Learn More about Fortaleza
Cerrado Mineiro is recognized around the world for producing high quality coffees. The region is located in the northwestern part of the Minas Gerais State, Brazil’s most prominent agricultural area. In 2005 Cerrado Mineiro became the first Protected Geographical Indication in Brazil, with full Designation of Origin coming in 2013.
A Designation of Origin (often abbreviated as “DO”) delineates a territory that is recognized for producing a product with unique attributes not found elsewhere. The DO of Cerrado Mineiro comprises 55 municipalities that produce coffee with distinct qualities resulting from the climate, soil, altitude, and “know how” of their people.
A prominent feature of Cerrado Mineiro is the region’s well structured seasons; hot wet summers are followed by dry winters. The predictability and specificity of these climatory factors play important roles in coffees’ growth cycle and post-harvest processing. The humidity in the summer aids in the maturation and fruit development of coffee trees, while the mild winters that follow are nearly ideal for harvesting and drying coffee.
This coffee is a naturally processed single-varietal lot of Red Catuaí, a cross between the highly productive Mundo Novo variety and the more compact Caturra variety. Catuaí was introduced in Brazil in 1972 and quickly became a favored crop for many producers.
The variety’s relatively small stature allows it to be planted more densely together, compared to more traditional Brazilian varieties such as Bourbon, giving farmers the ability to produce nearly twice as much coffee using the same amount of land.
Sebastião Ribeiro and Lucia Vilela come from humble backgrounds and have leveraged their experience in farming coffee to provide a prosperous life for their family. The pair began their careers working on a farm near the small town of Patrocino in the micro-region of Chapadão de Ferro (a sub-region of Cerrado Miniero). After years of hard work, Sebastião and Lucia were able to acquire a four hectare parcel of land nearby, which is now Fazenda Fortaleza.
The couple enjoys managing all aspects of production. As Sebastião puts it, ”We are proud to participate in the entire process from harvest to consumption and it is great pride for us. Our biggest challenge and focus is to produce quality and introduce everyone to the unique quality of coffees from the Chapadão de Ferro region to which we belong.”
Chapadão de Ferro is located near the city of Patrocínio. This micro-region lies in the vicinity of an extinct volcano, so the unique cup profiles of coffees produced here are attributed to the nutrient-rich volcanic soil and above-average altitude.
This lot exemplifies the expertise of well seasoned farmers using the best available technology to produce well-balanced coffees that display characteristics specific to the region.
Pour over brewing will offer an exceptionally well-balanced cup with crisp acidity and complementary sweetness. The liveliness of green apple is paired with more delicate, melon-like, fruit notes, and the intense sweetness of caramel.
AeroPress brewing will yield a fruitful cup with a more full-bodied, syrup-like, mouthfeel. Once again expect the crisp flavor of green apple to meet more subtle fruit notes, like pear and honeydew, and an exceptionally sweet candy-like finish.