Brazilian specialty coffee regions

The third wave of coffee has contributed that our favourite beverage has become much more than just an ordinary cup of Joe. A search for the highest quality green bean is coming also into the most distant villages and turning a large part of the world of coffee into specialties. Nowadays, we are already all sure: There is no way back. Just like in the rest of the world, the most dedicated Brazilian growers are innovating and writing completely new chapters about coffee cultivating. One of the areas that receives a large attention is introduction of different methods of coffee processing. If few decades ago no one knew what is honey/pulped natural coffee, nowadays is gained wide popularity even in most traditional coffee growing regions, where natural was a golden standard for around three centuries. The traditional techniques are being transformed, negated and updated revolutionary in search of new flavours. Thanks to few pioneers, which started this revolution, Brazil nowadays offers much more than just traditional profiles, adequate for espresso blends. Numerous combinations of natural factors and innovative approaches please us with richness and variety of surprising flavours. According to those varieties, Brazilian coffees are approved by a whole spectrum of consumers and consequently present in roasteries of different sizes and business models. As such, they are present in all market segments, attending various tastes, needs and customs.

Besides the largest, Brazil is also the most colourful coffee producer. With its continental size of 8.5 million km², Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. There are 26 Federal States and coffee is being planted in 15 of them: Acre, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Distrito Federal, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rondônia and São Paulo. In those States, around 300 thousand growers are managing approximately 2.23 million of hectares of land in order to provide the world with over one third of the coffee being consumed nowadays. As such, green coffee is one of the five most important exports of Brazilian economy. When speaking about specialty coffees, these numbers are much lower, but still high in comparison to the rest of the world. However, in all those States there are growers doing exceptional work, moving limits and drastically improving the quality, exploring the beauty of organic and biodynamic farming. But there are some regions, where the nature turned out keener for specialty coffee growing, as their potential of excellency has been proven many times.

To supply you with the best what Brazil has to offer, the efforts of are focused in these regions. In regions like Caparaó mountains or Mantiqueira de Minas for example, small plantations managed by familiar farmers are the most common. Here, the nature made the landscape diversified and declined and as such perfect for growing the highest quality micro lots. According to tough life conditions in these regions, their residents learned to squeeze all the best out of the terroir, climate and elevated altitude with hard work. To breath and feel the coffee 365 days a year. Here, complete dedication and precise selective hand-picking is a natural way of survival already for centuries. On the other hand, there are also endless plains of Cerrado Mineiro with altitudes over 1000 m and huge farms, some of them measuring few thousand hectares. Here, plain landscape permits sophisticated machine farming, constant and stable flavours, economy of scale and lower production costs of larger quality lots. With so much variety, Brazil surely can offer a coffee you will love.

Brazil coffee regions map

If you cup through our offer, you will meet with the dream of exceptional individuals. Their coffees are extraordinary year by year, sometimes they are multiple winners of demanding selections, such as The Cup of Excellence or The coffee of the year, while others are completely unknown, shouldering their way up.

To know more about selection of 2017 harvested coffee, please check the list. If you want to learn more about specific characteristics of some of the best Brazilian coffee regions, please continue reading.

Matas de Minas (Forest zone)

Located in the Atlantic Forest, Matas de Minas has an undulating landscape and is characterized by a warm and humid climate. In its 63 municipalities, family farming is prevailing. As such, more than 80% of their growing farms are smaller than 20 hectares. Due to many improvements in post-harvesting processes, logistics and, especially, selective harvesting and separation of high quality micro lots, the region recently entered the world of specialty coffees. Many years of learning and hard work were needed, but the region nowadays has some of the best Brazilian coffees, highlighting their pulped naturals.

Typical flavour profile: Sweet with intense aroma, floral, caramel, chocolate and citrus notes that complement the delicate and medium to high acidity. From medium to sometimes full body with medium to prolonged aftertaste.
Altitude: From 600 to 1,550 meters.
Approximate number of growers: 36,000
Total area: 275,000 hectares
Varieties: Catuai (80%), New world (Mundo Novo) and others.
Our selected microregions: Araponga, Manhuaçu and Caparaó mountains
Caparao mountains

Mantiqueira de Minas

The majority of Mantiqueira de Minas is located in the Southern part of Minas Gerais State, but it is also included in few Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo municipalities. The coffee is being grown there since 1848, but its expansion occurred between 1913 and 1925. However, it was just in 1996, when the new methods were introduced and the quality increased tremendously. Most of the farmers are small, family owned and located on mountain areas that impede mechanical harvest. As such, the majority of Mantiqueira coffee is still manually harvested. Besides the cold weather, the region is distinguished by the relatively high altitude, rich soil, and especially by the meticulous work which is done by producers who focus on the production of rare and extraordinary coffees. Due to its tradition and worldwide reputation for producing high quality coffees, in 2011 the region received Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

Typical flavour profile: The Mantiqueira de Minas coffees have uniquely balanced cup profiles. They can be recognized by their complex flavours, such as chocolate, citrus or caramel, and their full-bodied sweetness. Very wide range of flavour profiles. Clean, sweet and high citric acidity, medium body and wide range of flavour profiles.
Altitude: From 1,100 to 1,500 meters.
Approximate number of growers: 7,800
Total area: 69,500 hectares
Varieties: Bourbon, Acaiá, Catuí, Icatu, New world (Mundo Novo), Catucaí.
Our selected microregions: Carmo de Minas, Cristina, Conceicao das Pedras
Carmo de Minas
Conceicao das Pedras

Cerrado Mineiro

Relatively high, semi-arid plain, between São Paulo and Brasília, coffee has its origin in the 70s, when the first settlers discovered that its rich subsoil is very suitable for coffee plantations. Although it is not as “scenic” as other regions, surely is very promising in terms of coffee quality, especially due to its climate with average yearly temperature of 23 ºC and well-defined seasons: hot, wet summers and pleasant winters. This climate offers great conditions during the harvest, allowing efficient fruit drying. Thus, Cerrado Mineiro region became famous for its consistent production of high quality coffees with a unique identity. To regulate the quality and the origin of their coffee, it was born the first “Protected Geographical Indication- PGI” in Brazil.

Typical flavour profile: Intense aroma with notes varying from caramel to nuts. Delicately citrus acidity and moderated to full bodied. Sweet flavour with a chocolate aspect and long lasting aftertaste.
Altitude: From 800 to 1,300 meters.
Approximate number of growers: 4,500
Total area: 170,000 hectares
Varieties: Bourbon, Acaiá, Catuí, Icatu, New world (Mundo Novo), Catucaí.
Our selected microregions: Patos de Minas, Carmo do Parnaíba
Patos de Minas
Carmo do Parnaiba

Montanhas do Espírito Santo (Espirito Santo mountains)

This scenic microregion full of high mountains and rock formations is located in the South of Espirito Santo State. According to its humidity and low temperatures, the harvest period usually lasts up to nine months, from April to December. Such a long maturation period results in high degree of sweetness and complex flavours. In the region, a small-scale family farming is dominating. In this model, mostly all the family members are actively involved in the complete growing process, in order to innovate and improve quality of their coffee and life. Recently, some new approaches to organic farming are being introduced in the neighbourhood of Pedra Azul National park.

Typical flavour profile: The coffees from the region are known for their unique fine sweetness, round body, high acidity and fruitiness.
Altitude: From 800 to 1,200 meters.
Approximate number of growers: 20,000
Total area: 150,000 hectares
Varieties: New world (Mundo Novo) and Catuaí.
Our selected microregions: Pedra Azul National park
Pedra Azul