If you drink coffee, we’re confident you’ve had Brazilian Coffee whether you know it or not.
Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer.
In fact, Brazil is responsible for almost one-third of all coffee. The vast country is covered by over 10,000 square miles of coffee plantations. The majority of these are located in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná where the environment is ideal for consistent conditions for coffee production.
In addition to being the top producer, Brazil is also the largest coffee consumer. Brazil took the title from the United States in the mid-2010’s.
Fun Fact: Along with Ethiopia, Brazil is the only other coffee producing country with a large domestic consumption.
Because of the sheer amount of coffee Brazil produces, there is not one specific kind of coffee that the country is known for. The country produces everything from mass produced cheap coffees (usually lower grade arabica), to complex and elegant coffees.
History of Brazilian Coffee
Coffee crops first came to Brazil in the 18th Century. Brazil has been the dominant producer since the 1840s.
Production as a share of world coffee output peaked in the 1920’s, with the country supplying 100% of the world’s coffee, but has declined since the 1950s due to increased global production.
A big factor in Brazilian coffee is the geography. Most of the Brazilian coffee is lower grown in grassland areas and in non-volcanic soil. The growing elevations in Brazil range from about 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet.
As we stated in our Speciality Coffee guide, these conditions are less than ideal for specialty coffee where 4,500 to 5,000 foot elevations are needed.
This is why most of the coffee in Brazil is grown to be “commercial” grade coffee where bulk and price are the prime considerations.
But that doesn’t mean Brazil can’t grow great coffee.
There are some areas where the better coffee is grown, these are the three main areas.
- Mogiana, the oldest coffee region is located along the border of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states north of Sao Paulo.Mogiana is known for its deep, richly red soil and its sweet, full, rounded coffees.
- The rugged, rolling hills of Sul Minas, in the southern part of Minas Gerais state northeast of Sao Paulo, is the heart of Brazil coffee country and home of two of the largest and best-known fazendas, Ipanema and Monte Alegre.
- Tap Dancer’s Brazilian coffee comes from Vargem Alegre, which is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in the Southeast region of Brazil.
Brazilian Coffee Characteristics
The best Brazilian coffee is soft, nutty, low acidity, and offers a nice bittersweet chocolate taste.
Because of this, Brazilian coffee makes for an excellent base for making flavored coffees. A good Brazil coffee can add a lot to espresso blends too.
Tap Dancer’s Brazilian Coffee: Sitio Sertaozinho
Sitio Sertaozinho is another of the standout specialty coffee farms in the Serra da Mantiqueira region in the South of Minas Gerais.
The region is very hilly, and is the home to many microclimates within them. These microclimates produce a really interesting range of flavour nuances.
Region: Vargem Allegre (Happy Valley)
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Processing: Sun Dried Natural
Altitude: 4500 feet above sea level.
Our Sitio Sertaozinho coffee has been dried inside the fruit (dry-processed) so that some of the sweetness of the fruit carries into the cup.
It also comes from trees of the traditional Latin-American variety of arabica called bourbon.
Taste Profile: This medium body coffee was originally purchased to be our iced coffee, this coffee was too good not to offer in our lineup.
The coffee offers tantalizing notes of vanilla, chocolate, tangerine and brown sugar.
The vanilla and chocolate aromatics are subtle to our nose, but oh so enticing, and the standard roasted aroma we all expect when walking into the kitchen is noticeably more pure and rich.
Use a pour over method and you’ll get addicted to the first wave of aroma that arises with the steam from the initial pour.
You should be able to detect the notes of tangerine and the brown sugar. The finish is crisp and clean.
Dry Processing / Natural Processing
Tap Dancer’s Brazilian coffee is processed using a Sun Dried Natural process.
This is where the coffee is laid out to sun dry with the cherry on. This imparts a rich dry fruit flavor onto the coffee bean, and help adds to the body of the coffee.
Dry processing is a high risk, high reward way to process coffee. A lot of things can go wrong.
The seed or bean inside the fruit just sitting there at the mercy of the fruit surrounding it. If the fruit rots, the coffee will taste rotten or fermented. If microorganisms invade the fruit during that rotting, a hard or medicinal taste will carry into the cup.
At the most extreme medicinal end of this taste spectrum are the notorious rio coffees of Brazil, which are saturated by an intense iodine-like sensation that American coffee buyers avoid, but which coffee drinkers in parts of Eastern Europe and the Near East seek out and enjoy.
In fact, in some years these intensely medicinal-tasting coffees fetch higher prices in the world market than sound, clean-tasting Brazil coffees.
The potential harshness is the risk Brazilian farmers take in their attempt to achieve the round, sweet fruitiness of the best dry-processed coffees.
Brazilian Coffee is common, but our speciality coffee is not. You’ll enjoy this medium body coffee. It’s perfect for iced coffee or piping hot. Enjoy.