Origin Report: Brazil 2019I recently had the opportunity to visit Brazil with a few of our friends from Nordic Approach, along with several other roasters from around the world. The main reason for the visit was to judge the APAS Cup - a coffee quality competition that Nordic Approach runs with APAS - a coffee-growing cooperative in the Minas Gerais region. Nordic Approach has been working with them for several years - and they began the APAS Cup in 2018 as a way for producers and roasters to meet - and for roasters from around the world to discover the wide variety of specialty coffee available in Brazil.
This visit to Brazil showed me a different side of what's going on there coffee-wise. When someone would say "Brazilian coffee" before this trip, the image in my head was one of the massive low-lying coffee plantations cranking out commodity-grade coffee for the world's gas stations and grocery store shelves - which definitely still takes place. But because of that large commercial industry, there are plenty of producers with access to equipment, capital, and coffee-specific infrastructure that are poised to make a real mark in the specialty marketplace.
After visiting with producers in Minas Gerais and seeing all the hard work and expertise directed towards specialty production, I'm excited about the future of Brazilian coffee. The flavors I experienced were jammy, fruity, and unlike anything I’d seen from Brazilian coffees before. It’s relatively rare to see South American coffees running with mostly natural processing due to rain being common in many growing regions, so it’s exciting to see that we’ll have more opportunities to pick up unique natural-processed beans. I booked a few of the lots from APAS for the club, and I can’t wait for them to arrive so that you can all taste what I tasted, and experience a different side of Brazilian coffee.