When you come to The Cultch and have a latte at our Café and Wine Bar, or have a drip-brewed cup of coffee from our lobby, we are happy to say that it’s Mogiana coffee that you are tasting. Cristina Dias runs the company locally in Richmond, but the beans come from her family’s farm in Mogiana Valley in Brazil. The coffee farm was started by her great-great grandparents in the 1890s. What’s not to love about a company that is family-run for five generations, sustainably grown, and award-winning? We are reposting this article about Mogiana written by Jim Tobler originally published in WOW Travel, Kiwi Collection’s Digital Travel & Lifestyle Magazine to share more about this wonderful company.
Chocolate, caramel, and crema. It doesn’t get any better.
Cristina Dias is sitting in The Laughing Bean coffee shop on Vancouver’s East Hastings street, agreeing that the recently pulled espresso she is sipping has distinct, rich chocolate notes, with an overture of caramel. “It is because of the over-ripe beans we include in the final blend for the espresso,” she says. “When the beans get a little over-ripe, they tend to take on a bit of sweetness, and after the roasting, these notes come out nicely.” Yes they do. Acidity is very mild, richness is accentuated.
Mogiana Coffee is run by Cristina, who markets and distributes the product, and her brother, who brings the beans in raw from the family plantation in Brazil. He lives in Portland, and retired from his engineering job to dedicate his efforts full time to roasting and packaging the coffee. Grandfather Dias still lives on the plantation, and oversees the operation in Brazil.
The label has a coffee bloom on prominent display, since “It is a special time of the year, when the blooms come out. All white, like a snowfall visited us,” Cristina says. But the bloom lasts two or three days only, and the petals drop, to later reveal the ripening, reddening beans themselves.
A Labour of Love
The property is called Cachoeira Farm, and nestles in rich volcanic soil on the border between Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. Ecology is foremost on their minds, partially as a legacy to future generations, and also because it ensures a high quality bean. Hand-picked, and all energy consumed in the process of growing and harvesting is derived from sources on the farm itself.
There is also a school, with 300 students, from both the families working at Mogiana and from neighboring farms as well. The school is named after Dona Mathilde de Carvalho Dias, great grandmother to Cristina. She lived to 103 years of age, and her diary, a book, was titled “Amor e Trabalho”. Labour of Love.
Perhaps that is why that espresso tastes so fine. Living history, and an ongoing commitment to sustainable farming, even including education. We can look forward to drinking excellent coffee and sharing it with our own grandchildren.