Coffee from Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, is being shown in new light, thanks to the endorsement of some high-profile roasters and other coffee industry leaders.
The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed several coffee experts who vouched for some Brazilian farms, regions and beans, which have typically been considered and flavorless and bland, due to the fact that most of the country’s coffee is grown in relatively low altitude (below 4,000 feet).
“Specialty coffee always looked down on Brazil from the ’70s forward, because it was low grown. Typically really fine coffees grow at over 4,000 feet in altitude, and Brazil’s grow at 3,000 to 4,000 feet,” well-known roaster and consultant George Howell told the paper.
said Danny O’Neill, the founder of Kansas City’s Roasterie: “It was common knowledge that Brazilian coffee was just garbage.”
But several roasters have praised the characteristically low-acidity beans as more than just suitable for accentuating sweetness in espresso, and the Journal noted that James Freeman, the owner of Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee Company, recently returned from buying coffee in Brazil.
And Illycaffè, a coffee giant based in Italy, recently introduced MonoArabica Brazil, a blend of Cerrado Mineiro region coffees, which, as company director Mar Romano told the paper, “has a high body, heavy mouth feel, bittersweet chocolate notes, intense aroma and slight sweetness.”