An Ultimate Guide to Brazilian Coffee
Brazil is a great source of coffee beans for most expresso blends – be it a fine cup of Cerrado or a Rosa Monera. Want to know why most of the world’s coffee comes from Brazil? Well, Brazil has a vast landscape, most of which is still rainforest. The country has a warm tropical climate – best for growing coffee. Being the largest producer of coffee in the world, Brazil has a wide variety of coffee beans coming from different regions within the country.
Brazilian coffee usually offers a nutty and chocolatey flavor based on the region where it was grown. Keep reading this guide to learn about the popular types of coffee beans, coffee flavors, and coffee regions of Brazil.
Brazil – Word’s Largest Coffee Producer
The production of coffee is huge in Brazil. The country produces about one-third of the global coffee production, thus becoming the biggest producer and exporter of coffee in the world. Having said that, Brazil’s overall production of coffee in a year and the market behavior put an impact on the international market prices.
This means that a drought in the country can lead to an increase in coffee prices across the globe. While many coffee lovers believe that Brazil emphasizes quantity over quality, Brazilian coffee producers find it hard to market their coffee beans.
Flavors of Brazilian Coffee Beans
Brazil is a producer of some premium quality and specialty grade coffee that often contains subtle citrus notes and other fruity characteristics. Brazilian coffee beans are primarily chocolatey and nutty in flavor, ranging from milk chocolate to toasted almond and bitter cocoa. Some of the unique-flavored Brazilian coffee beans are:
- Bourbon, comprising the sub-varieties such as red bourbon (Bourbon Vermelho) and yellow bourbon (Bourbon Amarelo)
- Caturra, a natural variation of Bourbon coffee beans
- Catui, a hybrid coffee bean that is the result of combining Mundo Novo and Caturra
- Maragogype, a natural variation of Typica
- Mundo Novo, a hybrid coffee bean produced by combining Typica and Bourbon
Brazilian coffee is full-bodied, smooth in texture, and possesses low acidity. It is quite hard to find coffee beans in Brazil that offer a bright and juicy acidity. That’s why specialty coffee manufacturers get a chance to use the coffee beans effectively in their expresso blends.
Processing Methods of Brazilian Coffee Beans
There are three primary ways of processing Brazilian coffee cherries.
- Dry Process – Brazil’s climate is great for natural or dry processing. The method involves sun-drying the coffee cherries until they turn black and hard.
- Semi-Washed Process – This method is often used to speed up the drying process as well as improve the quality of the coffee beans in humid regions. This processing method involves the removal of the skin from the coffee cherries with the help of machines. Once the cherry skin is removed, the mucilage is left for drying and processing further.
- Fully-washed – You will usually find the farmers using this processing method in the Bahia region. This method involves pulping the coffee cherries, fermenting, and washing them before setting them out in the sunlight for drying.
Special Coffee Grading system in Brazil
The internal grading system of Brazilian coffee is provided by the Brazilian Official Classification. This system was developed based on Brazil’s coffee business practices over the years. Brazilian coffee is classified according to the cup that includes:
- Group I: Premium quality Arabica coffee beans
- Group II: Rio-cups of Arabica coffee beans with an iodine taste
- Group III: Robusta conillon
With fourteen major coffee-producing regions across seven states, Brazilian coffee beans are known for their diverse mix. While you may come across a wide range of traditional and experimental coffee varieties cultivated in Brazil, the popular ones that you should try are a fine cup of Cerrado, Bourbon, Catucai, Mundo Novo, and Icatu. With so many varieties available, you will surely find a Brazilian coffee flavor you’ll love.