Coffee 101: Coffee Origins – Brazil
Meet the World’s #1 Coffee Producer
Brazil, the largest country in both South America and Latin America, is also the top producer of coffee worldwide. And with 98% of its households drinking coffee, it is currently the #1 consuming market, as well.
A Brief History
Coffee is believed to have come to Brazil in 1727, having been smuggled out of French Guiana.
European colonists were early adopters of Brazilian coffee, but as interests grew worldwide – so did the country’s exports. By 1820, Brazil was producing approximately 30% of the world’s crop.
In the late 19th century, Asia’s coffee market was nearly wiped out by disease, allowing Central and South America to get a foothold in the industry. By the early 20th century, Brazil was dominating the coffee marketplace, producing up to 80% of the world’s supply.
Deregulation led to a wealth of innovation in the 1990s, and Brazil began implementing new processing methods and contributing to coffee research in a number of ways, including the development of new plant varieties and hybrids.
Today, the country produces 30% of the world’s coffee.
Brazilian Coffee at a Glance
Brazilian creations such as Caturra, Maragogype, and Mundo Novo were designed to thrive in certain climates, and now are grown all over the world.
Brazil also developed the “pulp natural” method of processing, which skips the typical fermentation step. Coffee is pulped but left to dry with the mucilage still attached. This blends the crisp acidity of a washed process coffee with the body and sweetness resulting from a naturally processed coffee.
From April to September, approximately 300,000 farms spread across 13 states produce upwards of 60 million bags of coffee. Eighty percent of these are Arabica coffees.
The country’s most common coffee exports include:
• Green coffee
• Soluble coffee
• Roasted and ground coffee
• Concentrated and essential extracts
• Coffee residues
Brazil has a diverse geography, which results in an equally diverse flavor profile, but coffees here are often described as complex, earthy, and sweet, with notes of spice, lime, and flowers, and a unique acidity.