The 13 Best Brazilian Coffee Beans: A Tour of the World’s Largest Coffee-Producing Country

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Brazil’s deep roots in coffee and its stellar production track record make it a standout in the coffee scene. Whether you’re after affordable sips or the top beans on the planet, chances are, Brazilian coffee will find its way into your cup sooner or later.

Brazil is a coffee lover’s dream, with so many places growing beans it’s tough to pick the best ones. But, I just had to dive in and taste for myself. Trust me, it’s the tastiest challenge I’ve faced in my job! 

Let’s dive into Brazil’s fascinating coffee world! We’ll explore its rich history, discover how they make their coffee uniquely, highlight top Brazilian coffee brands, and reveal which beans truly shine among the rest.

Looking for the top Brazilian coffee beans? Check out our quick guide.

Quick Take: Best Brazilian Coffee Beans

Image Product

Best Brazilian coffee beans

Brazil Peaberry Coffee,...image Brazil Peaberry Coffee, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce Check price

Best regular Brazilian coffee beans

Brazil Yellow Bourbon...image Brazil Yellow Bourbon Coffee, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce Check price

Best Brazilian coffee brand

Melitta Traditional Coffee,...image Melitta Traditional Coffee, Café Tradicional, 1.1 lb Check price

Best Brazil Cerrado coffee

Brazil Santos Fresh...image Brazil Santos Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans 1 Pound Check price

History of Brazilian Coffee

Brazilian coffee is so popular, it’s easy to forget it didn’t originally come from Brazil, or even South America! Let’s dive into the key moments that shaped the history of coffee production in Brazil.

The legend of Francisco de Melo Palheta 

In 1727, Portugal wanted to start growing coffee in Brazil but faced a big hurdle. The governor of French Guiana wouldn’t share the crucial coffee seeds needed for this new project. It seemed like their coffee dreams were about to be dashed.

Meet our hero: Lieutenant Colonel Francisco de Melo Palheta, a Portuguese legend.

Legend says Palheta went on a diplomatic trip and charmed (or even seduced) Marie-Claude de Vicq de Pontgibaud, the governor’s wife. She gave him a gift that made history: a bouquet hiding cuttings of the valuable coffee plant. This small act played a huge role in spreading coffee’s popularity.

Ever wondered why this story is legendary? There’s another tale where Palheta solves a border disagreement for the governor. As a thank you, the governor himself gifted Palheta the coffee seeds. No matter which story you believe, Palheta played a key role in kick-starting Brazil’s journey to becoming a coffee powerhouse.

Rise of Brazil’s coffee empire

In the 1700s, Haiti was the king of coffee, providing about half of the coffee everyone drank. Brazil, a new player, didn’t stand much chance against Haiti’s coffee dominance. But when a big revolution hit Haiti and destroyed many coffee farms, Brazil saw its chance. It stepped up and quickly became a new coffee powerhouse, filling the gap Haiti left behind.

When Haitian coffee production dropped just as more people in the Americas and Europe wanted it, Brazil’s coffee scene exploded. In no time, coffee became Brazil’s top export. By the 1840s, Brazil was providing 40% of the coffee drunk around the world, making it the biggest coffee supplier out there.

Brazil did it again! Between the late 1800s and early 1900s, the country experienced another coffee explosion, famously known as the “café com leite” era. This catchy name highlights the time when coffee and milk (representing coffee and dairy industries) were Brazil’s economic powerhouses. By the end of this boom, Brazil was a coffee giant, providing an astonishing 80% of the coffee consumed globally!

Brazilian Coffee Production

Brazil has been the world’s top coffee producer for over 150 years, and it still leads today!

How much coffee does Brazil produce?

Today, they make over 2.5 million metric tons of coffee annually, which is about one-third of all the coffee in the world. Although not at their peak, they still lead by producing 60% more coffee than the next top producer, Vietnam.

How much coffee does Brazil export?

In 2019, Brazil led the coffee world by exporting $4.6 billion worth, making up 15% of global exports. That’s almost double the sales of Colombia, the runner-up!

The US buys about 25% of Brazil’s coffee, followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan. Brazil is a coffee giant!

Where does coffee grow in Brazil?

Amazingly, an area as big as Massachusetts, about 10,000 square miles, in their country is all about growing coffee!

