If you drink coffee, there's a good chance you're drinking Brazilian beans. The South American country is responsible for about a third of all coffee production, making it the world's greatest coffee powerhouse. And Brazilian coffee tourism is also on the rise.
The Coffee Cycle in the Paraíba River Valley lasted for most of the 19th century, relying heavily on slavery, which was abolished in 1888.
These days, historic coffee farms (fazendas) in the valley have taken on a new lease of life. Beautifully decorated farmhouses are open to scheduled tours, and Fazenda Mulungu Vermelho (top) even offers overnight stays.
Terres des Charmes has created a Coffee Route tour through the Paraíba Valley, including a stay in a fazenda dating back to 1860.
Another great destination is the Fazenda do Secretario in the city of Vassouras, a huge neoclassical coffee plantation farmhouse, which has more rrecently been used as the set for Brazilian TV shows like The Maias, O Quinto dos Infernos, and Pé na Jaca. Beats a trip to Starbucks any day. RM