Origin Update: Brazil

Updates on coffee availability, harvest, pricing, quality outlook, and more

Courtney Smith
October 9, 2023

Our Head of Procurement (Joanne) spent some time in Brazil (and Peru) to close out the summer, visiting with many of our existing producing partners in the regions (and some promising new parters). We still have some fantastic lots from Brazil available, so we thought we'd share a quick origin update along with some availability and price information. See what's available (directly below), and read on for deeper updates on harvest, pricing, quality outlook, and more!

Available Coffees

Naturals from Brazil's Sul de Minas region (shipment from October to March, but feel free to reach out to us for more details):

SCA 83–84 farmer group blend priced at $2.40–3.10/lb.

  • caramel, biscuit, sweet, milk chocolate, herbal*

SCA 85+ single farm lot with improved preparation priced at $3.40–4.00/lb.

  • will vary completely depending on the coffee, but presents fruit characteristics, process-driven flavors, winey*

Samples will be available in greater capacity from this week onwards

Get in touch with Joanne if you're interested in these coffees!

*ideas—profile notes vary depending on the lot

Origin Update

Brazil, known for its rich coffee history, is navigating a unique market landscape. Here's a closer look at what's happening:

Market. Dynamics

Similar to Peru, Brazil is experiencing a soft coffee market. The demand is low, and more commercial companies are opting for year-to-year contracts rather than long-term futures.

Weather and Quality

Fortunately, there have been no major weather issues this year. Producers are recovering from the challenges of the past two years (frost and hail) and we're seeing volumes where we expect them to be for a low-cycle year. They are seeing good flowering, so (in theory) next year's crop should be quite decent (depending on how the weather unfolds).

However, there is growing concern due to the limited foliage on the coffee trees. Foliage is pivotal for coffee trees as it facilitates the process of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into energy and essential nutrients. With insufficient foliage, coffee trees face resource competition between maturing flower buds to cherries and growing new foliage. This competition can lead to cherry abortion, a natural response to stress, where the tree prioritizes its own survival by discarding flowers or cherries. While this might impact overall crop potential, its impact on us should be very limited. The market price, however, could be affected if volumes fall short of expectations.

Pricing Challenges

Producers in Brazil are facing higher production costs, particularly in labor (driven by increased cost of living), which has become scarce and more expensive. This has resulted in higher asking prices for coffee. This higher cost stands in contrast to market prices, leading many producers to retain their coffee stocks. With sufficient capital, they're holding onto their coffee as a cash crop, without fully considering the potential impact on coffee quality. Many producers have opted to negotiate prices more actively, often pushing for rates similar to or even higher than those of the previous year. As buyers, we aim for consistency in our pricing while staying mindful of market dynamics. Balancing quality and price remains a challenge, although the quality of microlots remains consistent with the previous year. Larger volumes are also available from farms that have streamlined costs, allowing them to offer coffee at reasonable prices.

Sample Availability

If you're eager to get your hands on our Brazils, samples will be available in greater capacity from this week onwards.

Brazil Selections

As noted above, our offerings from the Sul de Minas region include an SCA 83–84 farmer group natural blend priced at $2.40–3.10 and an SCA 85+ single lot natural with improved preparation priced at $3.40–4.00 per pound. These coffees are available for shipment from October to March, but feel free to reach out to us for more details.

Coffee Origin Trip to Brazil for 2024

You should plan on visiting Brazil sometime from June to August for harvest and production, and sometime from October to November for cupping. You can read more on our tried-and-true recommendations for planning a successful coffee origin trip here.

Courtney has 10+ years of experience in creating, building, and scaling strategies, brands, and content.