Brazil is the largest coffee producer and exporter in the world. This has been the scenario for centuries (since 1840). Brazilian coffee has different beans, is grown in different regions, and comes with specific flavors.
This rich diversity of coffee in Brazil is mainly due to the fact that they come from a wide variety of regions and the climate of the region shapes the flavor and note of the coffee produced there.
Brazilian coffee often comes with a nutty and chocolaty flavor. Sometimes though fruity notes such as citrus and others are also found.
If you are looking for high-quality coffee beans, you can check the Brazil coffee beans price in our store. But first, let’s take a look into Brazilian coffee in detail.
History of Brazilian Coffee
Coffee is not native to Brazil. The first coffee bush in Para, Brazil was planted by a Portuguese lieutenant, Francisco de Melo Palheta, in 1727.
The Portuguese always wanted to make a way into the coffee market. In those days, coffee was being produced in French Guiana but the then governor refused to export the seeds to Brazil.
However, while being on a diplomatic mission in French Guiana, Palheta had a secret affair with the governor’s wife and she presented Palheta with a bouquet with coffee seeds in them.
Palheta brought them back to Brazil and planted the crops in Para.
Gradually, the coffee production spread from Para to Rio de Janerio, and Brazil became the largest producer of coffee in 1840 and remains in this position to date.
Coffee Growing Trends in Brazil
Large land areas are devoted to coffee plantations in Brazil. However, they are not grown at proper altitudes. Altitude is an extremely important factor in growing high-quality beans. The lack of it causes the cherries to ripe at different rates.
This is not a problem when the cherries are handpicked because the farmer can pick only the ripe cherries. However, in Brazil, a great many of the producers use a more mechanical setup and cherries are picked by machines. While this means a large number of cherries can be picked efficiently, this also means the quality of the harvest may lack quality.
To battle this situation, many producers are using custom harvesters that pick only the ripe cherries and the unripe ones are left to ripen more.
The Coffee Growing States in Brazil
There are 32 regions spread over 14 states that grow coffee in Brazil. However, more than 90% of coffee is produced in just 4 states of Brazil.
Sul de Minas is the main coffee-growing region in Minas Gerais. The high altitude and mild temperature of this region are ideal for growing good quality coffee beans. More than 30% of total Brazilian coffee comes from Minas Gerais.
This region has high humidity and the region is cultivated by small family farms. The high humidity causes the cherries to ripen at different rates. However, the families working here often hand-pick the cherries 4 or 4 times during the harvest so that only the ripe cherries are picked.
Though the Southern belts produce Arabica, Espirito Santo mainly produces Robusta. The families working there strive hard to produce great quality coffee beans.
Sao Paulo has high altitudes, uneven terrain, and mild temperature. The Port of Santos in Sao Paulo is the leading exporter in this region.
The region of Bahia came to coffee production much later, in the 1970s. This state is known for using the latest technologies in irrigation and producing high-quality coffee beans.
Processing Techniques of Brazilian Coffee
The Brazilian coffee cherries are processed in one of these three ways:
Natural (Dry): This process involves drying the cherries in the sun, i.e. the coffee cherries are processed in natural conditions.
Semi-Washed (Pulped Natural): This process involves the removal of the cherry skin by machine and then the mucilage is left to dry and further processing.
Fully Washed (Wet): This process is widely used in the Bahia region and the process consists of pulping, fermenting, and washing the cherries before they are left to dry.
Thus you can see, Brazilian coffee has a rich history and Brazil has been the largest producer and exporter of coffee for centuries. Newer and innovative harvesting techniques are put into action thus helping in coffee harvest. If you are looking for high-quality coffee beans, you can always check the Brazil coffee beans price in our store.