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  7. Alta Mogiana Coffee: A Time-Tested Brazilian Treasure

Alta Mogiana Coffee: A Time-Tested Brazilian Treasure

by Mar 1, 2023Brazilian Regions, Coffee0 comments

The region of Alta Mogiana can be described as traditional yet constantly innovative. Located on the border between the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, coffee cultivation in the region began around 200 years ago and includes municipalities from both states, with eight municipalities from Minas Gerais and fifteen from São Paulo, making up a terroir that is privileged by its average altitude, ranging from 800 to 1000 meters, as well as its tropical climate with an average temperature of 21°C in the summer and 17°C in the winter. All of this contributes to the production of Arabica coffee in this territory that has history, tradition, and a lot of passion for coffee farming.

How it all began

The coffee-growing region of Alta Mogiana began its history in the 1880s and its development is linked to the movement of the railroad that originated from the city of Campinas in São Paulo, and traveled through municipalities in the interior of the same state and Minas Gerais, facilitating the transportation and flow of production. The name is derived from a classification of three regions based on distance: Baixa, Média, and Alta Mogiana – which means low, medium and high. With the inauguration of the Franca Station, there was a possibility of transporting the production. The railroad brought urban mobility and favored agricultural growth, especially in coffee farming, which consolidated itself as the main economic activity.

At this time, there was an increase in the population of immigrants, mainly Italians, accompanied by a vertiginous development in coffee production. Concentrated in the hands of large landowners, the land was used in a partnership between the producers and the immigrants, being profitable and a factor that made the region a hub in coffee farming.

Alta Mogiana Region

Alta Mogiana today

Located in the southwestern portion of São Paulo and 400 kilometers from the capital of Minas Gerais, the municipalities of Alta Mogiana such as Claraval, Capetinga, Cássia, Ibiraci, Itamogi, Sacramento, São Sebastião do Paraíso, and São Tomás de Aquino have produced beans that surpass 85 points in the classification tests of the Brazilian Association of Specialty Coffees.

The properties are mostly small, but they are aligned with modernity and technology, using high-quality infrastructure and constantly seeking professionalization. The highways are one of the highlights, as, if before the railroads were responsible for transporting the production, today the paved roads in excellent condition take the green gold produced in Alta Mogiana to various destinations in Brazil.

Indication of Origin safeguards history and production

The constant pursuit of coffee quality, combined with the historical and geographical factors of the region, motivated producers and the entire chain to organize themselves to achieve the Indication of Origin of the region.

Thus, the coffee produced in the territory of Alta Mogiana is protected and its origin is identified as a unique production in a terroir that has a history, tradition, and genuinely unique production practices.

By organizing themselves, the coffee production chain founded the Alta Mogiana Specialty Coffee (AMSC), an organization that guides and assists specialty coffee producers on grain quality and good practices on the property, as well as taking care of protecting the identity of the specialty coffees produced there, which are characterized by their distinctive aroma and flavor.

In general, the region as a whole is marked by the production of excellent coffees, from commercial to specialty lines. The region that had the railroad as the beginning of its history in coffee farming writes a new chapter of progress and prominence in coffee farming with national and international recognition.

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