Do not let Colombians be upset by the title of this blog post. There is a slight touch of irony on it.
Brazil is the main coffee producer in the world. In 2004 it was responsible for 35% of the world exports. Its fame is due to the quality of the beans grown and the great variety of types of coffee.
The main coffee-producing states, in order of importance, are Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Paraná and Bahía. The best quality coffees are found in the south and the Cerrado region of Minas Gerais, and in the Mogiana region of the state of São Paulo.
In general, Brazilian coffee is known for its soft taste, pleasant flavour and balanced content. It is neither to acidic nor too bitter.
The importance coffee had for Brazil is seen in its history. It was coffee that brought waves of Italian and Japanese immigrants to São Paulo, and it was the commodity behind the growth of the city.
Don’t be surprised if, when ordering at a café the quintessential Brazilian cafezinho (expresso coffee) you feel let down. For a long time, the best Brazilian coffee beans were exported, while Brazilians drank a substandard product.
Thankfully, the last few years have seen a renaissance of coffee within Brazil, of which the opening of gourmet cafés is an unmistakeable sign.
The best cafés are found in São Paulo (the Octavio Café is unmissable), Rio de Janeiro, Santos and Curitiba. Santos is known as the “city of coffee” and is host to one of the most interesting museums in Brazil, the Museu do Café.