Brazil takes great pride in one of its most important exports: coffee.
Coffee accounts for about 10% of Brazilian exports.
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But how is the cup of coffee in Brazil ?

Traditionally Brazilians have a cafezinho. Cafezinho is taken frequently throughout the day, and if you are offered one at a business meeting, it's impolite to refuse. 
Any office or building you enter, you will find a thermos and tiny plastic cups near the watercooler or refrigerator. The thermos is filled with medium strong coffee and lots of sugar. The coffee is made by boiling water and ground coffee in a pan, and filtering it.
If you care for an espresso, you may be lucky to find a Cafe do Ponto. This is the brandname of a tasteful coffee and the name of the coffeebar serving it.
Some other coffee brands in Brasil: Cia União(Café Pilão), Café do Ponto (Sara Lee Group), Nestlé , Café Brasileiro, Café Bom Jesus, Cocamar, Corol, Café Três Corações, Cooxupé, Café São Bráz, Cirol Royal, Café Santa Clara, Café Rancheiro, Café Manaus, Café do Sitio, Café Jaguari, Café Arábia, Café Cassiano, Café Kuhl.
Renewed activity in hot drinks market

To boost coffee consumption over the review period, manufacturers had to rethink strategies and focus on products with superior quality, known as gourmet. As a result, there was great activity in the Brazilian market, particularly in the latter part of the review period, with coffee producers developing unique coffee varieties, establishing new quality standards and finding different regions to harvest the product.
Multinationals lead the market

With approximately 1,300 coffee manufacturers, the Brazilian coffee sector is generating value sales of over R$4.4 million in 2003. Although there are a number of small/medium-sized regional manufacturers, three multinational companies are responsible for the bulk of sales: US company Sara Lee, German Melitta and Japanese Mitsui. In 2002, these three companies accounted for nearly 30% of fresh coffee value sales.
To avoid competing head-to-head against low-priced coffee offered by small regional manufacturers, multinationals invest large sums of money in marketing campaigns that encourage repeat purchases and reinforce brand loyalty.
Focus on premium products favours foodservice sales

Between 1998 and 2003, coffee foodservice sales increased significantly as a result of the dissemination of coffee shops and speciality beans. The greater demand observed in foodservice can also be explained by the fact that Brazilian consumers are slowly changing cultural habits and opting for coffee shops instead of preparing and drinking coffee at home.

Coffee bushes are greedy plants which quickly exhaust the soil and require extremely fertile land. Coffee growing on an economically significant scale began in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro. Later it migrated down the Paraíba do Sul Valley. It spread to São Paulo state, particularly around Campinas, then to the west of the state and into the northwest of Paraná. It also took root in the south of Minas Gerais and parts of Espírito Santo state.

"Coffee" comes from the Latin form of the genus Coffea, a member of the Rubiaceae family which includes more than 500 genera and 6,000 species of tropical trees and shrubs.
Eighteenth-century Swedish Botanist Carolus Linnaeus first described the genus but, to this day, botanists still disagree on the classification because of the wide variations that occur in coffee plants and seeds. Species of Coffea range from small shrubs to trees as tall as 32 feet/ 10meter high and the leaves can range in color from purple to yellow, however, green is the predominant color. The plants can continue to produce fruits for 20 to 30 years.

There are about 25 major species within Coffea, but the typical coffee drinker is likely to be familiar with two:
Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora (var. robusta).


Coffea arabica

Arabica represents approximately 70 percent of the world's coffee production. Arabica coffees are described either as "Brazils" (because they come from Brazil) or as "Other Milds" which come from elsewhere. Typica and Bourbon are the two best known varieties of Coffea arabica, but many strains have been developed, including Caturra (from Brazil and Colombia), Mundo Novo (Brazil), Tico (Central America), San Ramon and Jamaican Blue Mountain.
The arabica plant is typically a large bush with dark green, oval-shaped leaves that can reach a height of 14 to 20 feet fully grown. Its fruits are oval and usually contain two flat seeds. A hybrid of arabica, Maragogype -- called the elephant bean because of its large size -- originated from the Maragogype County in the Bahia state of Brazil. Today it is grown in Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil and Zaire.

Coffea canephora (C. canephora var. robusta)

Coffea canephora provides robusta beans. Robusta, which can grow up to 32 feet in height as a shrub or tree, has a shallow root system. The fruits are round and take nearly a year to mature. The seeds are oval and smaller than the arabica beans. Robusta coffee is grown in West and Central Africa, throughout Southeast Asia, and parts of South America including Brazil, where it
is known as Conilon.

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