• QA 232
    Is the quality of Brazilian specialty coffee progressing?
    What can you say about the Brazilian premium coffee? Has it changed from some years till now, or is the quality still the same?
    Asked by:
    Student - Brazil

    Brazilian specialty coffee has made great progress in the past decade or so. From being relatively unknown to featuring in many specialty roaster offerings today.

    From our perspective there are probably three major reasons that have contributed to this…

    • Brazil avails of a huge domestic market and currently is the second largest consuming country in the world. Over time strongly rising consumption has led to very interesting developments in both domestic quality and marketing that have put Brazil on a par with the world's leading coffee consuming countries in terms of consumer choice and sophistication. For more on this visit www.abic.com.
    • Major changes in on-farm processing, particularly, but by no means exclusively, the introduction of the 'pulped natural' process, have improved the quality of many coffees by accentuating different taste aspects of cup quality that were mostly lost in the traditional dry preparation method. The advent of eco-pulpers (that use little water) has also hastened Brazil's entry into the washed coffee sector. For more on these processes see Q&A 008 in the Q&A Archive on this website.
    • The first Internet auction ever for specialty coffee was held in Brazil December 1999 under the auspices of the Gourmet Coffee Project, a joint initiative of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association, the International Coffee Organization and the International Trade Centre - ITC. This pilot project has evolved into today's Cup of Excellence Internet auctions that are held annually in a number of countries, including Brazil. These high-profile auctions have highlighted the availability and attractiveness of many individual Brazilian coffees - see www.cupofexcellence.org for more.

    It is difficult to estimate how much specialty coffee Brazil actually produces, also because there is no precise definition of what specialty really is. However, if trade estimates ranging from 1 to 2% of the total production are in line then the potential total availability is of course quite high.

    In any event, the statement that Brazilian specialty coffee has 'arrived' and now forms a very visible part of the world specialty scene is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that in November 2009 both Nespresso (www.nespresso.com) and Starbucks (www.starbucks.com) are featuring Brazilian single origin coffees.

    Posted 10 November 2009

    Related chapter(s):
    Related Q & A:
    Q&A 008, 131