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Ipanema Coffees Opens New Sustainable Cupping Room

Ipanema Coffee has announced the opening of its new cupping room and quality control laboratory.

Designed to require minimum resources, the construction expresses the sustainability principles practiced on the farms – reduce, reuse and recycle. The reuse of containers, the use of photovoltaic cells and the reuse of woods from coffee plantations, among other initiatives, make the quality control lab and the cupping room a model of innovation and sustainability on the field.

“In addition to the control and monitoring centres of coffee processing, the Coffee Quality Control room is the main meeting point of customers and visitors from several countries, who have the opportunity to test countless coffee possibilities and create products and solutions for specific demands. Our goal with this new space was to make customers not only have a unique cupping experience of our coffees, but also testify the concern we have, in each detail, related to the harmony between the production processes and the environment,” says Washington Rodrigues, CEO of Ipanema Coffees, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

According to Ipanema, the 26.25 ft (8 m²) façade, made of glass, ensures natural light inside. Through the window customers can see the coffee drying, processing and farming.

To reduce energy consumption, twelve photovoltaic panels have been installed, which generate 70% of the energy needed, that is, around 490 kWh per month. As the system is connected to the electric power system, it is possible to deduct the surplus generated and not consumed from the electric bill. And every room is equipped with LED lamps. To reach a more effective solution from the acoustic and thermal point of view, as well as reduce the possibility of warm air getting into it and the use of air conditioners, the internal wall coating has been made with PET thermal-acoustic insulation. Linked to the green roofs, this technique can reduce internal temperature in 42.8°F (6°C). All the water discarded is treated by an anaerobic bio-digester of low maintenance.

The cupping tables are made of wood from 45-year-old coffee tree trunks cut as part of the plantation natural renewal; reclaimed wood, rainwater harvesting and bricks recovered from old constructions compose the set of details of its modern and sustainable design. The liquids that are left from the “spitting process” are used in recycling and the solids reused in the garden as fertiliser.

Respecting the value of natural resources, the project spared altogether 280 tonnes of building materials, avoided the production of 16 tonnes of debris, and will reduce CO2 emissions by 98 tons in 20 years, Ipanema says.

During coffee harvest season – from April to September – more than 500 cups are tested in the Cupping Room in a single day. On average, two hundred thousand bags are analysed per year. Ipanema’s quality specialists divide coffee into lots, considering characteristics such as size, aspect and colour. Roasting analysis is made in diverse types of the drink preparation.

“It is a sophisticated alchemy, conducted in a differentiated manner by the Ipanema’s Q Graders team so that each detail represents innovation and quality, therefore customers and visitors have no doubt that each coffee bean from Ipanema is, in fact, a high-quality specialty coffee,” says Rodrigues.

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