“Brazil is one of the biggest producers of coffee beans in the World – Brazilian Coffee”
Brazil is one of the top producing countries in the world for coffee beans. The country supplies nearly 30% of the coffee beans around the world. That means they produce and send out of the country approximately 22.5 millions of coffee bags per year.
Unlike many other coffee-producing countries, which may export all of the good coffee and drink very little, Brazilians in one year will consume about 12 million bags, which puts them in second after United States for coffee consumption in the world.
Brazilians enjoy their coffee in the form of the much-beloved cafezinho, the tiny cup of usually good-quality black coffee that is drunk by most Brazilians several times a day.
Types of Brazilian Coffee
Brazil grows both arabica and robusta, but the crop is primarily arabica, mostly dry-processed.
With both the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn passing through Brazil, much of Brazil lies in the tropical zone, and around 8 million acres of Brazilian land is dedicated to growing coffee.
Towards the northern part of Brazil, where the climate is hotter and the terrain flatter, is where the robusta (conilon variety) is grown, shaded from the more direct rays of the sun.
Higher grade of Brazilian coffee is grown in the south of Brazil, where the best arabica is grown in higher terrain, but these plateau regions are very close to the bottom edge of the tropical zone, and frost is sometimes a problem.
When frost warnings are reported in southern Brazil, international trade coffee prices jump in anticipation of a possible shortage, which goes to show how important Brazilian coffee is to the rest of the world.
Origins of Coffee in Brazil
The first coffee bush was planted in Brazil in 1727 in the state of Pará. According to the legend, the government of Brazil was looking for a cut of the coffee market and sent Lt. Col. Francisco de Melo Palheta to smuggle coffee seeds from French Guiana, ostensibly to mediate a border dispute. Instead of turning to the fortress-like coffee farms, Palheta used his personal attractions to persuade the First Lady of French Guiana. Unable to resist his charms, she gave him a bouquet spiked with seedlings at a state farewell dinner before he left for Brazil.
Seventeen states in Brazil grow many varieties of coffee, but there are five regions which dominate the exportable coffee cultivation.
Brazilian coffee beans are identified, categorized and graded by many different criteria, first of which is the port of export.
The northern state of Bahia, which produces some good washed arabica among is generally average dry-processed coffees, and small amounts of Maragogype, exports its coffee through the port of Salvador de Bahia.
The smaller state of Espirito Santos ships it rather average beans from Vitoria; the large state of Minas Gerais uses both the ports of Rio de Janeiro and the more southerly port of Santos, which is also the port for the various coffees produced in the state of Sao Paulo.
Santos exports the “flat bean” Santos and the superior Bourbon Santos. The southern-most Brazilian coffee port is Paranagua, from which the state of Parana ships its coffees.
Brazilian coffee comes from young trees of the bourbon variety, whose small, rounded beans produce excellent cup qualities, fine acidity, and sweetness. After the Brazilian bourbon trees have produced a few crops, the beans become larger and lose a bit of their flavor; the coffee is then described as “flat bean Santos”.
A coffee cherry contains two coffee beans underneath a red skin and surrounded by other layers of membranes, mucilage, and parchment. To reveal the two coffee beans the cherries have to be dried first.
There are two main methods of doing it: wet and dry. The wet method uses water to wash the coffee cherries and separate the beans and the dry method lets the cherries to naturally dry under the sun. Most Brazilians farmers dry their coffee under the sun (hence the term of Brazilian naturals) thus preserving the fruity nuances of the beans.
Let’s learn how Brazilian Coffee is Processed
1). Coffee tumbling out of roaster into cooler
Another very important characteristic of Brazilian coffee is the way the coffee cherries are processed after harvesting. Colombian coffee is known as washed Arabica, the coffee of Brazil is known as Brazilian Naturals. Both these terms refer to the way the coffee beans are removed from the fruit and dried before being roasted.
There are 3 ways to process coffee cherries in Brazil, the coffee is processed using wet, dry, and semi-washed processes, but because the weather in Brazil, most beans are processed using the natural dry method, Most Brazilians farmers dry their coffee under the sun for that the term of Brazilian naturals thus preserving the fruity nuances of the beans.
2). Dry processed coffee
In the dry method, coffee beans are dried while still in the fruit; this makes a sweet, smooth coffee but is a time-consuming process.
Wet processing involves separation, pulping and mucilage removal before drying. It has little body and sweetness and is higher in acidity than the previous processes. They are often found in refined blends.
Sun-drying, though more economical and used more widely, doesn’t produce the quality of coffee preferred by restaurants and discerning coffee lovers.
As with any other type of coffee, the flavor of the coffee is largely dependent on the method used to process it. Once the beans are picked and processed, unique flavor profiles begin to develop that are specific to the region where the beans were grown and processed.
Brazil has claims to have introduced the Pulped Natural process to the industry. The cherries are separated so as to remove all the unripe. There is a partial removal of the mucilage before drying. There is less body and sweetness and the acidity is slightly higher. Many of these are used as an espresso based.
Have a look at this interesting videos about coffee in Brazil
Coffee Museum in São Paulo – Santos
The Coffee Museum once where the Coffee Exchange was located and was where coffee prices were negotiated. It is located in the city of Santos in the state of Sao Paulo.
The place is very well-preserved and you get a chance to know more about the coffee culture in Brazil and its influences.
Address: Rua XV de Novembro nº 95, Centro – CEP: 11.010-151 Santos / SP
Phone: + 13 3213-1750
Open Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 am to 17:00 pm
Sunday- 10:00 am to 17:00 pm
Ticket: Full R$ 5,00 Half R$ 2,50
Site of the Coffee Museum
Brazilian Coffee Brands
Some of the more popular Brazilian coffee brands are Cafe Pialo, Cafe Do Ponto, Cafe Melitta, Cafe Caboclo and 3 Coracoes.
- Cafe Pilao – Roasted and Finely Ground Coffee
- Coffee Bean Direct Brazilian Santos, Whole Bean Coffee
- Lavazza Crema e Gusto Ground Coffee, Italian Espresso
- Queen City Brazilian Santos Whole Bean Coffee
- Cafe do Ponto
- Cafe Melitta
- Cafe Caboclo
- Cafe 3 Coracoes