Brazilian Coffee: Sensory Profile by Law

from the correspondent Antonello Monardo *

The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Wagner Rossi, signed a measure that delineates a series of criteria to ensure quality of coffee for the end consumer.   The new regulations will be applied to roasted coffee in both bean and ground forms.

The measure, which will go into effect in nine months, has already been published in the Official Register.  It will determine the requisites that will define the maximum percentage of impurities, setting the basic sensory standards for coffee, the second most consumed beverage in the country, second only to the water.

The coffee that is produced in Brazil, or imported into the country, can have a maximum impurity level of one percent.  The humidity in the roasted and ground coffee cannot exceed five percent.  Other specifications in the regulation have also been set, including the criteria for the coffee’s sensory characteristics at aromatic and taste levels, the definition of the acidity, bitterness and astringency, as well as the body of the coffee.

An expert accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture, who is either a technician or an agronomist specialized in coffee, will be entrusted with the sensory evaluation.  The test will be carried out in a firm accredited by the Ministry.

"I consider the measure a milestone in the national coffee production," the Minister said.  "It is a form of respect to the Brazilians who are accustomed to drinking and appreciating coffee."  According to the Ministry, the regulation will also increase its market value which has been growing, on average, by 5% a year, making Brazil the second largest consumer of coffee in the world.

The new legislation has been approved after three years of work by government representatives and members of the private sector, such as the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association.

* Antonello Monardo is living in Brasilia since 1992 and he his delegate of the Italian Brazilian chamber of commerce and industry. Working for café gourmet and special, he won the gold medal at the International Coffee Tasting 2008. He works on and manages classes for barmen and barwomen, he takes part to conferences and events in universities, spreading the culture of the quality coffee.

Brazilian government ready to retire 10 mlns coffee sacks from the market

*from the correspondent Antonello Monardo

The Brazilian coffee market is managing with an excess of offer. To avoid the situation to strike against producers, the minister of agriculture of Brazil, Reinhold Stephanes, argues that it is necessary to retire from the market something like 10 millions of sacks. A measure that will be adopt both this year and next one. It is estimated a sum of a billion of Brazilian reis for this operation (380 million of euro), of which 300 millions  will derived from commercialization and the rest from other sources. *

Antonello Monardo is living in Brasilia since 1992 and he his delegate of the Italian Brazilian chamber of commerce and industry. Working for café gourmet and special, he won the gold medal at the International Coffee Tasting 2008. He works on and manages classes for barmen and barwomen, he takes part to conferences and events in universities, spreading the culture of the quality coffee.

Brasil: aumenta a exportação de café torrado, consumo interno em leve aumento

do correspondente Antonello Monardo *

A ABIC (Associação Brasileira das Industrias de cafés) divulgou o balanço 2008 sobre o andamento do mercado de café e sobre as previsões dos próximos anos.

A exportação de café torrado e moído registrou um crescimento de 37% em comparação a 2007 com um faturamento próximo aos 36 milhões de dólares contra os 26 milhões do ano anterior . Em 2008 foram exportados no total 135.000 sacas de café.

Também o consumo interno de café teve aumento: +3,2% em comparação a 2007 que, traduzido em sacas, quer dizer  550.000 sacas a mais. O incremento foi  de 17,11 milhões de sacas para 17,66 milhões com um consumo per capita de 4,5 kg. por pessoa. O preço do produto no varejo para os consumidores ficou estável , mais ou menos 10 dólares por kg.

*Antonello Monardo, mora desde 1992 em Brasília è delegado da Câmara Ítalo-Brasileira de Comércio e Indústria. Torrefador de café gourmet e especiais, ganhador da medalha de ouro do International Coffee Tasting 2008. Organiza e ministra cursos para baristas, participa a palestras e eventos em instituições e universidades, divulgando a cultura do café de qualidade.

Coffee tasters: new associations in Japan and Brazil

Everything is ready for the kick-off of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters – Japan. It will be opened up on the 28th of April in Tokyo. To celebrate the occasion, on the 26-27th of April two new licence courses have been organised to satisfy the continually increasing demand for training on coffee tasting. The courses will be held in Osaka and Tokyo, as in the past. The new tasters will join the large number of tasters already operational in Japan thanks to the excellent coordination job done by Yumiko Momoi and her staff.

Brazil also will have its own International Institute of Coffee Tasters. The founding of an association with the same aims of its parent association and which will apply the very same methods seems to be a symbolic undertaking in the country which give us so much precious raw material for the Italian Espresso. While the Japanese market dates back to some years ago, the Brazilian market is opening up just now to the Espresso: an association of coffee tasters has a pioneering spirit to it.

Also the market in the Balkans is opening up and growing. Where the must was drinking Turkish coffee, nowadays, in the dregs of that beverage, it is possible to read the future of the espresso in the Balkans. In March, the International Institute of Coffee Tasters has been invited by Grand Kafa – the biggest roaster, comprising Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, in the region – to give coaching at a licence course and a course for Espresso Italiano Specialist at its new training centre. This is a collaboration with the most challenging training scheme in the Balkans and a cooperation which will position the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and its method as the quality standard for this region.

The Brazil Santos Supreme

by Manuela Violoni

Head of R&D and trainer of the Taster Study Center, she is specialised in semiotics and in synaesthesia of marketing. She is the panel leader of the sensory analysis laboratory of the Center and trainer at the International Institute of Coffee Tasters.

Right on the Atlantic Ocean, with more than 180 million inhabitants, Brazil is the world leader in coffee production.
The history of coffee in Brazil dates back to the Eighteenth century when the Botanic Garden of Amsterdam, after having received a plant of Java coffee, only a few years later, sent its seeds to Suriname. The French themselves sent those seeds to the French Guinea in 1718 and from here the coffee reached Brazil.
The Brazilian origins, just like many other origins, are classified according to a set of criteria among which: the botanical species (Arabica and Robusta – or Conillon), the number of defects, the size of the bean (screening), the processing method (dry or wet), the taste, the year of harvest, the geographic origin. With regard to the geographic origin, Santos comprises the origins produced in the States of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and, sometimes, Paranà, i.e. those origins that historically have been exported through the Santos harbour.
The harvesting in Santos begins in June and export starts in July. Based on the classification defined by the NY, the Santos is of the type 2/3 (9 flaws), screen 17/18. It belongs to the group ICO natural Arabica. This coffee is a good match to the Robusta quality.
The strongest aromatic note of this coffee is undoubtedly the cocoa, with its chocolate nuances: the intensity of this smell is almost identical to that of the famous Jamaica Blue Mountain. The difference with the Jamaica Blue Mountain is that it has a stronger – medium intensity – burnt note (ash and coal). The marked merit of this coffee compared to others is in its floral aroma, decidedly clear, with sensations of honey and beeswax. Also the fruity aroma is rather good: fresh and dried fruits, with a peak on the nuts (walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts), finish off the picture of a nice Arabica – difficult to believe that it is not wet process. Other positive notes can be sensed: the fine herbs, for example, accompanied by sensations of tee, liquorice, tobacco and similar spicy notes, but also all those toasted notes such as caramel, cereals, toasted bread and biscuit. A touch of green (comprising the grassy, the artichoke, the tomato, the cooked vegetables, and the bitter grass) comes in, but with lower levels compared to other origins. The same goes for an almost unperceivable sensation of mouldy. While, more than in others, but very much in the background, there is a bit of a plastic note. This is a coffee characterised by a good range and amplitude of aromas and by an overall low presence of negative odours.