During our June ’19 trip to Brazil we had the opportunity to meet the Vinhal family. Both the father Afonso Vinhal and son Rafael Vinhal took time to show us around their farm Recanto. In the flatlands of the Cerrado Mineiro you might think that all farms look alike, but reaching the milling facility we find a beautiful Oasis with palm trees in between the rows of coffee plants. The area around the city of Patrocinio became populated with coffee farms around the 1980’s. The Vinhal family started in 1988 as producers, and now as 3rd generation farmer, they produce about 7000 bags per year. A majority is sold in the internal market, but an increasing amount of specialty coffee is being produced for export markets. The first time we cupped new harvest lots from Recanto we already found some unique characteristics, like lemongrass & cinnamon notes. We are happy to get both their Estate and Micro lots in our assortment this year! Their ongoing Quest into coffee fermentation has been at the basis of their success. Each season they start with new experiments, tweaking with fermentation hours across the different processing methods, in some cases going well over 100 hours per lot.
Next to producing some interesting Naturally processed lots they are surprisingly big in producing Fully Washed coffees. We are used to traditional washed lots from Nicaragua and Guatemala, or even Eco-pulpers in Costa Rica that use pressure to remove the muscilage from the parchment, but the amount of Fully Washed lots in Brazil remains limited. At Fazenda Recanto they also mechanize the pulping of cherries, but add a double layer of fermentation. After analysing all the different suppliers this year, we have to give it to the Vinhals. Even in a bad season with low amount of maturation in the beans, they managed to create a consistency in their quality. By creating stable, but extended fermentation, they are able to improve flavour development, even when the amount of sugars is low.
Red Catuaí, Yellow Catuaí, Topazio, Yellow Icatu
Washed & Natural