Nestled in the western-central part of Brazil, the region of Mato Grosso do Sul is a hidden gem for coffee enthusiasts. Pronounced as "mah-toh gros-soh doh sool," this Brazilian state is located near the borders of Paraguay and Bolivia, with an altitude ranging from 300 to 1,200 meters above sea level. An interesting fact about Mato Grosso do Sul is that it is home to the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland, which plays a significant role in the region's unique coffee profile.
Coffee cultivation in Mato Grosso do Sul dates back to the late 19th century when Brazil started to emerge as a major coffee-producing nation. The region's favorable climate and fertile soil made it an ideal location for growing high-quality coffee beans. Over the years, Mato Grosso do Sul has continued to expand its coffee production, contributing significantly to Brazil's status as the world's largest coffee producer.
While specific farming and processing methods in Mato Grosso do Sul may vary among individual farms, it is worth noting some general practices in Brazil. Most coffee farmers in the country employ traditional methods, focusing on sustainability and preserving the environment. Shade-grown coffee is a popular practice in Brazil, as it helps maintain the natural ecosystem, reduces the need for chemical pesticides, and enhances the flavor profile of the beans.
In terms of processing, the most common method in Brazil is the natural or dry process. This involves drying the coffee cherries under the sun, either on raised beds or on concrete patios. The cherries are regularly turned to ensure even drying and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Once the cherries reach the desired moisture level, they are hulled to remove the dried skin and pulp, revealing the green coffee beans inside. This method imparts a distinct fruity and sweet flavor to the coffee, which is characteristic of Brazilian coffees.
Coffees from Mato Grosso do Sul are known for their unique and complex flavor profiles. Owing to the region's diverse climate and soil conditions, the beans exhibit a wide range of tasting notes. Generally, you can expect a medium to full-bodied coffee with a balanced acidity and a velvety mouthfeel. Prominent flavors include chocolate, nuts, and caramel, with hints of tropical fruit and floral undertones. The natural processing method used in the region further enhances the coffee's sweetness and fruity notes, making it a delightful experience for the taste buds.
Mato Grosso do Sul may not be as well-known as other Brazilian coffee-producing regions like Minas Gerais or São Paulo, but it certainly has a lot to offer in terms of unique and high-quality coffee beans. Specialty coffee professionals and enthusiasts alike should not overlook this hidden gem when exploring the world of Brazilian coffee. The region's rich history, sustainable farming practices, and distinct flavor profiles make it a noteworthy destination for those seeking an exceptional coffee experience.