Rio Brillhante - specialty coffee
SUL DE MINAS, BRAZIL
Cupping score 85
FARMER: Cléo and Hugo Brito
Red Apple and sweet milk chocolate
Fazenda Rio Brilhante sits within a micro-region called Pântano which is located in the state of Minas Gerais. Pântano isknown for its well-defined seasons, consistent seasonal rain, and overall favorable climate for coffee production. Specifically, these conditions are ideal for producing natural processed coffees, which represents on average 80% of the production of the farm.
The harvest is mostly done mechanically using a colheitadeira (harvester) - specific machinery to perform this activity. Careful calibration of this equipment makes it possible to determine the quality and ripeness point at which coffee cherries should be harvested,resulting in more uniform and consistent lots.
After picking, the cherries pass through a station that sorts by density - the denser and higher quality cherries are separated in order to create pulped natural and natural processed coffees that will receive more detail focused fermentation and drying.
The farm has more than 1,600 hectares of planted coffee and produces an average of 130,000 bags of coffee per harvest.
The 1,600 hectares are divided into 45 different sections that present their own unique terroir and micro-climate.
This Frutado lot comes from the higher areas of the farm where they have focused on planting cultivars that show the greatest potential in the cup. This lot of Mundo Novo and Yellow catuai they have found over the years to produce this 'fruity' profile from these elevations of the farm.
The 45 sections are separated by large trees such as grevillea and mahogany. These trees act as a natural divider between coffee sections and also between the untouched areas, preserving the biodiversity of the farm. By law every rural property must maintain as a forest reserve, an area with native vegetation coverage. In the Cerrado Mineiro region this area is equivalent to 20% of the farm. In addition, these
trees provide shelter for the coffee plants from the winds that are frequent in the very flat Pântano micro region.
Rio Brilhante is run by one of the migrant families who left the south of Brazil in search of new opportunities. Inácio Urban, the founder, was born in the southernmost state of the country, Rio Grande do Sul, and is of German descent.
Upon arriving in Brazil, Inácio’s family worked producing agricultural food products but on a much smaller scale. In the 80’s, Inácio foresaw a giant opportunity in the Cerrado Mineiro region. At the time, land in this region was considered undesirable and, as a result, was very cheap. To start, Inácio planted 20 hectares of coffee, as he says "to learn what it is like to grow coffee”. Over the last 40 years he continued to purchase more land and planting more coffee, eventually growing the farm to it’s impressive current size. In 2006 Inácio’s children, Erika Urban and Fernando Urban, joined their father in the management of the farm. The arrival of the second generation of the family represents continuity of work and the possibility of innovation. Noé, Inácio's son-in-law, joined the family and the farm a few years later.
In 2017, Fazenda Rio Brilhante placed 2nd in the Imaflora - Rainforest Alliance and 3rd in the Cerrado Mineiro regional competition. In 2020 the farm was awarded first place in the Ethics and Traceability Award given to farms for their commitment and development of programs to develop people, preserve the environment, and promote responsible agribusiness. Additionally, the farm is UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, and 4C certified.