General Cup Profile
The profiles in Brazil can vary greatly throughout the country. Traditionally, and pre–specialty coffee, Brazils were known for their body, mild sweetness, and nuttiness. Today, those Brazils definitely still exist, but due to advancements in sorting and processing, we are seeing soft cups that have an intense sweetness in the form of caramel and chocolate, big bodies, and supporting complementary acidity. Well-processed naturals bring in a variety of red fruits to the mix, to make these coffees really shine. The lots full of quakers, hard cups, and "rio" are no longer the only option from Brazil. We are proud to have some extremely special Brazils in our lineup throughout the year.
Minas Gerais (Sul de Minas, Cerrado de Minas, Chapada de Minas, Matas de Minas), São Paulo (Mogiana, Centro-Oeste de São Paulo), Espirito Santo (Montanhas do Espiritu Santo, Conilon Capixaba), Bahia (Planalto de Bahia, Cerrado da Bahia), Parana (Norte Pionerio do Parana) and Rondonia
The largest coffee-growing region in Brazil, which accounts for nearly 50% of country’s production, and is one of the major specialty-coffee sources. The coffee-growing area is a staggering 2,488,000 acres.
- Sul Minas: The region's climate is mild, and rainfalls are favorable. The average farm size is 24 acres (10 hectares). Processing methods are pulped natural, washed and natural.
- Cerrado de Minas: This region comprises plateaus with highland tropical climate, characterized by rainy summers and dry winters, ideal for cropping high-quality naturals. Farms here range from medium to large in size. The average productivity is 9.7 bags per acre. Processing methods are pulped natural and natural.
- Chapada: This region is characterized by high plateaus that alternate with valleys, crossed by rivers. Processing methods are washed and natural.
- Matas de Minas: This region has rough terrains with a warm and humid climate. Processing methods are pulped natural and natural
The state of São Paulo is one of the most traditional coffee-growing areas in Brazil, and is the home to the Port of Santos (where coffee departs Brazil). The region is planted with 413,027 acres of 100% Arabica coffee.
- Mogiana: Favorable altitudes, mild temperatures and rough terrain allow for the production of good-quality coffee. Processing methods: pulped natural and natural.
- Centro-Oeste de São Paulo: This region abounds with hills and plateaus. Most farms are small and medium in size. The southeast border with Paraná produces specialty coffee. Processing methods: pulped natural and natural.
The region ranks second in coffee production in Brazil, with Arabica production making up 28% of its coffee yield. The area planted with coffee is 1,137,128 acres.
- Montanhas do Espirito Santo: Arabica production is adequate due to mild temperatures and highlands. Processing methods are pulped natural and natural.
- Conilon Capixaba: Honoring the name, Conilon (Robusta) is cropped in this area. Coffee is grown on small properties at low altitudes. Processing method here is primarily natural.
Located in the northeast region of Brazil, this area is characterized by high altitudes and a warm climate. The area planted with coffee is 344,835 acres. About 75% percent of the coffee farmed is Arabica.
- Cerrado da Bahia: As the most high-tech region of Brazil, full mechanization prevails from cropping to harvesting, facilitated by the uniform ripening induced by irrigation. Processing methods: pulped natural and natural
- Planalto da Bahia: Dry summers and rainy winters characterize this region. Located in the middle of the state, it is made up of highlands. The average farm is 74 acres. Processing methods: pulped natural and natural.
This region exclusively grows Arabica coffee. Coffee plantations are dense, with high productivity. Cropped area is 202,247 acres.
- Norte Pionero de Parana: Coffee is grown on small farms, averaging 25 acres. Processing methods: pulped natural and natural.
Region exclusively dedicated to the Conilon (Robusta) coffee.
- Café de Rodonia: Tropical climate and high temperatures characterize this region. Farms are located at low altitudes. Processing method: natural.
Natural and pulped natural are kings in Brazil. Naturally processed coffee is still the dominant method of processing. Some will tell you that because coffee was traditionally processed this way, for 150 years before depulping machines were introduced, legacy leant itself to a distinctly “Brazilian” cup. This process did help to compensate for the generally lower altitudes in the country. Both natural and pulped natural add a level of sweetness and complexity that would not be attainable without it. Fully washed process is done in very small amounts, and is often very hard to come across.
The most unique aspect of coffee production in Brazil is the picking methods. Brazil traditionally will “strip-pick” coffee. This means that they often will only make one or two passes on a tree. In the event that there is uneven ripening, all degrees of ripeness are picked. Of course, in specialty coffee, we are only interested in the ripest cherries. This demand has led to intensive post-pick sorting in Brazil, using many tools during both the wet and dry milling to separate out the top cups.
History of production in the country:
Francisco de Melo Palheta, in the state of Pará, Brazil, planted the first coffee tree in 1727. Coffee spread from Pará and reached Rio de Janeiro in 1770. Coffee was initially planted only for domestic consumption, until the 19th century, when the demand of coffee started to increase in America and Europe. By 1820, coffee plantations began to expand in Rio de Janerio, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais, representing 20% of world production. By 1830, coffee became Brazil’s largest export, accounting for 30% of world production.
From 1880 to 1930, Brazil had a notable increase in the production of coffee. The increase of production created a greater need for labor than could be found in Brazil. Millions of immigrants moved to São Paulo, transforming it from a small town to the largest industrial center in the developing world. In 1850 the population was 30,000 and by 1900 the population increased to 240,000.
By 1920, Brazil supplied 80% of the world’s coffee.
Today, Brazil supplies nearly 60% of the world’s total production of coffee.