Brazil is the largest coffee producing country in the world, currently about one third of the entire world consumption. For 150 years, it has dominated the world coffee markets, to the extent that weather patterns in Brazil affect the globally traded benchmark price for coffee. Single farms, or fazenda’s in Brazil can produce more coffee than entire other countries (Bolivia for example), and the process is highly industrialised and mechanised, which can result in quality being an afterthought.
Our coffees from Brazil come for the smallest end of the scale – two communities tucked away in the hills of Sul de Minas. Jacutinga is a collection of 11 families, living together at the head of a beautiful valley, with waterfalls cascading down, and lush green vegetation. Posses is a little larger, with about 30-40 families pooling their harvested coffee, which then becomes part of our Espresso Yourself blend. This small scale means much higher quality, as the process is more labour-intensive, but the quality is worth it. We have visited these two communities on two separate occasions, and are due to return in the autumn of 2022.
Brazil has many coffee growing regions, but Minas Gerais is the most famous. You may see Cerrado, Sao Paolo, Espirito Santo, and others, but Santos is not a region, it's the port where coffee ships from, not far from Sao Paolo.
The Pereira and Elves families are part of the Jacutinga community, with whom we've been working for 5 years. In that time, we've seen a dramatic jump in both the quality of the harvesting and of their processing, and we've been able to improve both the purchase price and the amount of coffee we can buy. Their coffee is loved by our customers, and for good reason. The pulped natural is a delicious, easy-going Brazil, full of chocolate, whereas the raised bed process is more adventurous and fruity. We are delighted to partner with these families, along with our friends at Legender Specialty Coffees. The last time we visited, they were trying to persuade us to buy a house in the community, and to start our own coffee plantation... so maybe that's a plan for the future!
Posses is a bigger community, numbering some 30-40 families, who all grow coffee in small plots on their sitio's (small farms). Their dedication to quality is excellent, and we've been steadily increasing the amount of coffee we buy from them. They will harvest their own coffee, dry it on patio's, but dry mill it at the local mill. Legender provide agronomy and logistics support, and are an essential part in developing this relationship. When we visit, despite the odd language barrier, we have had a great time - plenty of cake is eaten, coffee drank, and laughter shared. The Posses coffee is the foundation of our house blend, Espresso Yourself, and as such is a hugely important part of our sourcing relationship.
Despite some opinions, Brazilian coffee has a large range of flavours, but expect to find one or more of: