Ariovaldo Bonfim’s farm, Fortaleza, is located in the city of Patrocínio, Minas Gerais, in the Cerrado Mineiro growing region of Brazil. Born and raised in the state of Paraná, he and his family relocated here in 1987 seeking better climate conditions for coffee production. The relocation came with its own challenges though, proving that a lack of skilled labor and machinery resources still made farming difficult. It wasn’t until commercializing their process that they were able to increase their production levels and eventually expand their crop.
Within Cerrado there are many microregions that present unique characteristics in the cup. The Chapadão de Ferro microregion, where Ariovaldo’s farm can be found, is a small town with farms situated around the cone of a partially formed volcano. Farms here are at higher elevations above 1100 meters and coffee is harvested a month or two later than in other parts of Cerrado Mineiro.
Today, Ariovaldo farms with the help of his wife and children, cultivating 5 hectares of coffee on their 5.5 hectare property. They produce several varieties here, including Red and Yellow Catuai, Arara, and Acaia, totaling 330 bags annually.
This coffee surprised us on the cupping table. While coffees from Brazil can give a great foundation for espresso or blends, the quirky fruit-forwardness in this cup while still giving a structured backbone was something we wanted to keep all to itself.