Dusty roads curl through sugar cane fields and past small cane factories until you reach higher grounds: the entrance of Fazenda Passeio. In the south of Minas Gerais, Adolfo Henrique Vieira Ferreira, a fourth-generation farmer known throughout the region as one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in Brazil. Adolfo heads the 130-hectare Fazenda where coffee is always handpicked due to steep slopes where no harvesting machine can maneuver. Handpicking in Brazil is rare. Although it is time-consuming, Adolfo does not mind hiring hands during harvest as this will help the quality of his production.
Adolfo focuses on natural and pulped natural coffees. You can find all necessary equipment at Fazenda Passeio, from the sorting station to a large pulper, and enough patios to sun-dry the coffee. Adolfo instructs his employees to pulp the coffee on the day of harvesting to avoid the possibility of fermentation. The natural or pulped naturals find their way to the patios to dry. To finish drying, Adolfo uses large mechanical driers. After drying, the coffee rests for 45-60 days and is then sorted to eliminate defects before export.
Adolfo continues to aim for quality improvements and higher productivity. But he makes sure the local environment is not harmed. Even better, Adolfo has reserved areas where the forest stays untouched. Fazenda Passeio is also a place where workers find fair pay and social support to send their children to school. Workers also receive training from Adolfo on processing and environment preservation.