The Coffee Song

Coffee in Brazil

Laura Holden

Thanks to France, the first coffee plantations came to Brazil in 1727. Brazil has a perfect climate for growing coffee and the trees flourished. By 1907, Brazil produced 97% of the world's coffee harvest. In early production years, coffee production and transportation required the construction of railroads, first around Rio de Janeiro and into the Paraíba Valley, and later into São Paulo. In 1860 Brazil had only 223 kilometers (about 140 miles) of railroads; by 1885 this total had increased to 6,930 kilometers (about 4,306 miles). This huge expansion of railways caused a great increase in export of all goods, not only coffee, and overall expanded the economy of Brazil. By the 1840's, slave labor was in great demand and the dwindling availability (and pressure to abolish slavery in itself) led to an increase in "free immigrant labor." This Brazilian slave culture created a craze which became known as the "fever of coffee" and was the inspiration or "The Coffee Song" by Frank Sinatra. Home