A World Cup of Coffee .. from Brazil?

Posted by Wood Shed Roast on 7/3/2014 to General

As you are reading this, the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament is winding down in Brazil, and as a lot of coffee comes from rabid soccer-crazy countries, it would only make sense that we have been engaged observers of much of the action in Brazil since mid-June.

Now, we know that Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile are among some of the top soccer-playing countries in the world, and they are all in South America. And thanks to superb marketing in the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia had been considered the top coffee-producing country in the world and developed a reputation for quality beans (remember the Juan Valdez commercials, featuring a coffee-bean harvester and his mule?)

Well, we have to let you in on a little secret: Over the last 20 years, since some reforms were enacted having to do with coffee and sugar industries in Brazil, he Brazilians now own the title for the largest exporter of coffee beans in the world, and it has been improving its reputation for quality as well.

The latest information, in fact, shows that Brazil is the largest producer (not just exporter)of coffee beans, accounting for a full 25 percent of the world's coffee supply. It is reported that 80 percent of the coffee beans produced are Arabica.

And all those beans are mostly produced from smaller plantations. According to Brazil government data, more than seven of every 10 plantations are 25 acres or less in size, and less than 5 percent are more than 125 acres.

Brazilian specialty coffees are starting to become the rage in gourmet coffee shops, especially as the flavors have improved to stand on their own instead of being blended before leaving Brazil in order to meet mandated quotas (one of the items repealed in the coffee reforms).

Now, as you watch the final matches of the World Cup, you can comfortably celebrate with a toast to Brazil via a warm mug of rich Brazilian coffee as a nod to Rio.