South American Coffees
South American coffees are ‘classics’. These will often be many peoples introduction to specialty coffee. This is partly due to the wide range of coffees on offer showing notes of chocolate and nuts with a low acidity and a good body. They are easy drinking and easy to brew. Coffee roasters and coffee shops will often offer these up as crowd pleasers or as the base constituent of a blend. The reason they are so popular in blends is because the low acidity and good body allows them to be blended with coffees with more desirable characteristics. Alone these coffees would not stand up to certain brewing processes.
Brazil began coffee production in the 1700’s and this spread to Colombia by the 1800’s. In Brazil production increased exponentially to a point where it now produces around a 3rd of the worlds total coffee. When first introduced the growers did not look after the soils that they were using and would regularly deforest new areas to move too. This allowed them to access new areas where the soil was still rich in nutrients. Fortunately in Brazil, as well as in most other coffee growing regions, there is a particular focus on growing specialty coffee in a sustainable an ethical way.
The main coffee growing regions within South America are Brazil (circa 60 million bags) and Colombia (circa 15 million bags). With Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador starting to increase their coffee production.