Brazil is home to 14 key coffee regions across 7 states, including famous spots like Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Bahia. Discover the diverse flavors each offers!

Minas Gerais

When thinking of Brazilian coffee, Minas Gerais is the name to remember. This state produces nearly half of Brazil’s coffee, including many of their top-quality specialty brews. It’s a coffee lover’s dream!

Minas Gerais, a large area, boasts four unique coffee-growing regions.

  • Sul de Minas – Responsible for 30% of the country’s coffee, Sul de Minas owes much of its success to the high average altitude and mild temperatures. The coffee from this region is typically grown on small farms and tends to be full-bodied, with fruity notes and slight notes of citrus. 
  • Cerrado de Minas — This was the first coffee-producing region in Brazil to obtain a Designation of Origin status, elevating it to the level of the country’s wine-producing regions. Cerrado de Minas’s farms — popular for their specialty coffees — tend to be at least medium-sized, and many are quite large estates. The coffee grown in the high altitudes and well-defined seasons of this region are usually medium-bodied, higher in acidity, and pleasantly sweet.
  • Chapada de Minas — Chapada de Minas is covered with interspersed valleys and highland regions, making it an ideal location for more modern, mechanized coffee production methods.
  • Matas de Minas — Another specialty coffee region, the vast majority of Matas de Minas’s coffee is grown on very small farms. The area is warm and humid, and the undulating landscape flows through the Atlantic Forest. Coffee from this region tends to have sweet notes of chocolate or caramel.

São Paulo

The Port of Santos in São Paulo, Brazil, is the main gateway for coffee exports. This historic coffee region boasts just two key areas for growing delicious beans.

  • Centro-Oeste de São Paulo — The uneven terrain of this hilly region is filled with small and medium coffee farms.
  • Mogiana — Yet another region with high altitudes and moderate temperatures, Mogiana is known for its high-quality coffee that has a balanced sweetness.

Bahia

Discover the magic of Bahia, a place that transformed into a coffee-producing powerhouse with its cutting-edge technology. Before the 1970s, Bahia was barely on the coffee map. Now, thanks to innovative methods, it rivals long-standing coffee states. Like São Paulo, Bahia boasts two main areas dedicated to growing delicious coffee.

  • Cerrado / Planalto da Bahia — This region’s high altitudes, dry summers, rainy winters, and overall warm climate result in full-bodied, low-acidity, sweet coffee products. It’s not uncommon for the entire process, from planting to harvesting, to be entirely automated, made possible by advanced irrigation methods.  Cerrado and Planalto da Bahia have the highest productivity rate of any coffee-growing region in Brazil.
  • Atlantico Baiano — Unlike the other regions I’ve mentioned so far, Atlantico Baiano’s small farms are set in low-altitude growing areas. Also atypical is the nature of the crop — primarily Robusta beans instead of the Arabica beans that are grown throughout much of the country. 

Espirito Santo

Espirito Santo leads Brazil in Robusta bean production, making it a giant in the coffee world. It’s also the country’s second-biggest coffee producer overall, with two main regions where these beloved beans flourish.

  • Conilon Capixaba — This region is the epicenter of Robusta production in Brazil. Its low altitudes are covered in small farms that grow Conilon, a popular Brazilian Robusta variety.
  • Montanhas do Espírito Santo — I know I said this state was known for Robusta, but this region actually grows mostly specialty Arabica beans due to its higher altitudes. These beans are known for their high acidity and fruity flavor profiles. 

Rondonia

Rondonia’s warm weather and low lands are perfect for growing rich Robusta beans, making it a top spot, right after Espirito Santo.

Parana

Parana was once Brazil’s top spot for growing Arabica coffee, packed with thriving plantations. But in 1975, a harsh frost hit hard, destroying most of the coffee plants and slashing production by 90%. It was a huge blow to the region.

Brazilian Coffee Classification System

Many countries or areas rate their coffee with special systems. For example, Kona coffee beans are famous for their grading system. But, when it comes to complexity, Brazil’s coffee grading system takes the crown as one of the most intricate worldwide.

Brazil sorts its coffee beans by size, checks their color, and tastes them, just like wine, to ensure quality.

Beans are graded from best to worst, marking their quality.

  1. Strictly soft
  2. Soft
  3. softish
  4. Hard
  5. Riada
  6. Rio
  7. Rio Zona

What Is Brazilian Coffee Like?

