History of Coffee in Brazil
Coffee arrived in Brazil from French Guiana in the early 18th century. Since then, coffee production has reached a scale similar in size and breadth to the country itself. Indeed, Brazil is a massive country with a diverse cultural identity and the 10th largest economy in the world, thanks in part to being the world's largest coffee producer.
Brazil produces about a third of all coffee in the world, mainly in the states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Sao Paulo. As a high-volume producer, many argue that the quality of Brazillian coffee beans have suffered in the face of quantity. However, things have improved in recent years with more pulped naturals (a semi-washed process) and washed arabicas becoming available.
Brazil is rare as a producer in that it consumes about 45-50% of its own production, making Brazil the world's second largest consumer of coffee after the US.
Characteristics of Brazilian Coffee
There's no doubt that Brazil produces a lot of coffee, many of which is low-grade and not terribly interesting. But thanks to a push from the Brazilian coffee growing association, more specialty coffee is being produced that has a flavour worth writing home about. For example, Brazilian coffee is preferred by many as a base for espresso blends because of its low acidity and smooth sweetness leading to more crema and better body. Other processes like pulp naturals can exude floral and fruity notes.
Brazillian Coffee: Interesting Facts and News Bites