fazenda terra alta
Terra Alta is a new farm, implemented form scratch combining state of the art technology and respect for the environment. We wake up every day, and some nights, thinking how we can improve our farm and our coffees. To be honest, we usually dream about that too.
Since our first harvest in 2013, we received several quality awards, including 1st place in the Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee. We are especially proud that our coffee is in the hands of great roasters in US and Europe.
The farm is UTZ certified and we constantly increase our operational efficiency to reduce our environmental footprint. Some examples of technologies we adopt are: subsurface driplines nutri-irrigation system to reduce water and fertilizer waste; grass/weed management to reduce use of herbicides; and electrostatic nozzles to allowed us to cut our pesticide use by 15%, so far. We also keep roughly 30% of the farm’s as conservation areas, with continuous programs of reforestation and fauna conservation activities.
We are located in Ibiá – MG – Brazil, in the Cerrado region, at an altitude ranging from 950 to 1.020 m (3,120 to 3,450 ft). The plantation spreads over 210 hectares (520 acres) and our average production is roughly 11.000 bags/year.
To pioneer new approaches to high quality green coffee production, to positively impact the environment and the community, to boldly go where no grower has gone before.
we produce specialty coffee.
What motivates us is to produce coffee of the highest quality, building on the singular characteristics of the Cerrado region and the farm.
We believe innovation - the creation of new processes and technologies - is essential to produce quality coffee, at a viable cost and with a positive environmental impact.
We consider the efficient use of land one of the cornerstones of respect for the environment. For this reason, we always seek responsible ways to increase productivity, choosing the lowest impact fertilizers and pesticides, protecting our flora, fauna, soil and water.
We seek the best people to be part of our team. Not just the best professionals, but with high ethical standards and big hearts.
Terra Alta was born in 2010, when we decided to leave our corporate careers to become coffee growers.
We met at college and are together since our senior year. We are both electrical engineers and have MBAs from the University of Chicago. We both followed “traditional” careers - Paulo in finance (Credit Suisse and hedge funds) and I in Management Consulting (McKinsey & Co). We loved the challenges, but kind of missed... life. The coffee farm was a chance for us to start a business together and build something that we could enjoy and be proud of. At the time, it was just us and the dogs, so we decided to take the risk.
We bought the land in 2010. By then, it was only pasture. We wanted to have the freedom to build the coffee farm using the best technology, seeking productivity, top-quality coffee and sustainable practices. Since we had no background in coffee, we sought the best people we could find in all areas (i.e. agronomical, irrigation, post-harvest and cupping) and assembled a great team to work with us.
We started planting in January 2011 and had our first harvest in 2013. Since then, it has been long great days of hard working – because in coffee there is always something you can do better!! We are very grateful for all the help and support we had – the coffee community is wonderful!! – and proud that our coffees are receiving great cupping scores from clients and quality awards.
We produce natural and pulped natural (honey) coffees. All our coffee goes to raised beds where we play with different kinds of fermentations and let it dry very slowly. We are always improving our process to produce coffee of the highest quality and personality. We strive to impart our coffee with the best characteristics of the Cerrado, of our micro region and of our farm. Our coffees have brighter acidity, medium to full body and fruity notes that follow the traditional chocolate, caramel and nuts typical from the Cerrado region.
Our main varietals are IAC 125 RN, followed by Catuaí 62. We also have small areas with Caturra Amarelo, Obatã Amarelo, Catiguá MG2 and Paraíso. IAC 125 RN is a fairly new varietal that has adapted very well to our farm and our post-harvest processing methods. It has a huge amount of mucilage – what makes it very hard to work with, but proves to be a great substrate to fermentation on the raised beds. The result is a very clean, very sweet cup, with bright acidity and exotic notes.
We prepare our lots for exporting in a certified warehouse, sorting out defects that could not be eliminated in the farm. All our coffees are stored and shipped on 60kg (132 lb) grain-pro bags or 30 kg (66 lb) ultra-hermetic paper/plastic bags that are designed to keep the coffee fresh for longer than a year.
During the harvest, we search for small special lots that are outstanding and unique. It could be a varietal from a test field, a lot where we tested a new process, a peaberry with exotic notes or simply a lot where conditions where perfect during maturation and drying.
We work hard to produce the best coffees and we look for the best roasters to take care of them! We believe that by working closely with roasters and exchanging information we can continuously improve our coffee.
We are prepared to export our coffee directly. In the US, we are also structured to import and deliver the coffee in a US warehouse or ship it directly to the client. We do that so smaller roasters could also engage in direct trade with us. We usually prefer to work with our clients during the harvest, so we can prepare a lot according to their needs and preferences, but we keep some micro-lots spot in the Continental NJ. Please, e-mail us to know the lots we have available.