Brazil is famous for making some of the best coffee in the world. Their coffee is super sweet, rich, and smooth, with less bitterness. Plus, you’ll often taste delicious hints of caramel and chocolate.

Every region in Brazil adds its own twist to coffee, making its vast selection a never-ending adventure to explore.

Popular Brazilian Coffee Brands

Before diving into the best Brazilian coffee beans, let’s shine a light on some top Brazilian coffee brands you should know. While a few will pop up again later, some gems are rare finds outside Brazil.

A big issue I have with many coffee brands is their focus on pre-ground coffee rather than whole beans. As I’ve mentioned before, the best way to ensure your coffee stays fresh is by buying whole beans and grinding them at home.

Brazil Santos

Brazil Santos coffee hails from São Paulo, Brazil. It’s made with high-quality Bourbon Santos beans, a type of Arabica that arrived in Brazil in the 18th century from Bourbon Island. These beans give the coffee a unique taste, marked by a lively acidity and fruity flavors. Perfect for those exploring coffee’s diverse world!

Café Pilao

Café Pilao leads the coffee scene in Brazil, mixing beans from top regions for a unique taste with hints of fermented fruit. It’s rich and bold, thanks to a careful, slow roast that turns the beans dark. You’ll mostly find it as finely ground coffee, ready to brew and enjoy. Dive into Brazil’s favorite with every sip!

Café Bom Dia

Café Bom Dia stands out as Brazil’s top sustainable coffee maker. They’re known for their unique, single-origin coffee that’s freshly roasted to perfection. Fans love its rich taste, smooth sweetness, and full body. Plus, it has a silky feel and a hint of bright citrus. Enjoy every sip!

Café do Ponto

Café do Ponto picks their coffee from classic farms in São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Their medium roast is finely ground, offering a lively taste and a sleek, polished finish.

Café Melitta

If you’re a fan of bold coffee that packs a punch in flavor and aroma, Café Melitta could be your go-to. They master the art of dark-roasting, crafting a unique taste that’s widely celebrated as one of the top Brazilian coffee brands.

Cooxupé

Cooxupé isn’t just any coffee cooperative – it’s the biggest one in the world! Imagine that! They grow their coffee in São Paulo and Minas Gerais, two of Brazil’s top spots for coffee. And their Arabica beans? Absolutely among Brazil’s best.

What Are the Best Brazilian Coffee Beans?

You’re here for the good stuff. Discover Brazil’s top coffees across various categories. Perfect for beginners eager to explore.

Best Brazilian coffee beans: Volcanica Santana Estate Brazilian Peaberry

In my world of top coffee picks, two stars always shine: Volcanica and peaberries. Volcanica stands out as a globally recognized brand for its unwavering quality. Peaberries, on the other hand, are a delightful rarity. Born from coffee cherries that usually split into two but sometimes don’t, leaving us with a single, nutrient-rich bean. This unique process makes them denser and sweeter, a true treat for your taste buds.

But back to this specific variety.

Discover the magic of Santana Estate’s coffee, hailing from Minas Gerais. Their medium roast beans brew into a delightful cup with hints of hazelnut and raspberry. Enjoy the smooth, rich taste and the captivating aroma that makes every sip an adventure. Perfect for those exploring the world of coffee.

Best regular Brazilian coffee beans: Volcanica Brazil Yellow Bourbon

Not into peaberries? No worries! Volcanica understands. They offer a single-origin, medium-roast coffee made from the Bourbon beans that give Brazil Santos its fame. Expect a full-bodied, aromatic brew with a hint of lemon and almond, all wrapped up in a smooth, mellow finish. Enjoy! 

This brand is among the top global coffee makers, teaming up with Brazil’s finest beans. Clearly, it’s a standout choice for any coffee lover.

Best Brazilian coffee brand: Café Melitta Tradicional

Earlier, I mentioned Café Melitta among the top coffee brands. Let’s dive a bit into their famous roast. Known for its bold taste and rich aroma, it’s a hit with fans of dark roast. But, there’s a catch – it only comes pre-ground. Perfect for those who love their coffee with a strong character!

Best Brazil Cerrado coffee: Buffalo Buck’s Brazil Santos

Dive into Brazil’s Cerrado region with a cup of Brazil Santos coffee. It’s your ticket to experiencing top-notch flavors from a high-tech coffee haven.

Dive into the world of coffee with this medium roast, crafted from pure Arabica beans. It’s smooth, perfectly balanced, and bursts with fruity and chocolate notes. They’re micro-roasted and shipped within 24 hours as whole beans, ensuring you get the freshest Brazilian coffee experience.

Best Brazilian light roast: Coffee Bean Direct Brazilian Santos

Meet another Brazilian Santos gem that’s a must-try. Coffee Bean Direct has crafted a light-roasted blend that’s all about smooth sips with a hint of cinnamon. It’s gentle on the body and easy on the acidity.

Wondering about the cost? Coffee Bean Direct prefers their big 5-pound bags, bigger than what you usually see.

Best Brazilian dark roast: Cooper’s Cask Espresso Cremoso

Discover the magic of dark-roasted, single-origin Brazilian beans! Enjoy a rich coffee blend bursting with Brazil’s signature chocolate taste, complemented by hints of cherry, orange, and sweet brown sugar.

Best budget Brazilian coffee: Pilao Coffee Tradicional

In the earlier part about Brazilian coffee, I talked about Café Pilao, Brazil’s favorite coffee. It’s rich and has a unique taste with hints of fermented fruit. For those new to Brazilian coffee, it’s an affordable start. However, it’s sold pre-ground, which is a bit of a drawback.

Best Brazilian coffee k-cups: Peet’s Coffee Brazil Minas Naturais K-Cup

Thanks to Peet’s, if you love your Keurig, you can still enjoy top-notch Brazilian coffee. This medium-roast comes straight from Minas Gerais in Brazil. And don’t be tricked by the name – “Minas naturais” simply means the beans are naturally processed.

Enjoy a sweet, mild roast with a smooth, rich body, bursting with flavors of fruit, caramel, and hazelnut. 

Peet’s Coffee Single Origin Brazil

Meet the whole bean sibling of the Peet’s Coffee Brazil Minas Naturais K-Cup I mentioned earlier. If you don’t have a Keurig, no worries! You can still enjoy this fantastic roast. It’s the same great taste, just in a different form for those who prefer to grind their own beans.

Café Caboclo Torrado e Moído Tradicional

Café Caboclo is a big deal in Brazil, just like Café Pilao. Imagine them as Brazil’s version of Folgers and Maxwell House, where people are really loyal to their favorite. They both stick to medium-roasting and fine-grinding their coffee beans, which is the go-to style in the region.

Delta Ground Roasted Coffee

Portugal introduced coffee to Brazil, and in return, Brazil gave Portugal Delta, a top coffee brand there.

Delta coffee is a unique mix from Brazil’s best regions, famous for its high acidity. It’s a medium-roast with a balanced body, offering a sweet flavor and a delightful fruity smell. Perfect for those who love a vibrant cup!

Fresh Roasted Coffee Dark Brazil Cerrado

These beans are like the Buffalo Buck ones we talked about before. They’re both from the advanced Cerrado area in Brazil. To truly experience Brazilian coffee, you must try a Cerrado. It’s a game-changer in the coffee world.

Discover a creamy, rich coffee with hints of walnut, chocolate, and a sweet caramel touch. Perfect for those who prefer low acid brews, it’s a top choice from Brazil.

Três Pontas Brazilian Gourmet Coffee

Back to Minas Gerais we go, a key spot for Brazil’s coffee exports. Três Pontas gets its beans from the Garcia Reis farm, known for its organic, GMO-free coffee. Plus, they’re all about fair trade, ensuring everyone gets a fair deal.

Três Pontas delivers beans that are super fresh – they send them out just a day after roasting! This means you get to savor them when they’re at their best. Imagine sipping on coffee with yummy hints of walnut, chocolate, and vanilla, all with a smooth finish and just a touch of acidity. Perfect for your morning cup!

Final Verdict

Brazil has a deep coffee history, making it a favorite among coffee fans. As the top coffee producer for 150 years, it’s no surprise you’ll find Brazilian coffee in kitchens worldwide. 

Whether you’re into affordable brews or fancy, eco-friendly, single-origin coffees, Brazil’s top coffee brands have it all. They offer a range from small family-owned farms to advanced producers in Cerrado, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

best brazilian coffee beans

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