IT’S TIME FOR A COFFEE BREAK… IN BRAZIL!
We all know how Canadians are passionate about their daily coffee, but grinding the 2017/2018 data from ICO, the International Coffee Organization, it’s possible to get a better taste of this love affair.
With a per capita consumption of over 6 kilos of beans (13.2 pounds), Canada ranks 10th in the world, way ahead of the US, which comes in 26th, or the Brits, who sit at the 45th position. And the trend, according to the National Coffee Association of the USA, is for things to get stronger as the millennials prove an increasing preference for espresso shots.
Pack your luggage and visit the world’s #1 beans’ producer – the sunny and friendly Brazil
Everybody knows how a cup of joe can boost your energy level and change your mood for the better even in the worst days but when the winter blues come in, an ordinary dose of caffeine might not do the trick. Better head then for a very special coffee break, packing your luggage and visiting the world’s #1 beans’ producer – the sunny and friendly Brazil.
The very first coffee plant arrived in the South American country in the 1700s and it was so happy with the local landscape and climate that two hundred years later, Brazil was the supplier of virtually all coffee in the world, being responsible for 80 percent of the beans traded globally.
With three billion tonnes produced annually, Brazil retains the title of the world ́s largest producer, although its market share is now at roughly 30 per cent. That is why there is a chance you have already enjoyed the nice punch of a Brazilian Arabica coffee, unwittingly or not.
So the time may be right to book your ticket and head south to have an exciting and enriching winter coffee break. Make sure to include the unique experiences to savour and learn more about coffee making. There are lots of options, for every coffee lover.
Learning with local masters
Capricornio Coffees works with more than 20 farmers at the Southern states of Sao Paulo and Parana helping them to create modern and ecologically sustainable plantations aimed at the niche, high standards of specialty coffee. They have a “coffee academy” and the traveller can pair English-language coffee classes with some travelling around the area checking out Ribeirao Claro and the Xavantes Dam for boat rides, waterfalls, “instagrammable” hikes and delicious authentic food.
In Curitiba, the charming capital of Parana state, another “academia”, created by Lucca Special Coffees, teaches people from around the globe how to make an award winning latte. It is a true art form whether it be it an “A” grade roaster or a certified barista. Their courses, all in English, vary in length and there is the possibility of booking short trips to local plantations.
A bonus in their programs is Curitiba itself. Considered internationally as the most innovative city in the world, with award-winning environmental and transport programmes, the town is packed with green areas and has a reputation for gastronomic treats and a busy nightlife.
On a budget
Fortaleza Farm (photo) is just outside Mococa, in Sao Paulo state’s rural area. The property has been a coffee plantation since 1850, but it was in the early 2000s that the Barretto family decided to turn its 2000 acres into an organic venture. The first years weren’t easy but they finally broke into the international market and today they have a stable business that also doubles up as a coffee studies center and a picturesque inn.
Visitors can come solo or in groups and the farm is always open for volunteers and interns. Accommodation varies from a room with 30 bunk beds to private en-suites. They offer yoga, meditation, activities around honey and banana production, aikido and capoeira (a Brazilian martial art), hikes and back horse rides around their native rainforest and, of course, everything coffee related — from seed to cup.
To boost the experience, the traveler might want to spend a few days enjoying the bustling nightlife of Sao Paulo city. Walking around their Japanese neighbourhood or eating their hearts out in one of the many ethnic restaurants in one of the biggest metropolis of South America.
For those already with intermediate skills and great familiarity with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Cupping Protocol, the Brazil International Coffee Week offers this year “Origin Trips” that will take visitors to farms of all sizes and management profiles, plus mills, cupping sessions, and talks by producers and co-ops in Minas Gerais estate. But hurry up – the event happens at the end of November.