Abstract: The coffee cultivar Catuaí is among the most successful cultivars in Brazilian agriculture; it has been on the market for more than 40 years. It was obtained by Dr. Alcides Carvalho, a researcher of the Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC), from the cross between ‘Caturra’ and ‘Mundo Novo’ carried out in 1949 for the purpose of joining plant vigor with small plant size. Our aim was to report the activities that culminated in the recommendation of 16 lines of ‘Catuaí’, consisting of eight lines with red fruit and eight with yellow fruit, analyzing the data of several experiments. The decision regarding what to recommend was made in the F1:2 generation, based on two harvests. It became clear that Dr. Alcides should be taken as an example by all breeders, above all in his persistence, scientific rigor, and belief that farmers can be an important ally of breeders.