Brazilian Coffee

Brazil is renowned the world over for the quality of its coffee, and it has a long history of coffee growing. Coffee was introduced in Brazil by Francisco de Mello Palheta of Cayenne, French Guiana in the year 1727, and quickly became incredibly popular. Today, Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world, and is responsible for both standard blends and many in the specialty coffee industry.

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Types of Coffee

Most plantations in Brazil are smaller than ten hectares in size, and yet the country is still the largest coffee producer in the world, singlehandedly supplying a quarter of the world’s coffee. Eighty percent of the coffee that is grown in Brazil is a form of Arabica.

Most of the beans are naturally processed usingthe dry method. This is unusual in that most other countries have moved on to wet-processing. However, Brazil is one of the few parts of the world where the weather is suitable for dry-processing all-year round. 

Because of the way that Brazilian coffee is processed, it tends to have a heavy body, and a sweet, complex and smooth flavour. The coffee growers have spent a lot of time and effort on figuring out ways to process the beans that will prevent fermentation and ensure that under-ripe beans are removed before the drying process begins.

Some Brazilian coffee growers use a pupled natural form of processing, which produces the full body of dry-processed coffee but also gives the coffee an acidic flavour. The country is known for producing some of the world’s best pulped natural coffees. In fact, at the 2000 Gourmet Cup competition that was held in Brazil, every single winner had produced their coffees using this method.

The Industry in Brazil

Coffee is a major export for the Brazilian economy. In fact, Brazil has a group called the Brazilian Institute do Café which sets quotas for the import and export of coffee. When this organisation launched, its remit was to emphasize high volumes of production in Brazil, rather than high quality coffee. This caused a lot of problems for specialty coffee producers. In a bid to protect their business, coffee producers banded together and would blend their coffees together, regardless of the quality, then name it after the port from which the coffee was to be exported.

Fortunately, this quota system did not last long. In the 1990s, the Brazilian government changed the quota laws, and this allowed smaller growers to focus on quality. There are still some growers than make coffee blends, but there are just as many, if not more, single origin coffees coming out of Brazil.

Today, each region of Brazil has developed its own distinct type of coffee and has refined the processing method carefully. The country is best known for Caturra, Bourbon, Mundo Novo and Typica coffee, and the most highly regarded coffee growing states are Bahia, Espirito Santos, Sao Paulo, Parana and Minas Gerais. However, even the minor coffee growing states are worthy of a loo