May 1, 2015 Coffee & Company

In Brazil, a Coffee Tradition Gets a Starbucks Twist

In between the juice bars and acai stands that dot the streets of São Paulo, are hundreds of small cafés bustling with people gathered around little cups of coffee Brazilians fondly call a cafezinho.  It’s an immensely popular afternoon ritual; a chance to pause and catch up with friends or coworkers before heading back to work. Whether in a small botequin on a quiet tree-lined street, or a Starbucks store on Sao Paolo’s busy Paulista Avenue, Brazilians cherish those moments spent with one another over cups of cafezinho.

It’s the type of tradition that reflects Brazil’s deep relationship with coffee. The country is, after all, the world’s largest producer of coffee and second only to the United States when it comes to total coffee consumption. The beverage of choice: a hot doppio espresso with a hint of sugar, served with a bite-sized pastry on the side. Simple and straightforward, a typical cafezinho is often a reminder of a simpler time.

Starbucks stores across Brazil have been a destination for cafezinho since the company opened its doors in São Paulo in 2006. Now as the company gears up to open its 100th store in the Brazil, it is celebrating this much-loved Brazilian tradition with doppio espressos prepared exclusively with Starbucks® Brasil Blend. Made with 100% Brazilian arabica coffee from the south of Minas Gerais, Bahia and São Paulo – Brazil’s primary coffee growing regions – this medium-roasted coffee with hints of chocolate was first developed in 2006 as a packaged coffee exclusive to customers in Brazil. Today, Starbucks® Brasil Blend is the star of cafezinho at stores across the country.

“Coffee is such an important part of every Brazilian’s daily life,” said Vivian Fonseca, a nine-year partner (employee) with Starbucks Brazil who was part of the company’s first class of baristas back in 2006 and has since moved to the operations team. “Our baristas have been pulling perfect doppios since we opened our doors in São Paolo, building connections with customers when they stop by for a cafezinho. I am excited to work with our partners to showcase even more of our country’s finest arabica coffee in our stores.”

This week, Starbucks also introduced Starbucks Reserve® to customers in Brazil with the Starbucks Reserve® Brasil Nova Resende – a truly rare, exquisite small-batch coffee hand selected by the company’s most experienced buyers from 74 small farms around Serra de Ibituruna in Nova Resende, a small town in the South of Minas Gerais. Grown in partial shade, the beans slowly mature and retain more of their sugars before being naturally dried, creating a unique complexity and fruit notes typically associated with full-bodied red wines. Each bag is roasted and packaged at the company’s new 15,000 square foot, one-of-a-kind Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle.

For Starbucks Brazil store manager Marina Bueno, the Starbucks Reserve® Brazil Nova Resende is a chance to share some of Brazil’s most exceptional coffees with her customers and partners. “I feel like there’s a story behind every cup that goes back to those small farms in Minas Gerais,” Bueno shared at a recent coffee tasting event with fellow partners who, like her, are enrolled in the company’s Coffee Master program. “Brazilians are so proud of our coffee heritage and I like to see a company like Starbucks help to share our coffee with people here in Brazil and around the world.”

About Starbucks Brazil

Starbucks Brazil operates across 17 cities in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, employing more than 1,400 partners. Its soon-to-open 100th store is located in one of the most popular public squares in the central area of Rio de Janeiro, at the former Odeon cinema. This highly anticipated store will serve as the only coffee shop in Centro Cultural Luiz Severiano Ribeiro in the newly revitalized Cinelândia region.

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom