International Coffee Day: Meet Fazenda Terra Alta’s Paulo and Juliana!

International Coffee Day: Meet Fazenda Terra Alta’s Paulo and Juliana!

For International Coffee Day, we want to introduce one of our sourcing partners, Paulo and Juliana Piancastelli, founders of Fazenda Terra Alta in southeastern Brazil.

Since 2017, Buddy Brew has sourced exceptional whole bean coffees from the couple’s 210-hectare (520-acre) farm in the Cerrado region’s highlands.

Paulo and Juliana are electrical engineers by trade who earned MBAs from the University of Chicago. In 2010 they left their corporate careers to become coffee growers. They bought what was then a pasture in Ibiá, Minas Gerais, and built Fazenda Terra Alta from scratch, prioritizing quality, efficiency and sustainability.

The risk paid off in short order. The farm yielded its first harvest in 2013 and soon was earning great cupping scores and top industry awards, including first place in the Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee. In 2017, Buddy Brew’s Director of Coffee Phil Holstein reached out to the couple, and a mutually beneficial partnership was formed.

Some of Buddy Brew’s top selling blends are made with micro lot coffees from Fazenda Terra Alta, including Old Florida and Cubano Espresso. 

Buddy Brew’s Brazil Fazenda Terra Alta Roast has a complex and distinctive flavor profile that provides an “elevated Brazilian coffee experience,” according to Holstein. Its tasting notes include toasted walnut, almond or cashew, as well as cacao nibs and dark chocolate. It has a fresh and approachable lime citrus acidity that rounds out the sweetness for a highly drinkable cup. 

Paulo and Juliana say their shared passion for quality with like-minded partners keeps them going every day. 

“In coffee there is always something you can be doing better,” they said. “We wake up every day, and some nights, thinking how we can improve our farm and our coffees. To be honest, we usually dream about that too.”