How it All Started
The origin of BrazCof traces back to a 19th-century Brazilian coffee farm, Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama. Acquired in 1890 and passed down from generation to generation, the farm today is in the hands of Gabriel Dias, the great-grandson of the original owner, and also founder of BrazCof. Little did Gabriel's great-grandma know at the time, but the land she purchased sat in one of the best regions for growing coffee in the entire world - the Grass Valley (Vale da Grama) region. After the farm was purchased, Gabriel's grandfather and his brothers (in the picture above) took to work and learned how to grow and process coffee, culminating into what is today's 130+ years of coffee farming history in the family.
Gabriel & his father, the previous owner
Gabriel Dias - a Coffee Aficionado
Gabriel is an agronomic engineer by trade, and for over 30 years he has been dedicated to cultivating coffee. He is in the 4th generation of coffee farmers who have been running the farm since the 19th century, and has won multiple Cup of Excellence awards and dozens of national and local coffee competitions. Gabriel has also spearheaded multiple environmental and social initiatives for the farm and its neighbours in the Grass Valley (Vale da Grama) region, setting himself as a respected leader.
Gabriel winning the Illy Awards' 1st Place
The Grass Valley (Vale da Grama) Region
The Grass Valley region in Brazil, locally known as Vale da Grama, is a natural haven for coffee cultivation. Nestled at high altitudes of 1,000m to 1,200m, the area experiences a temperate climate with well-distributed rainfall throughout the year, creating an excellent environment for coffee trees to flourish. The mineral-rich volcanic soil, characteristic of this region, provides the perfect nourishment that coffee plants require. Furthermore, the unique topography of Grass Valley ensures natural shade for the coffee cherries, allowing them to ripen slowly. This slow maturation enhances the beans' flavour profile, contributing to their richness and complexity.
The Grass Valley (Vale da Grama) Region
Bourbon Specialty Coffees
In 2000, while still in Brazil, Gabriel and his cousin and best friend Cristiano Ottoni, founded Bourbon Specialty Coffees - a pioneering exporter of Brazilian specialty coffees. Bourbon was born out of Gabriel and Cristiano's profound love for coffee and their expertise in agronomy, and the opportunity to serve high-quality Brazilian coffee to the rest of the world. From trading 5 containers in their first year, over the last 2 decades Bourbon expanded to 1,100 containers per year. Investing in quality, innovation and technology has made the company the pioneer in the specialty coffee market in Brazil.
Cupping at Bourbon Specialty Coffees
Carvalho Coffee Roasters
After this initial success at Bourbon Specialty Coffees, in 2009 Gabriel immigrated to Canada in seek of a new lifestyle for his family. He promised he would keep one foot in Brazil and another in Canada, allowing him to run the farm while also living abroad. 1 year after moving, Gabriel opened a Canadian roastery called Carvalho Coffee (Carvalho is his middle name, which stands for "oak tree"). The coffee beans from Carvalho Coffee were (and still are) directly procured from his family farm in Brazil, creating the perfect "from farm to cup" experience for his clients. But something else happened.
Gabriel at Carvalho Coffee
The Start of BrazCof
Shortly after starting Carvalho Coffee, Gabriel started getting a lot of requests for the very green coffee beans he was bringing from Brazil. Little did he know at the time but sourcing high-quality beans from Brazil wasn't easy for roasters. Since Gabriel could easily source high-quality beans directly from his family farm and its neighbours, he decided to sell his roastery to focus solely on importing top-quality green coffee beans from the Grass Valley (Vale da Grama) region and selling via direct trade to roasteries across Canada. Juggling life between Brazil and Canada, Gabriel is passionately dedicated to bringing the finest Brazilian coffee to Canada, and he extends a warm welcome to all coffee roasters who want to try BrazCof's single-origin, superior coffee beans.
The Grass Valley Region is in the heart of Brazililan coffee cultivation