Santuário Sul – Brazil


Farm : Santuário Sul
Farmer : Luiz Paulo Pereira
Variety : Sudan Rume
Process : Anaerobic
Region : Carmo de Minas
Altitude (masl) : ~1250m
FOB : 11,02$ / kg

Santuário Sul is a new project by a long-time coffee producer Luiz Paulo Pereira. He started the project in 2013 in collaboration with Camilo Marizalde from Colombia and Ivan Solis from Costa Rica. The farm currently has 30 hectares of land in coffee production, and they aim to expand to 70 hectares very soon. “We want this farm to be different”, Luiz Paolo says “If we do the usual things, it’s just another farm in Brazil. We are bringing together Brazilian terroir with Central and South American styles.”

The project had an ambitious start with 25 different coffee varietals, making it the biggest coffee garden in Brazil. One of the first harvests was from the variety Sudan Rume. They also have SL28, Gesha and other varieties which are very untypical to Brazil.

Sudan Rume is an heirloom type of Arabica coffee plant that originates on the Boma Plateau of Southern Sudan near the border with Ethiopia. Plant breeders have long used this cultivar of Arabica when creating new varieties of coffee plants because of it’s high cup quality. It’s often crossed with high yielding disease resistant varieties because these attributes, unfortunately, are lacking from Sudan Rume. For this reason, it’s very uncommon to have this variety as a stand-alone.

Their experiments and innovations didn’t stop with varieties but includes also differetn processing methods such as anaerobic fermentation.

Anaerobic Processing

Pickers pick the cherries by hand to ensure perfect maturity. The team washes the cherries as they arrive at the station and then measure the Brix levels* of the cherries. If they are higher than 23, the cherries are used for anaerobic fermentation, if lower, they are destined to become naturals. The selected cherries are placed in the adapted dairy tank for 60 hours without any movement, then the tank is opened to check the PH level. When the PH of the mucilage inside the fermenting cherries reaches 4.5, it is time to take them out.

After fermentation, the cherries are removed and left to dry with the cascara still intact. Drying takes between 18 to 21 days, depending on the weather. The resulting cup is the perfect combination of washed and natural: clean, bright, full of fruit and sweetness.

While Luiz Paulo notes that they are still learning, the initial experiments were so successful that they have installed tanks of three other sites: Fazenda Irmas Pereira (2000 liters), Alta Vista (2000 liters) and Pedralva (5000 liters). This is part of the Carmo Coffees approach to produce unique and delicious coffees year after year.

*Brix level=percentage of solids, such as sugar and minerals, present in the juice of a plant