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Fazenda São Benedito
Antonio José Vilella - Família Pereira

Cocoa, marzipan, low acidity, full body, dark roast

Fazenda São Benedito is owned by Antonio José Vilella or ‘Toninho’ as he is known locally. The farm is planted with Yellow Bourbon, Catuaí, Acaia, and Catucaí and there are 234 hectares are dedicated to environmental preservation which includes a natural reserve with several springs and waterfalls. Toninho worked in civil engineering before coffee and brings the structure and rigor from his previous profession to the farm. He pays vigilant attention to pruning using both the safra zero and recepa techniques depending on the tree and plot situation. The recepa method effectively stumps the tree at around eighty centimetres high and is a last resort when a tree is getting beyond its best years either by age or disease. The safra zero method is a technique used to equalise the harvest over the course of its harvest cycle. Coffee trees have a biennial pattern; a very good harvest year is always followed by less productive year. After the good year, the tree is pruned back to less than two meters and the previous year’s growth is removed – the effect is almost like skipping the less productive year whilst keeping the tree in shape and healthy. Coffee cherries are produced on new growth and coffee flowers only on green branches. Once a branch has produced coffee it turns brown and will not flower again (so will not produce a crop), therefore pruning is a crucial activity in coffee farming. Pruning is also used to control the distance between coffee trees and to allow better sun exposure during the ripening period. Since 2003 the farm has been part of Grupo Sertão and its coffees are processed at the Fazenda IP farm. Please see for more information about São Benedito and photos of the coffee processing.