Brazilian Coffee Flavors
Most people know that Brazil is a coffee-producing powerhouse, but what they may not know is that the coffee comes in many different flavors. Each region of Brazil produces a unique type of coffee, and each has its own distinct flavor.
There are several types of Brazilian coffee.
The most popular types are arabica and robusta. Arabica beans are considered to be higher quality, and they are used in espresso and brewed coffee.
The coffee from the south of Brazil is known for its heavy body and chocolatey flavor. The coffee from the center of Brazil is earthy and mellow, with a slight nuttiness. And the coffee from the north of Brazil has a bright, acidic flavor that can be quite intense.
Let's explore the different tastes of Brazilian coffee!
Factors Affecting Taste Brazilian Single Origin Coffee
There are numerous types of coffee beans grown around the world, and even before they are ready to be roasted and brewed, there are many different factors that determine the resulting taste and texture.
Some of these factors in Brazilian coffee include:
- Environment (Where the beans are grown: region, altitude, climate, and soil type)
- Farming practices (Chemicals used, planting patterns, picking time, etc.)
- Age of harvest (Freshness of crop)
- Processing (Different methods of washing, drying and roasting)
- Bean variety
Brazilian coffee has a range of chocolatey, nutty flavors. It is smooth, full bodied, and tends to have low acidity. This allows manufacturers of specialty coffees to use it effectively in their coffee or expresso blends.
Brazil also produces some high quality, specialty grade coffee that can contain subtle citrus notes and other brighter fruit characteristics.
Brazil's Standing in the World Coffee Market
Brazil is the #1 largest coffee growing country in the world and has been for the last 150 years, they export over 73% or their coffee. Their coffee industry is responsible for about 33.3% of the world's coffee grown. Brazil coffee is grown on mountainside "fincas" (farms) at 400 to 1600 meters above sea level (that's 1,312 to 5,250 ft).
Brazilian Coffees by Region
The coffee production in Brazil is divided among several regions, each with their own unique flavor profile. The six Brazilian states with the largest acreage of coffee are Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Sao Paulo, Bahia, Rodonia and Parana.
Planatations are mainly located in the southeastern states of Brazil where the environment and climate provide ideal growing conditions. The coffee industry in Brazil accounts for about one-third of the Brazilian GDP and employs about 3.5 million people.
Primary Brazilian Coffee Beans by Region
Each region of Brazil produces a unique type of coffee, and each has its own distinct flavor.
The southeastern region, which includes the states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, and Sao Paulo, is responsible for most of Brazil's coffee production. The coffee from this region has a heavy body and chocolatey flavor. The beans are often roasted darker to bring out the chocolate flavors.
Minas Gerais is the largest coffee-producing state in Brazil, and Espirito Santo is the second largest. These states are known for their high-quality arabica beans.
Minas Gerais Coffee
The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, located in the Southeast of the country, is known for its coffee beans that have a strong and rich flavor. The climate and soil in this region are ideal for growing coffee, and the altitude helps to produce beans with a high quality flavor. Many coffee aficionados consider the Brazilian coffee beans from Minas Gerais to be some of the best in the world. Minas Gerais is the largest coffee-growing region of Brazil and is responsible for 50% of the country’s coffee production.
Sao Paulo, Brazil Coffee Beans
The coffee from Sao Paulo is grown in the southeastern region of Brazil, north of Parana, and it has a mellow, earthy flavor with a slight nuttiness. The beans are roasted to a medium level, which brings out the flavors and aromas of the coffee. Sao Paulo is one of Brazil's historical coffee growing states and home of the Port of Santos, Brazil's main coffee exporting departure point.
The coffee from state of Parana is grown in the south of Brazil, and it has a bright, acidic flavor that can be quite intense. The Aribica beans are grown here exclusively are roasted to a light level, which brings out the flavors and aromas of the coffee. The coffee from Parana is perfect for those who like a strong, flavorful cup of coffee.
Other Regions with Coffee Growing
Bahia Coffee Flavors
The coffee from Bahia is grown in the north-eastern region of Brazil, and it has a bright, acidic flavor that can be quite intense. The beans are roasted to a medium-dark level, which brings out the fruity flavors and aromas. Some of the common flavors include citrus fruits, berries, and tropical fruits. The coffee from Bahia is perfect for those who like a strong, flavorful cup of coffee.
The Espirito Santo is the 2nd largest coffee producing state. region is known for its mild, smooth coffee flavor. The beans grown in this region are typically smaller than other Brazilian coffee beans, and they have a low acidity level. Only about 20% of all its coffee is Arabica coffee, Robusta is primarily grown here, where it is about 80% of the coffee crop. In recent years, the northwestern state of Rondônia entered the market and produces large shares of robusta.
The coffee beans that are grown in Bahia are known for their fruity and floral flavors. The region has a hot, tropical climate and rich soil, which contributes to the flavor of the coffee beans. Brazilian coffee from Bahia is typically light-bodied and acidic, with a sweet aftertaste. The Bahia region produces 75% of its crop as Arabica coffee.
The region of Rondonia in the northwest of Brazil is dedicated solely to Conilon or Robusta coffee beans. The Robusta coffee has a strong, harsh taste, with a grain-like overtone and peanut aftertaste. Robusta beans are used in blends and instant coffee. They have a stronger flavor and more caffeine than arabica beans.
Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee beans, and it exports over three-quarters of its production. Brazilian coffees are renowned for its many different flavors, which can be attributed to the diverse climate and soil in the country. The Brazilian coffee industry is a major contributor to the economy, and it employs millions of people. Many of the Brazilian coffee beans are exported to the United States, Europe, and Asia.
How are Brazilian Coffee Beans Processed?
Brazilian coffees are typically processed in one of three ways:
- Natural Process (Dry): Brazil’s climate lends itself to dry processing, which involves drying the coffee cherries in the sun until they are hard and black.
- Semi-Washed (Pulped Natural): This method is sometimes utilized to speed up the drying process and improve quality in humid regions. Rather than just leaving the cherries to dry in the sun, the cherry skin is removed by machine. After that the mucilage is left to dry and processed further.
- Fully Washed (Wet): This process has widespread use in the Bahia region. The coffee cherries are pulped, fermented and washed before they are set out to dry.
Classification of Brazil Coffee Beans
Brazilian coffee is classified according to its quality and the region where it was grown. The Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA) has developed a classification system that includes four categories:
This is the highest quality category and includes only the finest beans. The beans are Arabica, and they are carefully hand-selected for their appearance, aroma, and flavor.
This category includes high-quality coffee beans that are also Arabica but not as selective as the Extra Fancy.
The Brazilian coffee in this category is Arabica, but it is not of the same quality as the previous two categories. It may be from a blend or from a lower-quality region.
This is the lowest quality category and includes coffee beans that are either Robusta or Arabica. They may be from a blend or from a lower-quality region.
Brazilian coffee comes in many different flavors, due to the diverse climate and soil in the country. The coffee from Minas Gerais is considered to be some of the best in the world, and Sao Paulo is one of Brazil's historical coffee growing states. The coffee from Bahia is known for its fruity and floral flavors, while the coffee from Parana is bright and acidic. The coffee from Rondonia is known for its strong, harsh taste, and Robusta coffee beans are used in blends and instant coffee. Brazilian coffee is a major contributor to the economy, and it employs millions of people. Hopefully this Brazilian coffee guide has provided some useful insight to the flavor profile of many of the coffee produced in this part of the world.