Brazilian specialty with high potential! Introduction to coffee producing regions around the world

Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee, but there is an impression that most of the coffee is produced as a commodity.
However, Brazil is a producing country that has been early on in efforts to improve quality, as exemplified by specialty coffee.
This time we will introduce the history of Brazil and specialty coffee.

One of the world's leading coffee countries

As mentioned above, Brazil is a major coffee producer. It ranks first in the world in terms of cultivated area and production volume, and ranks second in the world after the United States not only in production but also in consumption.

Approximately 70% of the coffee beans produced are Arabica, and the remaining 30% are Canephora (Robusta).

The main production areas in Brazil have changed over the years, partly due to the effects of global warming, but in recent years production has been active in states such as São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Bahia. In addition, with the rise of specialty coffee, quality evaluation has been reviewed, and the quality of beans has improved overall.

Brazil's flat land with little slope and vast land with gentle slopes give rise to great characteristics in coffee cultivation and harvesting methods.
Harvesting on vast farms has become increasingly mechanized to increase efficiency, with machines installed between the coffee trees. Using machines has the disadvantage of dropping unripe green fruits, but the reality is that due to the vastness of the area, it is impossible to fully harvest unless you rely on machines.

In addition, in mountainous areas and small-scale farms where it is difficult to introduce machines, coffee is harvested by hand by people called pickers, and coffee is used depending on the characteristics of the region where coffee is grown.

Natural products are the mainstream in the selection process. At Natural, we sort the harvested coffee cherries, dry them in the sun in a drying area (some farms use mechanical drying), then shell the dried fruit and extract the green coffee beans. Compared to washed coffee, it is more environmentally friendly because it does not use a large amount of water, and because the coffee pulp is left in the drying process, it produces a unique sweetness and flavor.
Even in Brazil, there are regional characteristics, and in recent years an increasing number of farms are using selection methods other than natural.
Efforts are also being made to improve quality at large-scale farms that use mechanical harvesting, and it is no longer possible to simply conclude that mass production equals lower quality.
The Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association plays a major role in this.

Establishment of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association

In 1991, recognizing the importance of quality in coffee, 12 pioneers and entrepreneurs founded Associação Brasileira de Café Especiais (BSCA) to invest in coffee quality and unlock new trading opportunities. Did. BSCA brings together individuals and companies in the domestic and international specialty coffee markets with the aim of disseminating and promoting technological improvements in the production, commercialization and industrialization of specialty coffee.

As BSCA is an association of producing countries, its main goal is to improve the quality of Brazilian coffee offered in domestic and international markets through research, dissemination of quality control techniques, and partnerships for product promotion. I am.

Among these activities, in 1999, with the support of BSCA, the world's first COE was held in Brazil.

The start of the Cup of Excellence

In October 1999, a coffee fair experiment was conducted at the University of Labras in Brazil. At the fair, named ``Best of Brazil'', 10 lots won prizes and were awarded the quality certificate ``Cup of Excellence'' (CoE). . Then, in December 1999, the world's first Internet coffee auction featuring this winning lot was held.

The Best of Brazil is part of the Gourmet Project, which is primarily funded by the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the Common Fund for Commodities. Originally, Brazilian producers who were active in the BSCA and were passionate about quality improvement worked to trade coffee at a price commensurate with new quality standards. It was a meeting.
After that, seeing the success of Brazil, COE began to be held in other countries, improving the quality of coffee and returning money to producers.
Brazil is thus the world's largest coffee producer, and some dedicated producers have pioneered efforts to improve quality.
Brazilian coffee may not be seen as an advanced producer in the world of specialty coffee, but if new initiatives like those currently taking place at some farms spread, it could once again become a reality. It's sure to heighten your sense of well-being.
We will continue to pay attention to Brazilian specialty coffee.