Our seasonal espressos each come with their own story, which is part of what makes them so special. Here we take a closer look at the producers behind this coffee.
Rio Claro has been in Heleno Bachião Dolivo’s family for three generations. Fazenda Rio Claro is in the perfect location for quality coffee production. Located in one of Brazil’s most renowned coffee growing regions, the farm benefits from an elevation of just over 1,100 metres above sea level. The natural potential of the land is met by Heleno’s commitment to producing the best quality coffee that he can.
Mr Sumarno has been growing coffee since 1999. Before that, he was primarily producing tobacco, which was a difficult crop to work with due to its high demands of agrochemicals. The transition to coffee proved to be an excellent decision, as Sumarno has succeeded at producing high yields of high-quality coffee. After his first harvest in 2005, Sumarno began to learn more about the coffee market, the agronomy behind the crop, and different processing methods. He is known throughout this region thanks to his extensive coffee knowledge.
Varietals: Yellow Catuaí
Altitude: 1,122 metres
Varietals: Mix of Arabica Lini S288, Kartika, Sigararutang, Typica
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1,000 to 2,300 metres
Harvesting & Processing at Rio Claro
During the harvest season (July through August), coffee is mechanically strip-picked using derricadeiras, or mechanical strippers, essentially a chainsaw-like machine with claws attached. To begin the harvest, pickers first put down a canvas to collect the cherries. The mechanical strippers are then utilized to shake the cherries onto the canvas, which will then be gathered and transported to the mill.
This 100% Yellow Catuaí lot was processed using the natural method. After harvesting, the coffee is sorted to remove debris and any severely damaged cherries. Next, the cherries are spread out evenly on the farm’s patios, where they will dry for approximately 7 days, being turned frequently to ensure even drying. The coffee is then moved to mechanical driers, where it is dried at low temperatures until it reaches around 12% humidity.
Harvesting & Processing at Sumarno
During the harvest, the cherries are carefully handpicked and sent to the wet mill located at Sumarno’s home. This is common for large coffee producers or leaders of cooperatives in Indonesia. The cherries are first submerged in a tank of water to remove the floaters, or lower quality cherries. They are then de-pulped to remove the exterior fruit skin. Afterwards, the coffee is placed in special tubs, or kolas, to ferment in water for 24 hours and allow for the breakdown of the external mucilage. Once fermentation is complete, the coffee is washed a final time before being placed on drying racks to dry in the open sun for 15-20 days. During drying, the coffee is moved to the floor in order to reach a moisture content of 11.5 – 12%.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
Heleno faces many current challenges at Rio Claro such as the fluctuation of the coffee prices and lack of local labour to help bring in the harvest, in particular. To counter these challenges, the family is increasingly investing in mechanisation, which will lower their cost of production.
Sumarno is supported by Belift, a coalition of coffee professionals seeking to improve the income of producers in Indonesia. The group is comprised of three young men, originally from Indonesia, who studied in the US, only to return to their home country to open their own coffee shop and roastery in 2015. This then expanded to a coffee academy in 2017 whereby they began to work more closely with producers.
They are developing unique relationships with coffee producers specifically in the Central and East Java region, to showcase the hard work of coffee producers throughout this infamous region. Belift are also educating producers about newer processing methods to help incorporate more Indonesian farms into the specialty market. The work conducted by Belift is creating a future for coffee production in Indonesia and lending support to the improvement of coffee-producing communities.