Quick Summary: The Best Brazilian Coffee Beans
Traveling can be expensive, troublesome, and downright impossible. Does it mean you have to settle for subpar caffeine? Surely, not! Luckily for us, the international trade routes are long-established, and we can make most of the best products produced on the other side of the globe without leaving the comfort of our homes. Today, we want to take you on a tour of Brazilian coffee. We'll cover our bases with a selection of seven offers and finish our journey with the best beans for your cuppa.
First, let's preview the contestants:
Best Brazilian Coffee Beans in 2020: Everything You Need to Know
Why Brazil? It sure is not the coffee's birthplace, but for over a century, it has been the largest global producer and exporter of the beans. Consider the numbers: in 2019, Brazil produced 5.7 billion pounds of coffee. Vietnam, holding second place, churned out only 3.6 billion. The rest of the competition is lagging far behind. This means that every third cuppa in the world contains Brazillian coffee. Funnily enough, Brazil is also one of the biggest coffee consumers in the world (14th place), surpassing even the USA.
While coffee plants were first introduced in the 18th century, the industry took off only a hundred years later. With over 220 thousand coffee farms covering over 10,000 square miles of the country, Brazilian beans may differ in taste greatly. Despite the finicky farming demands, arabica makes three-quarters of Brazilian production, while robusta makes up the rest. Rainfall, elevation, and soil composition are all crucial factors that affect the brew flavor and quality. The latter has been the primary weakness of the Brazilian industry, as quality control procedures were finally adopted merely thirty years ago. As a result, bean quality improved dramatically, although Brazilian beans have retained the reputation for low-quality among some caffeine lovers. We’re here to dispel this misperception.
As opposed to the rest of the world, Brazilian farmers prefer the dry processing method that involves ripe cherries being dried before the beans are separated from the pulp. As a result, the brew retains sweetness and full body with subtle nutty nuances and differs greatly from the wet processed beans.
It's difficult to compare brews across the globe, but we'll try to share a personal experience with some of the beans. Compared to Brazilian, Colombian brews are milder and smoother, with fruity and flowery undertones, lent by the higher elevation of the coffee plantations. Guatemalan coffee is less widespread but still considered to be of higher quality among the connoisseurs, as the farms are located on southern volcanic slopes, resulting in a uniquely rich flavor. Indonesia is equally loved by quality arabica enthusiasts and espresso fans, as the country is the world's largest and most well-loved exporter of robusta beans.
You won't know whether coffee from Brazil is the right choice for you until you give it a try, but we believe
Brazil Coffee Beans Are Perfect For You If:
You prefer smooth arabica to powerful robusta
You want a full-body mild flavor with chocolatey and nutty nuances
You take your coffee in the forms of espresso, French press, or cold brew
You don't have time to look for obscure coffee brands
You are equally fond of light and dark roast
You are not willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a monthly coffee supply
Our Top 7 Picks among Brazilian Coffee Bean Brands
Before we jump into our coffee bean reviews, let us explain how we chose the brands to cover. For one, we chose the beans grown in Brazil, but not necessarily roasted, ground, and packaged there. Some brands on our list are all-Brazilian, while others are US-based. The latter import the beans and add a new spin to them by roasting and grinding them in-house. This might affect the price, as Brazilian-processed beans are usually more affordable than US-roasted ones.
The second important requirement on our quest for the best Brazilian coffee was the purity of the blend. You won't find a single entry on the list that includes beans grown elsewhere in the world. While Brazilian beans are present in every other bag, the glorious seven on this shortlist are exclusively local.
Finally, we selected the seven varieties based on research, reviews, and personal preferences. You might disagree with our choices and the feelings on some brands, and that’s alright. Please, remember that drinking coffee is a deeply personal experience, and there is no universal solution that would hit everyone's buttons the same way. All we ask of you is that you keep an open mind and give our recommendations a try if you haven't already. You might just find a new favorite!
Peet's Coffee Single Origin Brazil Review
- Hand-roasted, medium
- Roast date specified
- Sun-dried sweetness with hazelnut notes
Grown in Minas Gerais, the cherries for this variety are picked when perfectly ripe and dried in the sun to achieve that perfect combination of sweetness, light acidity, and a smooth combination of caramel, hazelnut, and fruit notes. Medium roasting, perfected by hand, brings these flavor nuances to the fore. Unlike many baristas, Peet's roasting masters know when to stop to keep from burning the beans to preserve the coffee's best qualities. Strong and full-bodied, this brand is for those who love the finer things in life that don't cause undue hassle.
