Fancy some coffee?

Brazilian coffee: everywhere in Canada.

By Dora de Souza

Brazilian coffee may not have the same aggressive marketing as products from other countries, but in fact it is the coffee most often found in Canadian cups!

All over the world, coffee and Brazil are virtually synonyms, the very reason why many people find it difficult to believe it isn’t originally from Brazilian soil. Nevertheless, coming from Ethiopia, in Africa, coffee quickly spread all over the world thanks to Arabic and European people. Once toasted by the Persian people in the XVI century, success of the new beverage was immediate. So much so that, at that time, a woman could even file for divorce if her husband wasn’t able to provide enough coffee for the household!

The conquering flavour

The conquest of the beverage in Europe began in Italy, later spreading through the whole continent. Soon, special houses were to be found in all the big cities, where cups of coffee were sold while people gathered to discuss politics, literature and art, proving that coffee and good conversation have always been hand in hand.

It didn’t take long before the European coffee craze began to take over the rest of the world, finding admirers everywhere. But in only a few countries the seeds found proper weather conditions to happily grow. This was the case with Brazil, where coffee arrived swiftly, coming from the French Guyana to Belém, going then to Maranhão, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In a short period of time, it became the basis of Brazilian economy. Wealth generated by the “green gold” brought in immigrants, gave birth to cities and railways, and created jobs and development.

Brazil is to date the primary coffee producer in the world. Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Bahia and Rondônia have an outstanding position in the production of Arabica and Robusta coffee, which is one of Canada’s most common imports – almost 20 thousand tons of green coffee was brought from Brazil into this country last year. Moreover, important chains such as Starbucks, Second Cup and Tim Horton’s use Brazilian coffee in their special blends and flavours. Actually, many of these chains purchase from certified farms. This is the case with Starbucks’ Café Brazil Ipanema Bourbon. This blend, mild and lightly chocolate-y, comes from a huge Brazilian farm that adheres to the practices recommended by the Coffee and Farmer Equity.

Second Cup, in its turn, has among its suppliers the Vista Alegre Farm, which uses special planting methods to assure unbeatable smell and flavour. And the quick instant coffee from Nescafe also has a good share of Brazilian flavour in its composition.

Quality and health

The certification trend, which implies careful planting, harvesting and processing methods, is here to stay. The Associação Brasileira da Indústria do Café (Brazilian Coffee Industry Association) has an important quality program which states that origin certification, fair trade and sustainability should be among the most important concerns, both for producers and consumers.

All this ensures lovers of a good cup of coffee may taste it in a relaxed way. After all, more and more studies point to the many benefits of the beverage. Besides the stimulating caffeine, coffee provides us with potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium – together with a fair dose of antioxidants. This means that coffee, in moderate amounts, is not only tasty, but good both for the body and the mind, as well.