Jose Schiavo - Espirito Santo, Brazil
We have tasted through many Brazilian lots over the years to find the perfect representation of coffee from this part of the world. Brazil holds a special place in our hearts at Cooperative -- Matt and Katie both lived there independently in 2012 before their lives became intertwined and share a deep love for the culture, people, music, food, and the landscape there.
This coffee was brought to us through our importing partners and friends at Osito. Here is a note from Jose Schiavo about the coffee and his family's operation in Espirito Santo:
Our family has been working with coffee for 4 generations. Our grandparents started growing coffee in Pedregulho, which is in the interior of Castelo. In this place it was difficult to produce quality, so we decided to move to our current property in the same municipality. Our home is located in a place called Forno Grande and members of the community there called us "crazy" because the location is very cold and humid and at higher elevation than most coffee farms in Brazil - 1050masl reaching 1250masl at the highest point.
Everyone said that we would not be able to produce coffee, but we ignored their doubts and pushed forward. In 1984 we planted our first plots. Our site has 20 hectares, 20% of our property is a forest reserve and 60% in coffee plants. With the support of 3 neighboring families, we have been focusing on producing quality for 16 years.
At the beginning we were unable to process washed coffee because we lacked infrastructure to depulp and wash the freshly harvest cherries. Because of this, we processed the cherries on the neighboring property but we finally decided to stop due to our costs being inflated in a way that made it difficult to be profitable.
In 2019, with the encouragement of the agriculture department, we decided to reinvest in our farm and renew our focus on quality. We harvested the coffee each day and at night we took it to our neighbor's property, Eduardo Tozzi, who is a mentor and motivator for quality in our region. Thanks to him I was able to acquire the necessary equipment and we finally set up our processing unit on the site. That same year my daughter Jaqueline Schiavo began to show a deep interest in our family business and started a course called "Production of Specialty Coffee" being offered by the Federal Institute of Espirito Santo of Venda Nova do Imigrante. The insights that she came away with helped us make further improvements towards the management of the crop, harvest procedures, and post-harvest processing of the coffees. Today specialty coffee is gradually taking up more and more space on our property. Seeking to increase our engagement with the specialty market, we have recently planted new plots with the following varieties: Catuai 81, Catucai 785, Catucai 2Sl, Caturra, Arara and the Catucai Açu, which is still in the testing phase.