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Heritage of coffee in the land of Brazil

Coffee was introduced in Brazil by Francisco de Mello Palheta in 1727 from Cayenne, French Guiana. The production of coffee in Brazil had a dark side. As the cultivation of coffee in Brazil grew, so did slavery. Without enough local labor to handle the ever increasing demand for coffee, Portugal imported slaves by the tens of thousands. By 1828 well over a million slaves, nearly a third of the population, labored on the coffee plantations. Brazilian coffee is very flexible and versatile coffee bean. Medium/mild roast it is deliciously smooth, gently nutty and nearly creamy on the tongue. High roast it develops an amazing clean hard, near brittle character making perfect espresso style.

Today, Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer and is becoming a significant player not only in Brazil property industry but also in the specialty coffee industry. The best coffee in Brazil comes from the region around San Paulo and is named for the port through which it is exported, Santos. Santos is known for its smooth flavor, medium body and moderate acidity. While Santos is the best coffee in Brazil, it is still far from extraordinary when compared to other gourmet coffees of the world.

According to the experts forecast Brazil should ship 27 million 60-kg bags of coffee this year, down 4 percent from the more than 28 million bags sold abroad in 2007.

Brazil's coffee sector remains a vital part of the country's diverse agricultural economy and is a key contributor to GDP, employment, and export earnings. However, industrial products and agricultural exports such as orange juice and soybean meal have joined coffee as leading export products. Coffee is not only an export crop, but is an important part of daily lives of Brazilians whose country ranks second in coffee consumption after the United States.

Recent research, by the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University - USA, points to the hypothesis of coffee possibly having impact in preventing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease; consuming it daily makes the brain more alert and capable of handling its intellectual activities; coffee helps to prevent apathy and depression; coffee stimulates memory, attention and concentration; coffee helps to prevent the consumption of drugs and alcohol.

Brazil is South America's biggest and most influential country accumulating almost half the continent. It is one of the world's economic giants and is revered for its football prowess, property in Brazil, coffee production and distinctive music such as samba and bosanova. Today, Brazil is a vibrant democracy. The current President, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, took office in January, 2003. The economy of Brazil has thrived since he took over leadership.

With the opening of the Brazil economy in the early 1990s and the abolition of the Brazilian Coffee Institute, the coffee economy was restructured on free market principles. Today, the greatly reduced governmental role is overseen by a Coffee Policy Council with high level participation of coffee grower groups, domestic, industrial users of coffee, and exporters as well as key government agencies.

With lowered production costs, Brazil will complete strongly in world markets and capture increased market share. No sudden advance in market share is likely in the short run but there are prospects for nibbling a bigger chunk of the world market by 2010 when production and exports are projected to be significantly higher.

Author: by Maria Silva

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