Everything you Need to Know About Brazilian Coffee
Brazilian coffee is now as famous as samba, caipirinhas and capoeira!
Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world, and most specifically, of Arabica. In total, Brazil’s coffee production represents a third of the world’s coffee production. For a long time, this has led the coffee world to think that Brazil’s emphasis on quantity meant a weaker quality.
Indeed, the coffee world tended to underestimate Brazilan coffee’s flavour profile and the overall quality of a Brazilian cup of coffee. However, over the years, Brazil made significant changes to change this perception by encouraging the production of specialty-grade coffees as well as organic and fair trade certified coffees.
A Bit of History of Brazilian Coffee
The small and the big history of coffee in Brazil
First off, you need to know that Brazilian coffee was imported! Coffee was introduced in 1727 to Brazil by Francisco de Mello Palheta, a Portuguese lieutenant who brought coffee crops from Guyana (also imported from Africa). The Brazilian coffee empire started with a liaison between this lieutenant and the Guyana governor’s wife who secretly gave him coffee cuttings in a bouquet of flowers.
Romanticised? Maybe but it was the begininng of Brazil’s reign over the coffee world!
Brazil: The largest coffee producer and exporter
Today, Brazil produces 32 % of the world’s coffee production and is therefore the largest coffee producer and exporter. Brazil exports two-thirds of its coffee production which reprensents approximately 60% of the world’s coffee.
Despite this massive export, Brazil isn’t the largest coffee consumer in the world. Indeed, Finland drinks the most coffee with 12.5 kg per person each year when Brazil and the United States barely reach 5 kg per person each year!
Brazilian Coffee : A Land of Specialty Coffee
Brazil uses the latest technologies in its “Fazendas”, its coffee farms that are developing rapidly. These technological advancements made cultivation methods more efficient as it was able to produce a higher quantity of coffee beans.
Indeed, Brazilian plantations have the highest yield in the world with 12 to 35 bean bags per hectare.
However, here quantity also means quality: Brazilian coffee producers are offering more and more Specialty coffees.
The Brazilian government supports this move towards specialty coffee production by setting up specific programmes such as the Coffee Quality Program (PQC) which promotes and help the production of Specialty Coffee.
Since we are talking about specialty coffee, I would strongly suggest that you try Rose Diamond by Cafés Lugat: a Label Coffee pure origin with gourmet notes of chocolate and peanuts. A smooth and full-bodied coffee.
You can also check out this Ground Coffee Brazil Buena by Cosmai which is more intense thanks to its darker roast.
The Main Characteristics of Brazilian Coffee
Let’s have a closer look at the taste and the flavours of Brazilian coffee!
Indeed, Brazilian coffee is renowed for being smooth, well-rounded with little acidity. Generally, Brazilian coffees are known to be full-bodied with nutty notes and less intense (unless their roast is very dark).
More fun facts about Brazilian coffee:
- 67% Arabica and 33% Robusta
- Several botanical varieties
For Arabica, you can find the Typica, Bourbon, Caturra and Maragogype variety.
For Robusta, the Conillon variety.
- An growing altitude between 200 and 1300 metres
- A mechanical method of harvest (stripping)
Moreover, because Brazil is such a big country, mechanical harvests are preferred over manual harvests. Coffee farms are much bigger than in any other producing countries which make the mechanical method a timesaver and also less costly in terms of labour.
Here’s a little selection of my favourite Brazilian coffes:
- Several processing methods for Brazilian coffee
Dried, semi-washed or washed depending on the farms. Check out our blog article about washed coffee beans to know more about the process :)
- A mechanical or electronic selection of the cherries
- A harvest period frm May to August
- Distinctive aromas
If you like strong coffee, try these Brazilian coffee beans with and Italian (dark) roast:
Coffee Growing Regions of Brazilian Coffee
There are 6 big coffee growing regions in Brazil:
– Minas Gerais –
First, it is the Brazilian State where you can find the most of the coffee plantations.
The State has 4 producing regions : Sul de Minas, Cerrado, Minas Chapada, Minas Gerais Mountains.
Which is about 1 042 310 hectares!
Also, the Cerrado region was recognised as a gourmet coffee production region by the Geographical Institute in 1997. 200 farms has been awarded this appellation, acknowledging the quality of their coffee.
Finally, most exported coffees from this State go through a washed process which is now typical of the region.
– Bahia –
This region produces mainly Arabica, and specifically the most well-known “washed” Arabica of Brazil.
– Espirito Santo –
Located in the South East of the country, the plantations are almost all of Robusta. These coffee beans are mostly used for blends because they don’t have the same renowed flavours as Arabica.
– São Paulo –
– Paraná –
– Rondônia –
Finally, it is in this regions that grows the Conillon variety (similar to Robusta). Even if its quality is less valued, many producers were awarded prizes of excellence in 2019 for their products as their quality is rising significantly.
That’s the end of this short introduction to Brazilian coffee! Hopefully, you feel more tempted to try them for their quality and their specific aromas. You can browse our website for more Brazilian coffee beans options. Tell us what you think!