For best flavor, the manufacturer recommends you brew the grounds within 90 days of roasting. You can find the 'best before' date on the bag. Before you order this variety online, ask the seller about this. Otherwise, you risk getting coffee that's still usable, but long out of its best qualities. Additionally, this variety is pre-ground, meaning the coffee will start losing its flavor once the bag is open. You might prefer other options on our list if you own a grinder and know how to use it.
Brazil Santos Arabica Coffee by Buffalo Buck's Review
- On-demand roasting and shipping
- Roast and packaging variety
You're not alone if you've never heard of this brand. It's a micro roast coffee house, meaning each batch you order is roasted, packaged, and shipped upon receiving your order. This way, you get the freshest whole bean coffee possible, and you decide how you want your cuppa. The company's default is American roast, but they can accommodate espresso lovers or those who prefer Vienna roast too. Cerrado-grown beans provide a smooth, light taste without exceeding acidity or bitterness, perfect for a midday pick-me-up.
The one-pound bag is the default packaging, but you can reach out to the company to order a smaller or bigger batch. The bags are degassed and zip-sealed to preserve aroma and flavor. While there aren't many reviews online, most are positive and complimentary of the fresh roasting and the bean quality. Give this variety a try, and you might never return to mass-market options again.
Delta Roasted Brazilian Coffee Review
- Well-balanced, smooth flavor
- Made in Portugal
- All-purpose grinding for any brewing method
The Portuguese were the first to bring the precious seeds and cultivate coffee trees in Brazil, and this blend is worthy of your attention simply because it is roasted and ground in Portugal. Who better to make most of the beans than those who laid the foundation of the industry? Upon collecting the best beans across different regions of Brazil, Delta masters roast them to preserve smooth flavor and a medium body. Without overwhelming acidity and bitterness, this light variety offers a well-balanced combination of nutty notes.
The one thing some coffee aficionados might not like is the one-size-fits-all grinding. According to the manufacturer, it's perfect for pot, Moka, and coffee makers. Whether the grind meets your high requirements is up in the air. However, the standard bag is only 250 grams (8.8 oz), meaning you can have a taste before you commit to this brand and variety.
Coffee Bean Direct City Roast Brazilian Santos Review
- Huge 5-pound bag
- City roast
- Creamy flavor with malt and caramel notes
If you take the coffee black, you'll love this variety. The city roast lends a creamy and smooth flavor without unnecessary bitterness and acidity that you would have to mask with cream or sugar. Without any artificial or natural flavors, this blend brings the notes of malt, nuts, and caramel into every cup that tastes just like in your favorite cafe. This product is suitable for a variety of brewing methods, including espresso machines, French press, pour-over, and drip coffee makers. You'll merely need to adjust your grinder settings if you want to switch things up.
Each bag comes with a sticker signifying the roast date, and in most cases, you will receive the coffee within a month of roasting. Still, as you are unlikely to consume the huge bag in one sitting, keep the beans in an airtight container for best aroma and flavor preservation.
Try to taste-test this blend before purchasing, as it only comes in a 5-pound bag with no other packaging options. And while the price is very enticing, it would be a pity to struggle through months of coffee you don't enjoy. On the other hand, it's a steal if you enjoy the mellow, creamy taste. So you can stock up for a long time even with a single bag in your pantry.
3 Coracoes Extra Forte Brazilian Ground Coffee Review
- An extremely strong, slightly burnt flavor
- Very well-reviewed
This is not a one-size-fits-all coffee. You will either love it or hate it. Unlike the milder traditional blend of the same brand, Extra Forte possesses an overwhelmingly strong flavor and a full body thanks to the dark roast. It isn't the right choice for those who prefer their java to be creamy and mellow, as reviewers call the taste bitter and even burnt. While some fall in love with this blend from the first sip, others find it undrinkable. You'll need to try it to find out which category you fall into.
Like most traditional Brazilian brands, this coffee comes pre-ground in 500 grams (17.6 oz) bags and in packs of four. Despite its peculiar taste, this variety is surprisingly well-received and reviewed. It has a loyal following, though some customers complain about the broken vacuum seal once in a while. Be sure to check the packaging when buying the coffee to ensure it remains fresh and delicious. And if you're not a fan of such a strong flavor, you can always give the traditional variety with a light or medium roast a try.
3 Coracoes Tradicional Brazilian Ground Coffee Review
- Popular in Brazil among locals and tourists
- Traditional flavor and aroma
- Light to medium roast
Found in every other Brazilian household, this variety is among the most popular in the country, both among locals and tourists. It's no surprise, as the coffee is an embodiment of everything great about the local java. It boasts pleasant flavor without any overpowering notes, and the roast prevents the coffee from tasting too bitter or sour. It's a good everyday choice for nearly every caffeine addict, whether you love espresso, pour-over, or French press.
