Hello! All right?
I am Juliano and, like a good part of the Brazilians I know, I like to drink good coffee at least once a day. I like it so much that a few years ago I set out to face the craft of learning a little more about coffee and the people who drink it. And it is clear that what at first seemed like a simple habit soon began to reveal very interesting points. Each discovery led to new information, which led me to meet people and encouraged me to look for other aromas, textures and flavors. The search never stopped, and as time goes by I see how long and nuanced the journey in this craft is.
There is a question that motivates me every day to know a little more about this drink so important to our history, identity and happiness (especially in the morning): if coffee is so popular in Brazil, then why do we know so little about it? My hypothesis is that most of us don’t know where to start, and that’s why we end up (with the pun’s permission) always drinking from the same sources, without having any interest in knowing new possibilities. But the outlook is good for coffee lovers. Even considering the great geographic and cultural extension of our country, nowadays it can be said that there are many people interested in knowing more about the drink that reaches your cup.
So, it is with great satisfaction that I come here to announce to all readers, readers and dessert eaters in general that we are inaugurating the column Coffee at Home here on the ICKFD blog! Our goal is to introduce you to the world of specialty coffees, a subject that has increasingly attracted the interest of all types of audiences. In addition, I always intend to bring simple tips that can be put into practice, because more important than talking about good coffees is drink good coffees. So, without further ado, let’s get down to business!
Special coffees and “common” coffees
To start this conversation at the beginning, I want to talk briefly about what specialty coffees are, and some differences between them and “ordinary” coffees. These “common” coffees are also known as commodity coffees (or commodities), due to the fact that they are marketed internationally only as ‘coffee’, without taking into account many quality criteria. This means that they are usually produced in very large quantities and traded on commodity exchanges alongside oxen, corn, soybeans, oranges and so on. It is in this category that most of the coffees that come from large producers are found and are sold in supermarkets here, as well as a large portion of the national production sold to other countries.
The specialty coffees, oh the specialty coffees! There are many differences between the commodities market and the specialized market. Generally, specialty coffees are defined by the quality and complexity of their flavor, and their origins are an important part of the process – after all, origins help a lot to define quality and flavor. All this and several other criteria are taken into account by bodies such as the BSCA – Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association, which test and certify the quality of farms, producers and cafes in Brazil and worldwide.
What else is taken into account? From the physical characteristics of coffee (variety, color, size), its production systems (following the rules of organic agriculture, whether or not the maintenance of native plant and animal species is carried out) to the working conditions of those who provide work (in planting, harvesting, processing, etc.) so that we can taste a quality drink. Today this segment represents about 12% of the international market, in which we Brazilians still have a lot to learn. Generally, a special coffee can be identified by the quality label on the packaging and also by the price, usually 30% to 40% more expensive than conventionally grown coffees. An extra investment that, from experience, always ends up paying off. 🙂
Well, I think that by this beginning, I already had an idea that the subject goes far, right? So come in, don’t fix the mess and make yourself at home. From now on we will be here every two weeks and we have a lot to talk about. Would you like a cup of coffee?
cover photo: Twohandsnyc