Brazil is one of the leaders in coffee production and trading, and the premium market in this sector has also gained prominence every day. According to the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association (ABIC), the specialty coffee niche is expected to grow by 20% this year alone there. Aware of this demand, entrepreneurs are betting on initiatives that bring consumers closer to farmers.
Founded by four people willing to make a difference: Débora Azevedo Reis, who is a coffee farmer's daughter and has a passion for coffee in her DNA, Sérgio Henrique Miranda Junior, master in computer science, Marcos Nogueira Alves, systems analyst and João Henrique Gonçalves Neves, an agronomist. They joined forces to provide a differentiated experience to Brazilians coffee consumers and became partners in coffee&joy, who is dedicated to deliver high-quality coffee.
According to Débora, the idea of the innovative venture is to bridge the gap between specialty coffee producers and the consumer. Everything is marketed over the internet. The website www.coffeeandjoy.com.br, which has been active since August 2016, provides a tour for lovers of this valuable drink. The website has a blog with varied news, a glossary with terms related to the segment, tips and recipes on ways of brewing coffee, e-books for those who want to deepen knowledge, an e-commerce with various items ranging from mugs and shirts to grinders and brewing methods. And there are also videos that show the history of the producer and the properties where the coffee is grown.
Moreover, a brand new IOS and Android App was just launched to make the connection between farmers and coffee consumers even more intimate.
“The specialty coffee universe is way beyond what is in the cup, it involves people, coffee makers, information, culture and a true lifestyle. Knowing the origin of the products we consume brings us even closer to what really matters, values the sustainable production chain and the main responsible: the farmer” explains Débora.
And there is more. The highlight is the possibility of subscribing to get specialty coffees at your door. Coffee lovers all over Brazil can make a subscription plan, which is flexible and allows them to choose the frequency of shipping and also which and how many coffees to ship. Also, the subscriber can choose whether to receive the coffee on whole beans or grind sized according to a specific brewing method. They receive at home a charming box of selected coffees with a fresh roast that is held weekly. In addition, the order always comes with an exclusive treat, such as mugs, secret coffees, ecobags, pins and mug holders. Deliveries are made throughout Brazil.
Besides all of the online experience, a project that has been going on since 2017 is an experiential tourism, with visitation itineraries in coffee farm in the south of the brazilian State of Minas Gerais, so that the coffee subscriber can get to know the coffee production and enjoys the whole experience of that specialty coffee he drinks at its home. “Our land is blessed, fertile and beautiful. It has to be valued, ”emphasizes Débora. The goal is really to transform the whole experience of coffee consumers.
To this end, each year, at the time of the coffee harvest, coffee&joy subscribers who are interested in taking part in the immersion to learn about coffee production, sign up to take part in a raffle, where only a small group is selected to participate in this visit through the coffee chain. The tour has no cost (except traveling and lodging) and they get to know the whole process: coffee planting, harvesting and postharvest handling, grain drying and processing. These parts of the tour happens all in one of the farms that are part of the coffee&joy menu.
Subscribers then go to a coffee warehouse to learn about the commercial classification of coffee and the storage of beans, which are later sold on at the market. In the end of the tour, the group goes to a coffee roaster and coffee shop where they see the magic happen and the raw grain becomes the brown, flavor delicious bean we know. There's no better way to end this day than by tasting a cup of coffee. This is all part of the plan to connect coffee drinkers with the source and the long and careful process of bringing quality coffee to people's tables.
Twelve farmers, fifteen different coffees
Currently, coffee&joy offers fifteen coffees produced in twelve farms from 5 different States across Brazil: Bahia, Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná. All of them from Arabian species, known for the highest quality fruits and sensory complexity. Bringing sensory diversity to subscribers, they have varieties of different grains, such as yellow bourbon, red catuaí, topaz, etc.
The entrepreneurs carefully selected the producers, watching the quality of the coffee and the production method. “We intend to bring people a specialty coffee, with origin and history, and we want the producer to be valued,” explains Sérgio.
To achieve this goal, João and Sérgio travel around Brazil to make connections with farmers located in areas recognized or not for planting quality coffee. Together with these producers, they work post-harvest processes, aiming to obtain the best possible qualitative result with that farmer.
During the harvest period, which usually takes place once a year, coffee tasters select and rank the best batches of each selected farm and choose the ones that stand out the most to stay for a year on the coffee&joy menu.
With the choice of the best batches set, now it is the time to tell everyone how that unique coffee originated. The connections made to reach this point are translated into videos and texts telling for those who will consume the coffees, where and how it got to the cup.
This connection created by coffee&joy partners is passed on to coffee consumers. In the videos, coffee producers have the opportunity to get their message across. Their battle for the perfect coffee and the whole history about the production of the most consumed beverage in the world.
On the other hand, coffee consumers can send messages and leave their feedback about the coffee that they've received and enjoy at their home and it will go straight to the producer.
A choice of sustainable consumption that has no coming back from, where the path from the farm to the cup is narrowed and the relationship of consumption is of respect and affection, where the parties actually have a relationship built on common interests: the producer in his life work and the consumer to have traceability and certainty of the quality of the coffee they are drinking every day.
The whole Process
Joao, Débora, Sérgio and Marcos purchase the raw grain and store it in microlots in a warehouse in the city of Três Pontas, in southern of the state of Minas Gerais and one of the biggest coffee producers of the world. All coffees are evaluated and scored by professionals certified by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), who are the professionals able to perform the physical and sensory evaluation of specialty coffees.
According to Sérgio, to perform the process of roasting the grains, several tests are performed with a qualified team to define the most appropriate profile according to the coffee. In addition, as a way of instigating the sensory capacity of subscribers and also making different coffees available for different tastes, at least 4 roasting profiles are defined: from light to medium dark. In this way, coffee&joy offers its subscribers from more intense coffees, with chocolate notes, to more fruity and delicate coffees, with floral notes and high sensorial complexity.
To bring subscribers more freshness, every week coffee&joy roasts small batches of coffees according to these profiles.
In Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, the product is packed with information such as the name of the farm, the location, the altitude, the sensory notes, the production process and the variety of the grain. The coffees that are sent to the subscribers never have more than 7 days of the date of roasting.
Freshness, quality and care for its origins is what keeps João, Sérgio, Marcos and Débora going. According to the coffee&joy partners, the certainty that they will make the difference on the farmers family lifes and in the whole coffee chain is a valuable reward.