This blend comes in 500 grams (17.6 oz) bags, traditional to Brazilian brands, and you can save by investing in a pack of four. It comes at a very affordable price, making it a favorite among students and young professionals always looking for their next caffeine fix. The bags are vacuum-sealed to preserve the freshness, but some may be damaged in transit.
The one thing some reviews mention is the different roast from one batch to the next. If the online stores do not specify it in the product description, you might get either a light or a medium roast. Both taste fine, but you should be aware of this and specify the variety you prefer with your order.
Tradicional by Café Pilao Review
- Best-selling Brazilian blend
- Well-balanced flavor and aroma
- Suitable for espresso machines and pour-over brewing
The name of this variety is spot on, as this brand is very common across Brazil and served in many local restaurants, hotels, bakeries. It is extremely popular among locals and tourists. Many travelers fall in love with the taste and brand and continue to drink this even after returning home from their Brazilian vacation
What makes Pilao so good? Our guess is that it is a quintessential Brazilian java with strong, rich flavor and a full body. At the same time, this coffee lacks excessive bitterness and acidity, making it perfect for those who prefer black coffee without sugar, milk, or cream. This variety traditionally comes with a dark roast pre-ground in vacuum-sealed bags of 500 grams (17.6 oz). The fine grind suits both espresso machines and traditional brewing methods. You can also buy in bulk (a pack of 4) to save.
However, some customers complain about the broken vacuum seal. If the flavor and aroma are of the essence, make sure to check the packaging when ordering this coffee online. Otherwise, this might just become your default coffee once you give it a try. It's our top recommendation when it comes to authentic flavor, quality, and value for money. Considering the number of glowing reviews online, hundreds of people share our opinion.
What makes Brazilian beans different from others?Like grapes, coffee beans develop a unique taste depending on a variety of growing conditions. The medium elevation, soil composition, and the dry processing method all make for a 'Brazilian' flavor that's usually mellow and sweet, without overwhelming bitter or sour nuances. Discerning coffee enthusiasts can detect the notes of chocolate, caramel, nuts, and malt. The higher up the slopes the beans grow, the more fruity and flowery notes can enter the bouquet.
Is Brazilian coffee so bad that it is used as a filler?On the contrary, the growing conditions infuse the beans with a mild, mellow flavor that's perfect for highlighting exotic blends' more exciting notes without overpowering them. Moreover, considering extensive production, Brazilian java is relatively cheap. When mixed with other, more expensive beans, it keeps the price of the whole blend affordable.
What's the best way to prepare a cup of Brazil coffee?Espresso is the first choice for many, and most espresso blends contain at least a small percentage of Brazilian beans. The full-bodied varieties taste perfect regardless of the roast type. If you don’t have the machine, you’re still in luck. The long steeping in the French press doesn't make Brazilian java taste too sour or bitter, and instead makes the drink even sweeter with caramel and chocolate notes. Cold brew is also a solid choice, resulting in a refreshing cuppa.
Should I look for a specific growing region when shopping for coffee from Brazil?Most varieties on our list and across the online stores are a blend from different regions. However, some brands specify the plantation location. For a bull-bodied fruity coffee, check out Minas Gerais, the largest and most productive region. Coffee from Bahia is a newcomer on the market, but we expect to see it grow and evolve in the coming years. Finally, for a high-altitude blend, consider Mogiana (São Paulo) farms.
How can they grow so much coffee in Brazil?To produce a third of the coffee beans globally, the country had to pay a steep price. At first, the farms used to grow the beans in the shade, under the canopy of the local forests. However, in recent years, the sun-tolerant coffee varieties were created, and the plantations are slowly taking over the previously untouched territories.
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The Verdict. What Are the Best Coffee Beans in Brazil?
Despite the high volume production and a reputation for cutting corners when it comes to quality, the Brazilian coffee industry is still the largest and most influential in the world. With growing competition, most brands are finally paying more attention to quality, making Brazilian beans the ones to look for.
It's been a challenge to review seven brands and choose the one to recommend, as all of them are great in their own right and come with a generous helping of positive reviews. Still, Tradicional by Café Pilao is our number one choice. With so many Brazilian households in love with the brand, it's beloved by everyone who's ever tried it. Luckily, there is no need to go to Brazil to shop for this blend. You can easily find it online and have it delivered to your doorstep in a few short days. Give it a go, and Pilao might just become the one coffee you never want your kitchen to run out of.
P.S. By the way, we have prepared a brand new short-list of Costa Rica coffee beans, feel free to take a look!