What is a Terroir?

“Terroir brings out the characteristics of the given variety. Since every terroir is different, this means that it brings out these characteristics in different ways. For example, altitude, soil and climate, are essential for coffee to express its potential. It will decisively influence the development of the grains. As a result, even the same plant can express itself in a totally different way depending on the region of the crop”. In other words terroir is what makes a Brazilian coffee different from a Colombian, Ethiopian etc.

“Terroir” comes from the french word “terre”. Terroir is understood by the set of characteristics that govern each crop. These are latitude, altitude, soil type, climate, rainfall, wind and sunlight exposed to each bush. Thus, the terroir works like the “conductor of an orchestra”. It directly influences the taste and sensory “notes” of Coffee Plantations. That is to say, the development of the fruit, the flavor, the aroma, the color of the grain and even the personality of each type of roast.

On the market, the terroir concept is already well known as its influence determines the quality of the beans. Therefore, with the development of coffee lovers culture, consumers also seek to know more about the special coffee in their cup. In this sense, understanding a terroir is developing the ability to know what to expect from each sip.

How important is Altitude?

The higher you go, the sweeter and the higher quality the fruits, are going to get. The elevation directly affects the process of the maturation of the fruit. The fruits with slower development have characteristics such as higher concentration of sugars. As a result giving the coffee a sweetness much appreciated in specialty coffees.
Brazil is known for its naturals processing methods that bring out sweetness and body.

Café Santa Helena grows at 1200 meters of altitude what gives it its special flavor!


Why is Brazilian terroir so famous?



Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer. Much of the coffee grown in low dry regions which bring out its sweetness.

Thanks to Brazil’s territorial extension, and accounting for 30% of the World’s coffee production, terroirs vary by region. “As a rule, Brazilian coffee have a very prominent sweetness and are famous for it, being each region and plantation having their own characteristic.

Coffee plantations in Brazil are privileged, due to the country’s location on the center of the equatorial zone. That means same climate, rainfall and temperature throughout the yearly seasons – including heat, which is favourable to production.

About 80% of total coffee cultivation in the country, uses beans varieties such as Mundo Novo and Catuaí. Each variety is divided into strains or varietals, most of the times they are distinguishable by the color of the fruit, such as the Red Catuaí and Yellow Catuaí varieties.

Where does our coffee comes from?


The main coffee producing region in the state of Minas Gerais is in the Southern.

Fazenda Santa Helena is located on the Southern State of Minas Gerais. It produces Organic and Fairtrade Arabica coffee beans at an altitude of 1200 meters. The variety of coffee plantations is Red Catuaí.

The organic coffee production system is the same as the traditional system used on the end of the 19th century. As a result, the plants grow only with natural organic fertilizers, such as chicken manure or compost and coffee pulp.

Harvesting is done manually and the coffee fruits dries on the sun on the farm’s large terraces. (Natural process)

The quality, consistency and transparency is all about the terroir and management practices that strive for excellence at all stages of production.

Each coffee has a personality, and its roast reflects that. Be aware that dark roasting coffee at high degree temperature is a process commonly used to hide defects in the grains and further accentuate the bitterness and hardness of the drink.

“Good coffee has a feeling of natural sweetness, and does not require the addition of sugars”.

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