Slaves, Immigrants and Railroads, The Making of Brazilian Coffee Culture.

whose coffee is it anyway?


Courtesy, AMP, Reunidas


The first coffee bush was planted in Brazil in 1727. Initially, a product for domestic consumption that change with demands from overseas. By 1840, Brazil became the largest coffee exporter of the world with America and Europe driving the trade, which before it became industrialize, imported an estimated 1.5 million slaves to work on the plantations until the slave trade was abolished in 1888 and almost broke the industry.

During the countries second coffee boom in the late 19th century and early 20th, the railway system was built to haul the coffee beans to market and soon immigrants came and made São Paulo the most important industrial center in the world accounting for 80 percent of the coffee trade, making it a monopolist by the 1920’s. Then the Great Depression happened and later in the century a deregulation of how coffee was sold based upon demand for higher quality coffee.

Today, Brazil is by far the largest producer of coffee in the world, controlling more than 30% of the international production with the United States being its second biggest buyer. But where would the culture if coffee be without first the hands to plow it?


Sources: Wikipedia, The Brazil Business, Coffee