Brazil is arguably the greatest coffee producer on earth, although coffee seems to be of decreasing importance to the Brazilian economy and culture in recent years. Because of its huge amount of exports, anything affecting the coffee crop (dock strikes, threatened weather freezes, pest infestation) impacts current coffee market prices. Because they are the world’s largest exporter, when Brazil’s prices fluctuate, so do the rest of the world’s suppliers. Coffee is a commodity just like gold and oil. Much of Brazil’s specialty coffee is grown in the fertile, mountainous land that was once covered in dense forest. Small farms were carved out of forestland and are still surrounded and protected by those trees today. The natural habitat provides a breeding place for the natural enemies of pests that attack coffee trees. They also provide stability to the climactic conditions. Because of the steep slopes, mechanical picking is prohibitive. Farmers here have learned to cherish and protect the land that provides them with their livelihood. They are wary of chemicals that could pollute the streams and they keep riverbanks planted to prevent erosion. The law requires that a minimum of 20 percent of the land be left in natural vegetation, which keeps things in balance. There are several trillion coffee trees in Brazil. They are grown mostly on high plateau land, in old, deep, heavily weathered non-volcanic soils, which impart a distinctive note to the coffee’s aroma. Many Brazilian coffees are harsh and dull in the cup, and are widely used in instant coffee and commercial blends found in most canned coffees and bricks. Some exceptional grades are produced, mostly in Sao Paulo (especially the bourbon variety from the Mogiana districts) and southern Minas Gerais states. Good Brazils are well-worth seeking out, especially for their rich, full-bodied, mild character and unique aromatic qualities. They are uniquely sweet and mellow. The “Santos” in our Brazilian refers to the port the coffee is shipped from. It is grown in the Cerrados region of Minas Gerais. It exhibits notes of plum, orange zest and toffee in a light roast, designed to highlight the delicate flavors. Our Brazil is harvested from June into September by smaller landholders then sun dried, producing a taste that is smooth with low acidity. The grade is “Fine Cup” and “Strictly Soft”, the highest available grades. It blends well with African, Central or South American coffees.