Sítio Serra Negra has been in Luiz Borges family for three generations. Mr. Luiz Borges’ story is very similar to other producers living in the region of Campestre, a place where the climate lends itself to high quality coffee due to the mild weather and the high altitude.
Luiz learned coffee farming from his father, who in turn learned it from his. When he was young, Luiz would follow his father everywhere in the property, aiming always to learn more about his family’s legacy. In this way, the family’s passion for coffee has passed from generation to generation and finds its most recent manifestation in Luiz.
The name "Serra Negra" means "Black Mountain" and is simply named after the neighbourhood in São Sebastião das Posses where the small farm is located. This is common in Brazil in small properties (Sitios), where farms take their names from regions or other local features. Sítio Serra Negra is the perfect location for quality coffee production.
Located in one of Brazil’s most renowned coffee growing regions (Minas Gerais), the farm benefits from an elevation of 1,200 metres above sea level. The natural potential of the land is met by Luiz’s commitment to producing the best quality coffee that he can. The farm is devoted entirely to coffee cultivation, and the farm’s small size is planted almost entirely under Catuaí and Mundo Novo trees. Luiz runs his farm almost entirely using family labour, though he does rely on help from his cooperative – Cooxupe – to provide agricultural advice.
All in all, Luiz always seeks to improve quality and to establish better practices so as to access specialty markets, better prices and more durable relationships. During the harvest season (July through August), coffee is mechanically strip picked using derricadeiras, mechanical strippers that look like claws attached to a chainsaw.
Pickers first put down a canvas. They then use the mechanical strippers to knock all of the coffee onto the canvas. This 100% Catuaí lot was processed using the natural method. After harvesting, the coffee is sorted to remove debris and any severely damaged cherries and is then put directly onto the farm’s patios, where it will dry for approximately 7-12 days, being turned frequently to ensure even drying.