coffee

It's all about sharing magic experiences.

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AEQUITAS COFFEE CONNECTIONS

One of Aequitas' main goals is to foster connection and strengthen ties in the coffee chain, from production to the market. It is to bring those who are far away, near, and together get to know the story not only of coffees, but of those who produced it.

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For us, specialty coffee is more than just a product, it's a lifestyle that carries a story in every bean, so showing to the world “how” and “where” they are produced is a way to share the magic around this universal drink.

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To that end, we were pleased to welcome and guide the visit of ZAB CAFE a roaster from Montreal - Canada and the importer CROP TO CUP, New York - United States, represented by the dear ones: Sam, Edwin, Simon and Maya.

In addition to the experience of exchanging knowledge and flavors, they came looking for new and different coffees; different because special, new because the world of coffee is a ceaseless pursuit and improvement.

This is how together we embarked on an adventure into the Cerrado Mineiro Region. We visited farms, met producers, exchanged experiences, tasted coffee and local food, because in each corner we were greeted with a banquet and cuddle from Minas Gerais people.

Along with field visits, we promote chats between producers and the visitors in the cities of São Gotardo, Monte Carmelo and Serra do Salitre, all of them with the purpose of teaching and learning. In a relaxed atmosphere followed by a good old beer and barbecue, we all felt grateful and connected.

We also had the opportunity to meet a 91-year-old producer, Mr. Jose Marson, who still produces coffee and his own wine. We were all impressed by the liveliness, joy and peace in which he lives with his wife on the farm. Of course we tasted his wine, and I'm sure it was a very special time for them as well as it was for us.

Knowing where coffee comes from and how it is brewed arouses passion, and a new look borns into what was once just a drink, and now it is sacred. Okay, coffee connects people because there's so much love involved.

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Gratitude to this meeting and we will continue sharing and discovering worlds to cheer up the spirits and scare away sleep and monotony with coffee.

Photos by Sam, from ZAB CAFE.

Four generations cultivating history and coffee

Ditian (grandfather in Japanese) Goro and children, Noboru, Yoko and Niculau (1950)

Ditian (grandfather in Japanese) Goro and children, Noboru, Yoko and Niculau (1950)

The ship that brought Minami family to Brazil (1927)

The ship that brought Minami family to Brazil (1927)

In June 16th 1927, my great-grandfather Tsunekichi Minami, my great-grandmother Kachi Minami and children arrived in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil after leaving Japan and travelling during 2 months on Kanagawa-Maru ship. My grandfather Goro Minami at that time was 11 years old. The emigration turned into an option for more than 157.000 Japanese people that arrived in Brazilian lands in the period from 1924 to 1941, as a result from a chronic and exponential demography that was causing an intense social, political, cultural and economic change in Japan.

Pursuing the dream of a better life condition my ancestors from the families Minami and Okuyama (paternal grandparents), Kumata and Iida (maternal grandparents) came to Brazil looking for the Brazilian golden – coffee – that was the country’s main export product. In the end, the promise of making money by working in coffee plantations and going back to Japan was different from the reality. Staying in Brazil was no longer an option but the one and only alternative.

After several years of hard work in coffee farms in Sao Paulo state, they raised some money and bought a small piece of land in the north of Parana state where they cultivated coffee. In 1944 my grandfather married my grandmother Mitsuyo and in 1947 my father Niculau Minami was born. Since young age he used to work in the farm following his father’s steps. A curious fact is that my grandfather wanted his son studying Medicine School, but he attended school until he was 9 years old. He quit studying to help in the farm and to follow his dream of becoming a farmer.

Goro Minami (on the right) holding a prize in recognition for the coffee quality production

Goro Minami (on the right) holding a prize in recognition for the coffee quality production

In the 1960’s the north of Parana concentrated 50% of the national coffee production. However, many severe frosts were gradually damaging coffee plantations and in 1974 Goro and Niculau visited the Alto Paranaíba in Cerrado Mineiro to get to know the region for developing farming activities in an area safe from frosts. Since 1973 the region was undergoing an agricultural expansion program, the PADAP – Alto Paranaiba Guided Settlement Agricultural Program. An area of 60.000 hectares was expropriated and divided in many smaller lots and approximately a hundred families of Japanese origin settled the region and started agricultural activities.  

In April 25th, 1975 Niculau Minami arrived to PADAP region under the supervision and support of his father and elder brother. They acquired an area of 442 hectares, the lot number 71, called Fazenda Olhos d’Água, which means Farm of Spring Waters due to its several springs, in Rio Paranaíba municipality, 30 km from São Gotardo.

Since then, coffee and other crops (potato, carrot, garlic, soybean, corn, oat and wheat) has been planted. This is a privileged location, thanks to its soil, higher altitude, around 1.140 and 1.160 meters and its climate turns, that is, hot days and cool nights, which is good for coffee.

An area of 180 hectares are dedicated to coffee in Fazenda Olhos d’Água (Lot 71) and Fazenda Santo Antonio (Lot 42) and more than 20% in both farms consist of Cerrado natural biome.

Coffee plantation characteristics:

  • Varieties: Yellow Catuaí, Red Catuaí, Mundo Novo, Icatu and Red Catucaí
  • Harvest: June to August
  • Method: Natural
  • Average altitude: 1.150 m
  • City: Rio Paranaíba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Region: designation of origin Cerrado Mineiro