FOCUS ON: Brazil
Population: 20 million Capital City: Brasilia
Brazil is the largest country in South America and is the 5th largest country in the world by both land and population. It has stunning flat-top mountains, miles of sandy beaches and is home to the largest rainforest in the world.The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical.
Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer, producing around 30% of the world’s supply of coffee, a position it has held for the past 150 years. Brazil has around 290,000 coffee producers and approx 6.7 million coffee trees planted across the country.
The three main growing areas in the south-west of the country, provide most of the top-end Brazilian coffees. The oldest, Mogiana, lies along the border of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states north of Sao Paulo, and is famous 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.
The Cerrado, a high, semi-arid plateau surrounding the city of Patrocinio, midway between Sao Paulo and Brasilia, is a newer growing area.
Francisco de Melo Palheta planted the first coffee tree in the state of Pará in 1727 and coffee then spread south reaching Rio de Janeiro in 1770. Coffee was initially planted only for domestic consumption but during the 19th century demand for coffee started to increase in America and Europe. By 1820, coffee plantations began to expand in the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Minas Gerais, representing 20 percent of world production and, by 1830, coffee became Brazil’s largest export.
History to Present Day
Until the arrival of the Europeans, Brazil was settled by stone-age tribes. Then the Portuguese arrived in 1500 and Pedro Alvares Cabral claimed Brazil as a colony of Portugal. The first settlement was founded in 1532 and Portugal began to take more of the land. The primary export was sugar. Slaves were imported from Africa to work the fields. Brazil continued to expand through wars and battles.
Brazil achieved its independence in 1822, with the birth of the Empire of Brazil. After a military coup d’ état in 1889, the country became a presidential republic.
The country’s political life was dominated by Brazilian coffee exporters until 1930, when defeated opposition presidential candidate Getúlio Vargas led a successful revolt with the support of most of the military. For the next fifty years the country was governed by a continuous stream of populist and military governments until 1985.
In 1992, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, in an attempt to curb hyperinflation and correct the mistakes of previous governments’ economic plans, introduced in 1994 the Plano Real. This was a set of highly successful measures that brought stability to the country’s economy and, as a result, to its politics. The success of the Plano Real led to Cardoso’s election as a President in 1994 and again in 1998.
Over the past few years, Brazil has made major strides in its efforts to raise millions out of poverty, although the gap between rich and poor remains wide.
FOCUS ON : FAZENDA SAMBA
Our Brazilian coffee this season, comes from Minas Gerais, in the southeast of the country. The state of Minas Gerais has some of the highest mountains in Brazil, providing good altitude for coffee. Minas Gerais is a huge state, inside which are several different departments: Sul de Minas, Matas de Minas, Pocos de Calda, Cerrado Mineiro.
This premium coffee, grown at 1500m asl, is classified as ‘fine cup’ grade, which means coffee from individual farmers has been filtered by size to leave only the larger, more matured beans that produce a more consistent and generally higher-quality flavour. This coffee is a mixture of varietials including Bourbon, Mondo Novo & Catuai.
The Brazil 17/18 Samba is natural processed, meaning the beans are patio-dried while they are still in the cherry. Since the coffees are dried in contact with the sweet mucilage, the coffee’s cup profile is heavier in body and sweeter.
We have kept the roast profile Medium/Dark to really highlight the chocolate and nutty flavours of this coffee. It has a medium body, low acidity and a smooth aftertaste. Tasting notes of Milk chocolate, Demerara Sugar and Toasted Hazelnuts. This coffee is great for a light afternoon coffee or a perfect way to start the weekend.