Varietal: 100% Rubi
Altitude: 1000 m above sea level
Region: Cerrado Mineiro
Flavours: Milk chocolate, cherry, hazelnut
Located in the Cerrado Mineiro region, Fazenda Cruzeiro naturally benefits from up to 2000mm of rainfall, which makes irrigation unnecessary. The rainy season falls before May, which ensures perfect conditions to contribute to the natural drying process.
Farm owner Cláudio Ottoni first purchased the 130 hectares of farm in 2009, which he has meticulously expanded to some 200 hectares. The majority of their land is planted under Red Catuai 144 variety, which accounts for almost 80% of the Fazenda Cruzeiro's total production. Other smaller and more concentrated cultivated varieties include, Mundo Novo Acaia and Rubi.
The Ottoni family employ the most sustainable growing practices and stewardship of the land. Their efforts are highly admirable and worth mentioning. Over 150 hectares of the farm is devoted solely to wildlife preservation. In addition to this, the farm works with a no water waste policy and have adopted agroecological means of reducing and in many cases, totally eliminated the use of herbicides. One method they utilise, includes planting species of plants that will attract and trap bugs and insects, before they would be able to reach and possibly infect the precious coffee cherries. The very pulp from the coffee cherries is recycled for composting properties and this is turn is applied to the coffee plants. This method not only re-invigorates the fertility of the soil, but it also allows the coffee plant to absorb more water and nutrients.
Cláudio's creativity and care does not cease there, but the innovation continues with the clever use of silo dryers, commonly used for drying seeds and grains, to dry his coffee beans. Due to this slower drying process, excellent results are produced in the cup, leading to increased uniformity and preventing over-fermentation. Furthermore, the Cruzeiro team use eucalyptus from the farm to fuel the fire for the drying process. This has allowed a reduction in energy consumption by a staggering 60%.
Cláudio can testify to the excellence of his coffee with ease and we would concur. We would also add, that however brewed, this is a cup alive with the sweetness of milk chocolate, deep cherry and hazelnut.