José Maria Domingos Júnior has been growing coffee for 20 years, of which 11 years on the Horizonte Farm. The farm is located in the Cerrado region of Minas Gerais, with an altitude that favors the production of high-quality fruits
In 2018, José drastically made the switch to specialty coffee. Growers in the region were collectively switching to specialty, José recalls. José joined other growers and started to produce specialty in the Cerrado region. “By producing specialty coffees, I hope that new business opportunities in the country and abroad appear more often.” José explains.
On the Horizonte Farm, you find everything a producer needs to make the best (pulped) natural coffees. First of all, you have the altitude. At 1100 meters above sea level, José’s Horizonte Farm sits at the right altitude to grow quality coffee.
When you visit the 138-hectare farm, José will show you his Bourbon, Red and Yellow Catuaí, Rubi, and Topázio varieties. José built paved patio’s to dry his (pulped) naturals. José separates the varieties on the patio’s. After a few days, he continues drying the cherries in several mechanical dryers.
The mechanical dryer is monitored hourly and degree of coffee mass in the dryer, not allowing it to exceed 43°. Moisture analysis is done hourly. “After drying, we do not allow it to exceed 11.5% humidity.” José tells us.
José hires Q graders to check the quality and marketing people to spread the story of Fazenda Horizonte.