The Root Natural is from the Santa Lucia farm at AC Cafe. AC Cafe is a committed miller and exporter of specialty Brazilian coffee. Their vertically integrated model focuses heavily on soil preparation, planting, harvesting, and wet/dry milling, as well as sustainability through the Rainforest Alliance Certification.
The “AC” in the company’s name is derived from the first letters in Mr. Arlindo Conde name, the company’s founder. In 1974, Mr. Arlindo decided to invest in their first 160 hectares of coffee plantation in the Mogiana Region. A lot has changed since then, including their coffee plantations which are now concentrated in the Cerrado Area. The Santa Lucia was acquired in 1998 and its plantation area is 1.958 ha and another 1.965 ha of preservation land. It is located in the city of Perdizes in the Cerrado area. A total of 163 employees work there.
The Root Natural is a very characteristic Cerrado with strong body, soft acidity, and gentle sweet cocoa notes.
QUALITY AND PROCESSES
Planting and Varietals:
Currently AC Café have the following varietals planted in our farms:
- Yellow Catuaí 144
- Red Catuaí 99
- Yellow Catuaí 62
- Yellow Bourbon
- Acaiá 479
- Mundo Novo
- Yellow Icatu 3282
- Yellow Tupy IAC – Instituto Agronômico de Campinas
Cupping all lots prior to harvesting is an essential step in determining whether a lot is ready or not to be picked. Samples of larger lots are cupped to determine their maturity.
The new “Braud 9000L” mechanical harvester was first developed for grapes and is used in 70% of the area. This machine enables faster harvesting, so when we start harvesting one lot due to its perfect maturation stage, the harvester speed allow us to pick all the coffee with minimum time difference. It also helps avoiding diseases as almost no coffee is left behind on the trees and at the ground.
Being fast doesn’t mean not being gentle. AC Café is able to adjust this machine for selective harvesting when necessary.
Fazenda Santa Lucia works with two wet mills. One wet mill technique is ideal for larger volume and can separate maturation into 5 different stages. A smaller one is designated for potential micro-lots, so there is no risk of mixing with other coffees
AC Café currently works with a set of 24 drum dryers – 12 in each farm. All specialty lots are partially sun-dried and then go to the drum dryers. Lots from each drum dryer – around 40 bags – is cupped by our Quality Control team.
Dry Milling and Eletronic Sorting
A set of complete equipment to sort defects out is available at the dry mill – screening (size) , densimetric tables (density) and so on.
For fine tuning AC Café uses the “Sortex Z+”. which sorts defects by slightly difference in color through infrared optical reader.
All lots come in “Jutex” packaging and Grain Pro®.
Both farms have been Rainforest Alliance certified since 2005. For the 3,500 hectares of coffee plantation, AC Café has another 2,767 hectares of preservation land.