BR-320-202007 • Past harvest

3rd place: Vargem Alegre's Yellow Catuaí Sugarcane Sector

  • Conventional (no certification): $14.00 USD / kgFOB

  • Origin: Brazil
  • Variety: Yellow Catuaí 62
  • Process type: Natural/Sun Dried
  • Algrano's cupping score (SCA): 87.25 points
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The coffee story

Sítio Vargem Alegre is located in the town of Cristina in the Mantiqueira de Minas region, South of Minas Gerais. It is owned by my father Sebastião and my mother Hilda, but all the family is involved. My father might look serious, but he is a very open-minded and easy-going man who embraces our participation and welcomes our opinions. My brother Edu and I joined him in 2015, when I was 18 years old and Edu 16. At the time, prices were getting really low and my dad wanted to expand his commercial coffee production to tackle the price issue. My brother and I encouraged him to invest in quality instead.

The view from our farm

He had a point in wanting to stick to commercials. Specialty is a lot more work after all. But with our help, we managed to look after the farm the way it needed. Our farm is quite high with the highest part at 1450m and it can be quite steep. We can’t use mechanical harvesters here. The quality is very good though and it would be a shame not to value it. And when we started in specialty, we couldn’t stop. It was like a fever.

My father at the farm. We take visitors up the hills on our tractor. It's the easiest way to go and it's fun!

I began working at the local cooperative to learn about quality control. Today I am a Q grader and also have the SCA Sensory Skills diploma. I learned a lot about preparing coffee, sampling, QC and processing since 2015. All this knowledge applied to the field has had a great impact on my family. We expanded our farms, patios and improved our post-harvest greatly. Our general quality of living has improved.

Today we have four plots: Vargem Alegre, Tarumã, São Sebastião and Nossa Senhora das Candeias. We keep going higher. Our most recent project is a coffee plantation at 1690m, where no other farmer has dared to go to. It’s so cold our first experience was a disaster. The frost killed everything. BUt now we learned that the plants need to grow under the shade of trees there, protected and not exposed. People call me crazy, but I’m on to something…   

The competition

The competition jury in Brazil: Jack (right), William (centre) and Francisco (left)

*This coffee was scrutinized by 4  certified Q-Graders in 2 countries for the competition process with rigorous sensorial and physical analysis. Differences in cupping scores and notes are due to the use of different roast machines and lab setups. As the selection of the lots and the rankings happened in Brazil, the jury's score was kept as the main quality evaluation on the lot information page. Read the information below for more detail.

Algrano's QC
Q-Grader: Veronika Kečkéšová
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Roaster: IKAWA 
Total roasting time: 6'50" to 7'
First crack: Around 5¨45", 194 to 196 degrees Celsius
DTR: 65" to 70"
Quality comments: Score: 87.25. Primary notes: Floral, Citrus fruit, Red berries. Secondary notes of Black tea, Herbal, Rhubarb. Lingering, sweet and toffee-like aftertaste with citric-tartaric, multilayered acidity and tea-like elegant body.

"The most interesting thing about this coffee was that it tasted just like a fine washed African, floral and tea-like, elegant and sweet with multi-layered citric acidity of medium intensity and lingering toffee-like aftertaste." - Veronika

Jury’s QC
Q-Grader: Jack Robson, Francisco Lentini Neto and William Batista Mariano
Location: Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Roaster: Speciatto, Carmomaq
Total roasting time: 8-9 minutes
Drying phase: 4-5 minutes
Maillard phase: 3 minutes
DTR: 50 to 70 seconds
Other comments: Agtron 63-65
Screen size: 16/18 (2% below)

The process

This lot comes from a sector in our sítio called "Da Cana" (Sugarcane). It refers to the sugar cane growing nearby. This is not one of our higher sectors - the most elevated parts of the farm range from 1300m to 1450m and we will be picking cherries in November -, but it has mild temperatures and a good amount of exposure to the morning sun. The harvest was manual and selective, done with care by my family. After picking and removing the unripes we washed the cherries and took them to dry on raised beds for 30 days. We spread the cherries in thin layers, but the temperature in my town Cristina is quite cool for Brazilian standards. After drying the coffee is taken to storage inside the dry cherry. This ensures that the humidity levels of the cherries become homogenous.
Produced & offered by Sitio Vargem Alegre
  • Brazil
  • Single farm
  • FairTrade
  • 1 sales on Algrano
  • 1 Average orders per roaster
  • 1 Roaster relationships
  • Seller relationships with Roasters in

Sítio Vargem Alegre is in the city of Cristina, in the Mantiqueira de Minas Indication of Origin region, at an elevation of 1300 meters. The topography is mountainous, the climate differentiated and the land conducive to producing high-quality coffee. The producer and his family are dedicated to sustainable growing, seeking to work in harmony with the environment. They believe that sustainable agriculture leads to a higher standard of living. The farm has reserves for the preservation of native forests and springs. The varieties Yellow Catucaí, Bourb—n and Acaiá are planted. The farm is in an area that has the Mantiqueira de Minas Indication of Origin seal, which guarantees the origin and quality of the coffee. The harvest is done by the family and is selective, bean by bean, occurring when the fruits are at the peak of their maturation. The coffee is hand-picked over cloths to avoid contact with the soil.

  • Process type
    Natural/Sun Dried
  • Harvest period
    July, 2020 - July, 2020
  • Average yearly production in bags

Coffee Quality Evaluation

Cupped: October, 2020
Sitio Vargem Alegre
Jack Robson (Seller)
Cupped: September, 2020
SCA Score
Jack Robson (Seller)
Key flavor notes
Floral, Citrus fruit, Red berries, Black tea, Herbal, Rhubarb
Jack Robson (Seller)
Floral, Coconut, Toffee, Citric, High sweetness, Lingering, Vibrant acidity
Quality comment
The most interesting about this coffee was that it tasted just like a fine washed Africa, floral and tea-like, elegant and sweet with multi-layered citric acidity of medium intensity and lingering toffee-like aftertaste.
Jack Robson (Seller)
I chose this coffee for the competition because it was fruity and floral. For me, it has notes of molasses, cane sugar, orange and orange blossom.
Sensorial radar


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