.

 

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.

A message from our partner in Western Australia

In 2017, Minas Hill Coffee is committed to once again bring the best of Brazilian Specialty coffee to Australia and continue building strong relationships. Here is what our clients say about us:

“Minas Hill Coffee has been a great addition to the WA market recently as it provides high grade specialty Brazilian coffee to suit a range of purposes. The ongoing coffees are reliable, consistent, high quality and well-priced due to the long and established reputation that Minas Hill has as a supplier of specialty Brazilian coffee. As well as the great selection of ongoing coffees it is always exciting to cup and roast the seasonal lots and microlots that are sourced by the Minas Hill team on a seasonal basis. There are always some absolute crackers!

An added advantage of working with Minas Hill coffee is that amazing Brazilian specialty coffee is warehoused locally in Perth. As a Perth roaster, getting access to great coffees with short turnaround and without the cost of freight is always very challenging. I know with Minas Hill coffees I can quickly and cost efficiently access coffees that will play a role in my roasting program and be loved by customers.
However, undoubtedly the most important benefit for me is the close relationships and transparency that Minas Hill has established with selected farmers at origin. Minas Hill is the only supplier I’m aware of in Perth who has such a close bond with farmers. As a small roaster, this is the closest I can come to creating direct purchase relationships. It was an honour to meet Ismael Andrade, the owner of Sao Silvestre farm himself, in my roastery last year.”
– Tristan Fraser from Black Matter Coffee Roasters and Rep

Check out the current coffee list available in Perth bellow:
For more information about ongoing coffees, lots and micro-lots contact marcelo@minashill.com.au.