Montanhas do Espírito Santos is Brazil’s second-largest coffee producing state, upholding pleasant surprises for coffee beans seekers like The Coffee Quest. Indeed, situated at the heart of the region, in the city of Castelo, we discovered a gem: a family farm, a Cup of Excellence participant – Sítio Bateia, operated by Vagner Dias Sartori.
The history of Sítio Bateia started in the 1900s with Vagner’s great-grandfather as the pioneer. Ever since, coffee has played an irreplaceable role in the family’s income, and it grows increasingly throughout generations. Following his parent’s footsteps, Vagner found the coffee passion at heart. He pursued the role as a coffee producer with a great emphasis on coffee production with great quality.
“It is not easy to produce coffee, because there are many challenges along the way. But everything in this world is difficult. Despite the hardships, I believe this makes the coffee more enjoyable to taste” – Vagner Dias Sartori
Vagner currently lives on the farm with his family of 6 members, all of whom lend him a hand with different work on the farm. Aside from the family, Sítio Bateia employed 1 extra worker to help out during the harvesting season.
A typical day starts at dawn, around 4:00 in the morning at other parts of the farm before they move and stay at the coffee field until the late afternoon. All harvested fruits are then taken to the pulper and finished up around 7, closing up their day.
In 2021, we started working with Sítio Bateia for the first time, and their product shows an immense potential. Across nearly 70 hectares, at an altitude of 1000m, Vagner and his family produce a great volume of Red Catuai through pulped natural processing.
Vagner’s coffee reached us through the help of Farmer’s coffee, one of our newest partnerships in the region. After the post-harvesting process, the coffee is handed in at the Farmers’ coffee office. Farmers’ coffee is not just our coffee provider and supplier. They are the connecting point that helps us reach other local farmers in the region.
Sítio Bateia is also the farm of dairy cattle, yam and corn. It is this artisanal culture that has made coffee from Espirito Santo special. Coffee is not the only agricultural product of the region, as farmers also grow fruits such as papayas, citrus fruits, and bananas.
Due to the humid climate, coffee famers in the Espirito Santo region are specialized in mostly washed or semi-washed methods. Meanwhile, natural fermentation is more of an option among producers who are looking for ways to diversify their lots after focusing on washed coffee.
One of the biggest challenges today is to pay the producer a fair price and maintain a good relationship among coffee farmers. It’s important that not only the roasters but also every single farmer knows exactly how the journey of the coffee takes place.
Income gained from coffee production is enough to pay the bills for farmers like Vagner. However, he also shared with us that a better income could help them with a better life. Through the partnership with Farmers Coffee and The Coffee Quest Brasil, we seek to provide local farmers with fair prices that they earned.
The impact of ongoing climate volatility drives small farmers like Vagner to take further action. To them, diving into sustainable farming practices means not only reducing their negative impact on the environment but also, protecting their farm.
Sítio Bateia is currently preserving natural springs and forests to protect the biodiversity surrounding the farm. Environmental farming techniques are also conducted alongside.