A beleza dos campos e da lida na produção dos cafés especiais na Serra da Mantiqueira, sul de Minas

Fotografia Ricardo Martins

A Serra da Mantiqueira tem algumas das paisagens mais belas do Brasil. As montanhas cobertas por Mata Atlântica e araucárias formam vales que guardam alguns tesouros: casarões históricos, vilas caipiras, pastos de gado, plantações de banana e vastos cafezais.

Nascido ao pé da serra, na cidade de São José dos Campos (SP), o fotógrafo Ricardo Martins tem se dedicado a registrar as belezas da região. Publica seus ensaios em livros que ele mesmo edita pela editora que criou, a RM Produções. Foi na pequena cidade de Cristina (MG) que um novo mundo se descortinou para ele: o dos cafés especiais.

Até então, para Martins, não havia nada melhor do que as versões “extra forte” vendidas nos supermercados do país. Naquele pedacinho do Sul de Minas, porém, ele pode provar bebidas preparadas a partir dos grãos que, até há pouco tempo, só eram exportados. Para nós, brasileiros, ficava o produto de menor qualidade.

“Nunca pensei que fosse tomar café como tomo vinho”, diz o fotógrafo que há tempos tem o hábito de degustar boas taças. O encantamento levou à ideia de um novo projeto: fotografar os cafés, as plantações e os produtores. O resultado está publicado no livro “Cafés da Mantiqueira”, que Martins acaba de lançar. A obra traz QR codes que dão acesso a pequenos vídeos com os bastidores dos ensaios.

RASTROS HISTÓRICOS

Fotografia Ricardo Martins

As belas paisagens dos cafezais guardam também uma parte importante da história do país. O grão chegou por aqui em meados do século 17, trazido pelos portugueses. Chamado então de “ouro verde”, era produzido pela mão de obra de africanos escravizados.

Com o tempo, porém, as políticas de abolição foram substituindo o trabalho negro pelo dos imigrantes italianos que aqui chegaram a partir da segunda metade do século 19. A mistura de povos, seus hábitos e costumes forjaram a cultura da região. E os vestígios disso estão presentes ainda hoje, nas construções, na culinária e na paisagem não só da Serra da Mantiqueira, mas de todo o Sudeste.

BEBIDA COM LENDA

Em um texto de abertura do livro, o jornalista Júlio Ottoboni retoma algumas histórias e lendas sobre o café, que é um fruto de origem africana. Acredita-se que tenha começado a ser cultivado há cerca de 1200 anos, na região da Abissínia, onde hoje está a Etiópia. Conta Ottoboni que, no século 9, um pastor descobriu por acaso os efeitos do grão quando uma de suas cabras provou a planta. Os animais ficaram, então, excitados, correndo pelo pasto.

Fotografia Ricardo Martins

Outra história vem do imaginário religioso do Oriente Médio. Segundo ela, Alá teria proibido o consumo de vinho, o que entristeceu Maomé. Como consolo, o Arcanjo Gabriel ofereceu o café como bebida a ele. Maomé sentiu-se, então, revigorado, “capaz de derrubar 40 cavaleiros e conquistar 40 mulheres. O líder religioso estimulou o seu uso entre os súditos”, diz o texto.

Fonte: Nossa – Reportagens Especiais do Uol 

 

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