Nestled in the heart of Brazil lies the Mato Grosso coffee growing region, pronounced as "mah-toh groh-soo." This area, located in the central-west part of Brazil, is characterized by its tropical climate and plateaus ranging from 300 to 1,300 meters above sea level. An interesting fact about Mato Grosso is that it is the third largest state in Brazil, covering an area larger than France and Spain combined.
Coffee has been cultivated in Mato Grosso for over a century, with the first coffee plantations being established in the late 19th century. The region's ideal climate and fertile soil made it an attractive location for coffee cultivation. Over the years, Mato Grosso has become a key player in the Brazilian coffee industry, contributing to the country's position as the world's largest coffee producer.
Coffee farming in Mato Grosso is characterized by a mix of traditional and modern techniques. Many of the coffee farms in the region are small to medium-sized, family-owned operations that have been passed down through generations. Some of these farms utilize traditional methods, such as hand-picking coffee cherries and drying them in the sun. However, many farms have also incorporated modern farming practices, including the use of mechanized harvesters and up-to-date processing equipment.
While specific processing methods may vary from farm to farm, the majority of coffee produced in Mato Grosso, and Brazil as a whole, is processed using the natural or dry method. This method involves laying the coffee cherries out to dry in the sun, either on patios or raised beds, until they reach the desired moisture level. Once dried, the cherries are hulled to remove the outer layer, revealing the green coffee beans inside. The natural processing method is known for imparting sweet, fruity flavors to the coffee.
Mato Grosso coffee is known for its distinctive taste profile, which can be described as having a mild acidity, medium body, and a pleasant sweetness. The natural processing method used in the region often results in fruity, berry-like flavors that are commonly associated with Brazilian coffee. Additionally, Mato Grosso coffee may exhibit notes of chocolate, nuts, and caramel, making it a well-rounded and enjoyable cup.
In recent years, Mato Grosso has garnered attention for its specialty coffee production, with an increasing number of farms focusing on quality and sustainability. This has led to the emergence of unique and complex flavor profiles that showcase the potential of the region's terroir.
One noteworthy farm in the Mato Grosso region is Fazenda Santa Izabel, which has been in the same family for over a century. This farm is committed to producing high-quality, sustainable coffee and has received recognition for its efforts, including awards at the Cup of Excellence competition. Fazenda Santa Izabel is just one example of the many dedicated coffee producers in Mato Grosso who are working to elevate the region's reputation within the specialty coffee industry.
As the world continues to explore and appreciate the vast array of coffee flavors, Mato Grosso's unique contributions to the coffee landscape are sure to be recognized and celebrated by coffee enthusiasts everywhere.