Parana, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerias, Rio de Janerio, Espiirtu Santo, Bahia, Pernambuco, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Goais, Golás, Ceará,
Arabica: April - September. Robusta: April - September
Brazil is the world’s leading coffee grower and exporter. Introduced in the late 18th century, by 1920 over 80% of the worlds coffee was from Brazil. Today, Brazil accounts for 30% of global coffee production.
Almost 300,000 farmers in 1900 municipalities produce coffee in Brazil; the four main coffee states are Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, São Paulo, and Bahia, which together produce 90% of Brazilian coffee. There is a Brazilian shorthand for the type of coffee grown in each region; Group I coffee is the highest quality Arabica with no Rio cups, Group II is Rio-cupping Arabica which has an iodine taste (prized in Eastern Mediterranean countries] Group III is Conillon, or Brazilian grown Robusta.
This Arabica producing state supplies around half of all Brazilian coffee and almost 70% of all Brazilian Arabica in three defined areas:
The Sul de Minas is a traditional coffee powerhouse, where generations of small coffee farmers have cultivated the rolling hills at an altitude of 700m to 1200m. Due to rising labour costs, mechanical harvesting is now very common here, along with the rest of the Brazilian coffee area where the topography allows it. Like the rest of Minas Gerais state, the main varieties of Arabica grown here are Mundo Novo and Catuai, although several other Arabica varieties are also grown. The Sul de Minas is a major producer of Group I sun-dried coffees.
The Zona da Mata, in the east of Minas Gerais has steep topography between 550m and 1200m, which means all harvesting is done manually. Almost 50% of the coffee area here comes from small farms below 10 hectares, compared to a 30% level in the Sul de Minas. Traditionally, because of a moist harvest climate, the Zona da Mata has been the biggest supplier of Group II coffee. This region is now also focussing on high quality washed and sun dried coffees from specific microclimates for the speciality sector.
The Cerrado, flat highlands in the west of Minas Gerais, sits at an altitude of 850m to 1250m. It’s the newest area in Minas Gerais, compared to the rest of Brazil. A region of large, mechanised farms with less than 10% of coffee cultivation from farms below 10 hectares. The Cerrado has become a touchstone in terms of production and cultivation techniques. The region is recognised as an extremely reliable, high quality supplier of various fine coffees.
Brazil’s second biggest coffee state produces almost 80% of the country’s Conillon (Robusta), mostly in the centre-north. In the south, Arabica is grown, and Espirito Santo farmers have developed some very interesting washed Arabica’s on altitudes of up to 1200m.
This is another traditional natural Arabica producer, but one that has lost coffee area to sugarcane in recent decades. Mogiana is the most famous region, a good supplier of Group I fine natural coffees, along the lines of Sul de Minas, which borders it to the east.
This state represents a newer type of coffee cultivation in Brazil at altitudes of around 900m. The newest Arabica area, the Cerrado Baiano has a hot climate and a high level of irrigation to accommodate this. Cost of production is extremely high but this is compensated by high productivity. Planalto is an older area with cooler temperatures, higher altitudes and a production of very fine washed coffees on small specialised farms with fermentation tanks. Finally, South Bahia produces Conillon on large highly mechanised farms.
GREEN BEAN CLASSIFICATIONS
Brazil has a number of green bean classifications, these can be seen on a number of our types. As an example:
Mogiana NY 2, Scr 16/17/18, SS, FC, Grsh
NY 2 or NY 2/3 - this refers to a standard set by the New York Green Coffee Standards. [Arabica is traded in New York, Robusta in London] This designation references the number of defects allowed. NY 2/3 allows up to 9 secondary defects and no primary defects.
SS - Strictly Soft; means the coffee is free of the bitter Rioy taint and grown under 1200 MASL. Lower grown coffees mature faster, making the bean less dense than higher grown coffees.
FC - Fine Cup; the coffee is classified as premium; a good cup.
- Area8,511,965 km2
- PopulationApprox. 209 million
Productionin the region of 43,235 tonnes
RegionsParana, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerias, Rio de Janerio, Espiirtu Santo, Bahia, Pernambuco, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Goais, Golás, Ceará,
- Coffee VarietalsBourbon, Typica, Mundo Nova, Catuai, Maragogype, Catimor, Sumatra
- TerrainMedium elevation plateaus and plains
- Altitude600 - 900 MASL
- SoilTerra Roxa
- ProcessingSundried, Fully Washed
available from BRAZILVIEW BEANS