Roaster’s tasting notes:
A new farm to us, Rio Claro is a small four generation family run farm producing excellent coffees. From the evidence of this crop I am certain we will be using them in the future.
Smooth, Galaxy smooth, chocolate abounds with the addition of a little hazelnut. The mouthfeel is coating and the delicious aftertaste lingers for quite some minutes after drinking. This is exactly what I am looking for in this style of coffee, perfect.
Sítio Rio Claro has been in Heleno Bachião Dolivo’s family for three generations. Heleno’s grandfather, Arcanjo Bachião, came from Italy along with a relative, Guerino Bacchion. They settled in Paraguaçu city, Minas Gerais, and began working for several years, saving up money little by little to buy farming land.
After several years, they had saved enough to purchase a plot of land near the town of Nova Resende. This land was well known for coffee production but was quite small at the time. Arcajo called the family, told them to come over, and they all began working the land together.
Heleno’s father, Ricardo Bachião, was a truly great coffee producer. He was born on the farm and learned to cultivate coffee from childhood. When he finally took control of the family farm, Ricardo had little access to technology, yet he would consistently produce 800 to 1,000 bags of coffee every year. His
abilities as a farmer became renowned, and he was even elected as the Mayor of Nova Resende in 1978, though he unfortunately passed away shortly afterward.
Since this time, Heleno has followed in his father’s footsteps. He says, “I’ve been following the family tradition since then, keeping with the coffee cultivation and, gladly, my son is doing the same thing.” Heleno’s son is already following suit, who has obtained a degree in agronomy to understand the science behind growing coffee. He works for the cooperative, Cooxupé, to educate producers on how to improve their coffee production.
The name “Rio Claro” means “Clear River” and is simply named after the neighbourhood where the small farm is located. This is common in Brazil in small properties, where farms take their names from regions or other local features.
Fazenda Rio Claro is 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.
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.