Translation: White Rock
Producer: Collective - Carmo Coffee
Station Manager: Carmo Coffee
Farm: Fazenda Furnas
Micro-Mill (Beneficio): Pedra Branca
Build Date: 1968
First Year Rosso Purchased: 2017
Region: Pedralva, Minas Gerais
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Processing Techniques Purchased: Natural
Elevation: 1200-1400 masl
Tasting Notes: Chocolate, Honey, Root Beer, Mandarin
Benefício Pedra Branca is a coffee buying & processing center located on the municipality of Pedralva, and more specifically at Fazenda Furnas. The farm itself comprises a coffee producing area, large permanent environmental preservation areas and the processing plant which is a property of CarmoCoffees since 2013, consolidating a partnership started 3 years earlier, in 2010. At Benefício Pedra Branca, CarmoCoffees can also invest in innovations in processing methods which results in cups with unique and exquisite attributes and great cupping scores, as part of the company’s exclusive program New Flavors. Our goal in it is to push forward the limits of the coffee culture in Brazil and we are really proud to say that we’re being successful in this task. CarmoCoffees now runs a complete Infrastructure at Benefício Pedra Branca where the company is able to process, store and trade both recently harvested cherries and fully processed beans delivered by our partners.
The Mantiqueira microregion is home to over 2,000 smallholder coffee farmers with a quality potential that urges to be explored. Our exporting partners at Carmo Coffees recognized this potential and decided to build two strategically placed mills (called beneficios) with washing and processing capabilities, strategically selected for their accessibility to the region's coffee growers. Beneficio Pedra Branca is nestled in the Pedra Branca mountainside in Pedralva City, and the other, Beneficio Presente do Sol, is located in the city of Heliodora—both beneficios were farms managed by their former owners before joining Carmo Coffees.
Pedra Branca was the first of the beneficios, with Carmo Coffees' partnership starting in 2012. Carmo bought the farm in 2013, making it part of their official structure. Following the same model, Presente do Sol became part of Carmo Coffees in 2014.
The proximity of the beneficios enable the region's quality potential with accessibility to modern equipment for processing where there was otherwise a barrier to entry due to lack of knowledge, time, budget, infrastructure, and the price of labor involved with processing at a quality standard. The municipalities served by Pedra Branca are Pedralva, São José do Alegre, Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Pouso Alegre, Cristina, Careaçu, Jesuânia, Cachoeira de Minas, and Olímio Noronha, among others. Beneficio Pedra Branca has eight mechanical dryers, covered patios, drying greenhouses, and African drying beds, as well as a wet mill and washing and sorting machines. Pedra Branca serves about 600 producers currently but has the capacity to work with 2,000. The production of both beneficios is at 50,000 bags annually.
We did not visit this mill. We simply cupped this coffee and fell in love. Nearly everyone we cupped it with thought it was Geisha.