June 2007 was the year that I decided that I would visit the coffee harvest in Brasil. I had been interested in seeing and filming the methods that were being used as the Brazilian bean had long been my favourite coffee. 

Accompanying me, was friend and long time coffee roaster Craig Miller. He had also wanted to visit the biggest producing nation in the world.

Our next part of the journey was renting a car for the rest of the trip, which saw us driving to the port of Santos which is one of the major shipping ports for coffee in Brasil. Over a couple of days we visited the Comexim Coffee exporting offices and sat down to cup a number of Brazil coffees with Marcio the owner and also where we met John Wolters. This man is a surfing legend who is also the chief exporter for Comexim, and hails from Denmark originally. He said the Danes were good traders because of their ability to speak many languages. We visited the coffee museum housed in the original coffee exchange, which was located in Santos and also walked around the streets where most of the coffee trading is done in Brasil (billions of dollars).

John Wolters graciously invited us to his Beach house on the Ilha do Guaruja where we spent a couple of days filming and swimming in the ocean and talking about coffee and surfing.

This was fascinating watching what goes on behind the scene! We take for granted the Cafe Latte or espresso we drink. There is a huge process from the tree to the cup.

We said our goodbyes and drove off for the next mission much to the amazement of our host- they had never see a couple of whiteys drive around Brasil, only fly. We had to make Ouro Preto which was a whole days driving, as I didnt want to get caught out at night lost in some strange town!

We arrived and met our hosts who ran the processing plant of Comexim, and spent the next few days visiting farms to see the harvesting of the coffee cherries, etc. We also visited the huge processing plant that receives coffee from small local growers which is then graded for export.

This was fascinating watching what goes on behind the scene! We take for granted the Cafe Latte or espresso we drink. There is a huge process from the tree to the cup.

During our time in Ouro Preto, I ate the best pasta and the best pizza ever!! This is due to the many Italian families that immigrated to southern Brasil in the early 1900's.

Next we were off to Pocos De Caldas, but on the way we visited Paulo Sergio who owns Santa Terezihna Organic Farm located high in the mountains of Paraisopolis. For more info about this coffee see the Coffee Bio section for Brasil Santa Terezihna. We were shown amazing hospitality by Paulo Sergio, including lunch at his home, and then a comprehensive tour of his farm, viewing the rich organic soil and beautiful red cherries - Awesome place, awesome person! Paulinho has been a Cup of Excellence winner in Brasil.

The next day we were received by the guys at Bourbon Specialty Coffees and taken around the Santa Alina farm. The processing had finished there but the farm was magnificent sitting on the side of a valley overlooking the huge farm. We were treated to an amazing night out by these guys and again ate some amazing food.

We also visited the local Coffee processing plant at Pocos as well.

Our time in Brasil was drawing to a close, so we did the big drive back into Sao Paulo where we did some tourism around the big city and spent time looking at the local architecture. I said goodbye to Craig the next day and continued my journey to the north of Brazil to Fortaleza where I used to live as a young man and would visit some Brasilian friends that I had not seen in a decade. All in all we learnt so much about the journey of the bean before the cup. I would encourage any coffee roaster that is contemplating a trip to origin to do it!!!

You will not regret it!