Climate / Geography
Camocim Estate, located in Pedra Azul, Espirito Santo, Brazil, is populated with a native South American bird called the Jacu. These indigenous birds are herbivores, inhabiting forested plantations (shade grown coffee areas) and feasting on the ripe coffee cherries. This is a natural selection process for quality coffee. Coffee cultivation covers approximately 123.5 acres (50 hectares), following the cutting down of the Pinnus trees. However, a great diversity of plant species remains. Initially, the planting occurred in clearings (cavadeira) and shaded areas (covetas). Currently, the planting occurs on the terraced hillside amongst the natural vegetation. Pruning is undertaken rigorously and the resulting leaves and small branches are recycled into the soil to improve the organic mass. This organic project, working cheek by jowl with the natural forest and vegetation, became the model for future environmentally-sensitive coffee production in Brazil.
For three generations the Sloper de Araujo family have been farming organically at Camocim in the Pedra Azul Highlands of south-eastern Brazil. Their farm is a model for environmentally sensitive coffee farming. The native Jacu bird inhabits the forested Estate and selects only the ripest coffee cherries, digests and passes them. The coffee produced at Camocim is already considered some of Brazils very best so this process of natural selection sees the Jacu selecting the very best of the best. Farmer, and owner of the Estate, Henrique Sloper de Araujo is understandably proud of this fruitful interaction between wildlife and farming: Rather than thinking of the Jacu Bird as a pest, eating our finest coffee cherries, we saw the opportunity to employ the Jacu Bird as one of our most effective coffee pickers. As with its more famous cousin, Wild Kopi Luwak Coffee, the process that occurs inside the Jacu further enhances the natural qualities of beans, altering the molecular structure of the bean in a way that can be visibly observed. Farm workers forage the Jacus droppings and this unusual gastronomic bounty is then washed and carefully dried in raised coffee beds before being shipped to us here in the UK.