Fazendas Klem is located in micro-region Matas de Minas (Mountains of Minas), part of the State of Minas Gerais. In contrary to other parts of Brazil you fill find more smallholder farmers and differences in altitude across the region. The full Estate is divided in seperated areas around the small city of Luisburgo, all of which are farmed by the Klem family (five brothers are working at the company) and several other families. The founder and grandfather Nagype Klem still works on the main section of the farm, and lives next door to the laboratory where they cup coffees all throughout the harvest season.
Fazendas Klem in known in the region as an great example for Organic production. The Estate, once established by grandfather Nagype, has done extensive studies into Organic processing, soil protection and many other variables. Based on their research they have formulated a method using local materials to feed their soils and grow their trees. This includes using of every bit of organic material available (for example; cascara and fertilizer using chicken shit), but also applying minerals found at nearby rock formations. Only a few years ago they have decided to start exporting sharing their knowledge by providing technical assistance to others in the region. Step-by-step they continue to improve their best practices to improve all aspects of a fully Organic production. An amazing acomplishment is that they are succesfully intercropping small avocados trees, to make use of the same soils and their existing certifications. Next to the CERES Organic certification, the Klem Estate is USDA Organic, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certified.
Collaboration & Quality
Fazendas Klem was the first Brazilian “fazenda” to become part of The Coffee Quest assortment in 2016. After several Skype discussions with Juan Vargas (the coffee kid from Colombia working at Klem) we decided to take a visit during an off-season period. The visit opened our eyes, not only towards the volume production approach in Brazil, but also to see a new generation that is taking large steps towards producing quality. Specialty coffee provides a way to continue working on their parents farm, but applying their knowlegde from different areas (from marketing to agronomics) into the family business. Directly following the visit we flew in 1 pallet of coffee containing small 20kg bags from Klem and neighbouring farms. A small start of the business which has developed into a lively business relationship. In 2018, The Coffee Quest certified themselves with SKAL Bio to be able to import the Klem Organic lots, now including the certification.
The lots from Fazendas Klem come with different qualities. Each season they are able to provide a limited range of 85+ micro lot coffees. In 2017 we had the luck to purchase and offer a micro lot that later won 3rd price in the Cup of Excellence. The lots combine the caramel flavour from the micro-region with a large variation of fruity notes. Part of the micro lots are hand-picked and processed using the solar dryers next to the laboratory in Luisburgo. This manual method is excellent for experimenting with lower quantities. Next to that, the Klem’s are providing fully mechanized processing, even for micro lot quality. Using full selective machine harvesting and state-of-the-art drying boxes they accomplish to create 20 bag lots with high cupping scores. Our first though was that it takes away some of the magic behind fermentation and processing, however, the scientific and fully automized approach provides big steps towards scaleability of specialty coffee. The experimentations at Fazendas Klem also include the separation of varieties, different types of honeys and the introduction of yeast experiments.
Next to the micro lot contribition in the Seasonal category, we offer the Fazendas Klem Natural Estate Lot as part of our Classic segment. This organic certified lot has an established cup profile which has improved in complexity during last seasons. As part of the selection we look for farm that combine the organic certification together with quality, and Fazendas Klem is one of the few farms we know that can provide this combination.