Unique processing of Brazil Ecoagrícola


Chemically, fermentation, or fermentation, involves the breakdown of more complex substances. It is a way of processing coffee that can improve or destroy its taste. Fermentation is part of the post-harvest processing of coffee. This processing takes place either anaerobically, where the coffee cherries ferment without air, or aerobically, i.e. simple fermentation in the presence of oxygen.

It is important to monitor the whole process carefully as it is the uncontrolled fermentation that can lead to a chemical or mouldy taste in the coffee. However, if the fermentation is successful, it brings out the best qualities in the coffee. Combining craft and science can produce amazing results and fascinating flavours. It is through the use of controlled fermentation methods thatEcoagrícola creates new and original Brazilian speciality coffees.


Brazil reigns supreme in the coffee bean market. No wonder, since its location is extremely favourable to coffee growing. One third of the world's traded coffee comes from Brazil. Seventeen of the 26 states of the Brazilian federation account for this amount of coffee produced. Up to 98 % of total production is grown in the states of Sao Paulo, Paraná, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.

It is in the northern part of Minas Gerais that the Chapadas de Minas region is located. Here, on the plate au ofthe Serra de Cabral at 1100 m above sea level, there are numerous springs forming streams, cascading waterfalls and ponds. It rains heavily in this area from November to April. In June, the dry season begins and lasts until September. During these months the harvest takes place and it does not rain at all, which is anabsolutely ideal climate for drying coffee.


It was here that Henrique Flanzer bought some land in the 1970s to engage in forestry projects. In 2000 Henrique retired and his sons, Marcelo and Roberto, started working on plans for the next 30 years.

The brothers decided to devote themselves to growing coffee. They took into account all the conditions of the region (altitude, local climate and terroir) to choose the right variety of coffee tree. They needed a variety that would thrive best here and produce high quality coffee with high yields.

At the same time, they had to take care of the infrastructure and process set-up. Despite Brazil being a coffee giant, coffee had never been grown here. The brothers had to start from scratch and in 2006 they planted their first coffee nursery.

Even today, Marcelo and Roberto Flanzer are the only coffee company in the region with their farm.


At harvest time, the farm always doubles the number of workers on a regular basis. All the coffee is hand-picked by trained employees. The pickers gather the cherries into sacks, which are left to lie in pleasant conditions in the shade of the coffee trees. During this time, the coffee undergoes a process called tropical fermentation. The cherries are then sorted by hand. The skin is mechanically removed and the coffee beans are then slowly dried until the desired degree of moisture is reached. Finally, the beans rest in dark rooms at a standardised temperature for 30 days.

Throughout the process, the coffee is carefully monitored according to innovative procedures that allow any quality problems to betraced and identified so that they can be avoided in the future. These methods are the outputs of the project for quality management of post-harvest operations. Professor Flavius Borém, a world-leading coffee quality scientist from the University of Lavras, has been involved in this project, which Ecoagrícola has been working on since 2015. The application of these procedures ensures that the beans sent to the roasters, where they are roasted to their full potential, meet the high standards of quality and taste of the selected coffee.


Ecoagrícola's investment in quality processes and experimental processing has paid off, as evidenced by the many awards it has received:

  • 2019 Cup of Excellence Winner
  • 2017 Cup of Excellence Winner
  • 2017 BSCA Aroma - Naturals 6th place
  • 2017 Minas Gerais quality Contest 1st place
  • illycaffe´s Sustainable Supplier of the Year 2014/2015
  • 2015-2017 Ernesto Illy Prize for Espresso finalist for three consecutive years
  • 2017 Coffee of the Year finalist


Marcelo and Roberto do not only run their company for economic profit, ecology and sustainabilityare also important to them . Therefore, when setting up their growing processes, they included the provision of ecological (and therefore economic) irrigation in their plan. On their farm, they therefore use so-called circular irrigation, which reduces water consumption. Since 2016, a special monitoring system has also helped them grow coffee. This can ensure that each plant receives exactly the amount of water it actually needs, so that water is not wasted unnecessarily.

This ecological approach of the Flanzer brothers has been intrinsically linked to their farm since the very beginning of their company. Their farm is adjacent to the permanently protected Reserva da Borralha. It is anarea of 2000 hectares of land that is completely untouched by man. The brothers founded the company to generate funds for ecological conservation. The company name Ecoagricola itself refers to this idea, consisting of the words eco - ecological and agrícola - agriculture. As of 2017, their organic farming has been certified by theRainforest Alliance with 97.7 points out of 100.

The company also helps small farmers in the area, engaging in various environmental education programs and in local community development by investing in school repairs or student uniforms, for example. The Flanzer brothers' company shows howsuccessful business canbe combined with sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.