São Sebastião da Grama, a tiny city in the countryside of São Paulo state, was the stage for the birth of the specialty coffee movement in Brazil and Fazenda Recreio was part of this process. A natural consequence of this effort towards great coffee is reflected in their extraordinary performance in national and international quality contests. Besides local contests, the total of seven victories in different editions of the Cup of Excellence reminds Mr. Diogo Dias of how important it is to improve every detail on the farm. “I was a finalist in 2001, and I’ve achieved the following years later: 2003 (4th), 2004 (1st), 2008 (2nd), 2009 (3rd), 2010 (4th) and 2013 (5th),” says Dias proudly.
The coffee tradition in the Dias family started back in 1890, when hundreds of plants were cultivated in order to boost production. As a result, a “sea of coffee plants” demanded lots of work for the harvest and maintenance during the year and a large workforce was needed. For this reason, the farm owners offered housing to workers and their families and a mini city with good infrastructure. The “colônias” were pretty common back in the end of the 19thcentury, but this changed over time. Nowadays, it is really rare to find this infrastructure on coffee farms. Fazenda Recreio, however, continues this tradition and has a total of 68 fully-furnished houses maintained for the comfort of its collaborators.
Due to the topography of the region, the harvest is done by hand over cloths and it starts in the middle of May (when the fruit displays good maturation and a small percentage of green fruits). The processing methods most often applied to the crops are wet and pulped natural, in which the ripe fruits are separated from the others and mechanically pulped. The picked coffee is washed, separated, pulped and spread on the patio on the same day, remaining there until reaching an average humidity of 20%, when they’re taken to the dryer.
The coffee remains in the dryer until reaching 11% humidity, only then it is boxed to “rest” and homogenize the drying process. It remains there for at least 30 days before it is forwarded to other processing stages. Every single bean is tracked from harvest to shipping and exclusive warehouses guarantee that Recreio Estate Coffee products will keep their quality to the final destination.