Brazil is famous for many things, amongst them its coffee. This country is themost prolific coffee producer in the world— almost half of all coffee consumed in the world is produced right in this country.
So it stands to reason that Brazilian coffee is not only good, but varied, and has a rich history. But first, what do we know about Brazil?
Well, it is the largest country in South America, and fifth-largest country in the world. The language spoken is Portuguese— because it used to be a Portuguese colony. Funny, because Brazil now has about 20 timesthe population of Portugal and quadruples its GDP.
This country’s also one of the most diverse countries in the world. Many native tribes coexist, notably Amazon tribes of which most don’t speak Spanish. It’s also home to some communities from all over the world: Brazil has the largest Japanese community in the world with around 150,000 Japanese Brazilians living in the country in the last few decades.
Brazil is particularly known for its red bourbon variety — or simply bourbon. This is a variety of the arabica family and is widely regarded to be the standard of good coffee around the world. This particular variety is thought to have been brought late in the game, around the 19th century, after half-failed attempts to grow it in other countries. Brazil seemed to be the perfect stage for it, as it’s one of the major varieties of arabica grown in the country.
By the first half of the 19th century, coffee was already Brazil’s largest export. It became so big that it stayed the single most important industry for the country’s economy for decades. Estate owners and big coffee companies were more important to politicians, sometimes, than the interests of the common people. The situation was so serious that a term was coined to refer to it: café com leiteor “coffee with milk politics”.
To really understand just how big the industry was, it’s helpful to know that in the early 20th century, Brazil produced a whopping 80% of all coffee consumed worldwide. For just one country to do that is absolutely crazy, so you can imagine how colossal the industry was - and still is. Today, it produces almost 50% of all coffee, which is still quite a lot.
Nowadays, Brazil has heavily invested in a number of other industries and their economy is much less dependent on coffee. Still, keep in mind that coffee makes a lot of money in Brazil. It is estimated that they lose about $300 millions worth of coffee each year to disease, and it’s stillone of the most profitable crops in the country.
It is also important to note that the reason why coffee was able to make so much money even though the coffee industry didn’t get its start in this country until the 19th century is because it was held up by slave labour. Luckily, Brazil abolished slavery in 1888.
Brazil is one of the most important producers of the world. It produces both a lot of specialty coffee, which is the highest grade, as well as robusta coffee, which is considered low-grade and destined for products like instant coffee.
Brazilian coffee, stands to reason, is very tasty. After all, Brazilians consume more and more coffee and are on the track to becoming the largest consumer of coffee in the continent, surpassing even the US!
Since Brazil is such a large country, there are many different varieties of coffee that you can enjoy from this country. One of the most famous single origin blends is any that contains their famous red bourbon and is made specifically for espresso.
Red bourbon has a flavor profile that is particularly good for espresso. It is strong, but has a very balanced acidity and has tasting notes such as caramel, vanilla, tropical and red fruits. But the thing that makes it so fitting for espresso is that it has a heavy body, making the experience so much better because of its consistency.
Our Brazilian coffee, for example, yields a very smooth cup whether brewed as espresso or as black coffee, which says a lot about the quality of Brazilian beans. It has very pronounced cocoa notes which have a certain bitter sweetness to it, making the whole experience unique. It comes from Fazenda Santa Barbara as well as Sao Francisco and Sao Antonio, three regions historically known for their coffee.
All in all, Brazilian coffee has come to be known not only for the amount of it circulating around, but by the quality of it. Buying Brazilian is synonymous with buying great coffee!
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