Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer. It exports
everything from the mass produced coffee that are among the world’s cheapest,
to elegant coffees prized as the world’s finest origins for espresso brewing.
In Brazil, fruit is removed from the bean using four different processing
methods, and it is not uncommon for all four methods to be used on the same
farm during the same harvest.
Coffee is not high grown in Brazil. The growing elevations range from about
2000 feet to 4000 feet. This is far lower, compared to the elevations of
greater than 5000 feet which is common for the fine coffees of Central America,
Colombia and East Africa. These lower growing altitudes result in coffee that
is relatively lower in acidity. A good Brazil tends to be round, mellow, sweet
and well-nuanced, rather than bold and bright.
The most traditional Brazil coffee, and the kind most likely to be seen in
specialty stores, has been dried inside the fruit (dry-processed) so that some
of the sweetness of the fruit carries into the cup. It also frequently comes
from trees of the traditional Latin-American variety of Arabica called Bourbon.
The best of these coffees are traded as Santos 2, or, if the coffee comes
exclusively from trees of the bourbon variety, Bourbon Santos 2. Santos is a
market name referring to the port through which these coffees are traditionally
shipped, and 2 is the highest grade. Santos beans originate from around the
rugged, rolling hills of Sul Minas, in the southern part of Minas Gerais state
northeast of Sao Paulo, and where the port of Santos is the nearest. The 2 is
usually dropped, so you will see the coffee simply described as Brazil Bourbon
Santos or Brazil Santos. More »