Altitude: 800–2,250 metres (2,620–7,380 feet) above sea level
Rainfall: 1,500–2,000 millimetres (39–79 inches)
Temperature: 16–22°C (60–70°F)
‘Mantiquiera’ comes from the Tupi word Amantikir, or ‘crying mountains’, named for the large number of springs and streams found there. Part of the wider Sul de Minas region, coffees from Mantiqueira de Minas earned the designation Indicação de Procedência (IP) in 2011 and were recognised with the stricter Denominação de Origem (DO) in 2020 (Texeira and Santos 2020).
Of the 8,200 producers in the region, more than 80% are small farms less than 20 hectares in size. Typical varieties grown are Bourbon, Acaiá, Catuaí, Icatu, Novo Mundo, and Catucaí. To qualify for the DO status, coffees must score at least 83 points. Processing is mainly natural, although some pulped natural or washed coffees are produced in the area.
The high altitudes and cool temperatures can make for some outstanding coffees, typically featuring a creamy and full body, with some sweet citrus or stone fruit and floral notes. The best coffees in the region come from the central and southeastern areas clustered around Carmo de Minas, which have the highest elevations and more consistent cool temperatures (Borém at al 2018).