Farm: Sitio Riberao do Costa
Varietal: Red Catuai
Processing: Pulped Natural
Altitude: 820 metres above sea level
Owner: Gilmar Reetz
Town / City: Afonso Claudio
Region: Espirito Santo Mountains
Overall: Sweet, chocolate & citrus
Sitio Ribeirao do Costa - Brazil
Sitio Riberao do Costa has belonged to the Reetz family for more than 100 years, from the time when the great-grandfather of Gilmar Reetz (the farm’s current owner) migrated from Germany and settled in the Espirito Santo Mountains. The farm has passed from father to son over the years, as is the custom of familial succession in Brazil, and, indeed, Sitio Riberao do Costa is the family’s heritage, as is the beauty and richness of the natural surroundings. Arriving on the property, one immediately notices the variety of local flora and fauna, with a diversity of wild animals such as toucans and monkeys. The farm itself occupies an important place in regional history, as well, and used to be a resting stop for animals and merchants transporting goods through the hills before the age of cars.
The farm originally produced corn and beans and was only converted to coffee production under the administration of Mr. Augusto Reetz and his wife Dona Cristina Schimidt Reetz, who have worked on the farm for the full 46 years of their marriage and today manage the property on Gilmar’s behalf. They, along with their four children, oversee all agricultural activities. Gilmar still lives on the property, however, as do his brothers - Zelomar Reetz, Everaldo Reetz and Olomar Reetz - and their families. The entire family depends upon coffee production for their livelihood, and quality production has become a central strategy towards ensuring that this familial agricultural production system survives well into the future.
The production of high-quality coffee on the farm began in 2006, when a pulper was installed and covered patios were built. Until then, the family had always commercialized its lots as commodity grade. 2006 was the first year they sold their lots with a price differential, and the impact was immediately visible. Quality coffee was the future. Today, the family has invested heavily in drying and processing infrastructure and boasts a total of 1,220 square meters of covered patios and 900 square meters of open patios.
Great care is also taken with harvesting and processing. Coffee is picked and processed on the same day. It is delivered first to the pulper and then directly on to the demucilager, where all the remaining mucilage is removed. The coffee is then taken to the open patios, where it undergoes pre-drying. Then, it proceeds to the covered patios, where it is regularly turned for an average of 10 days until it reaches the optimal humidity of 11%.