Two Famous Coffee Museums
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We will discuss two interesting coffee museums on two different continents. The first will be a museum of one of the great powers of coffee, Brazil. The other, also a prestigious museum, is in Austria.
Brazil Coffee Museum (Museu do Café Brasileiro), Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
This place is the stronghold of Brazilian coffee. Coffee is an important factor in the huge Latin American country’s history, a branch of a coffee-shrub gets a place in the national coat of arms, as well as a thriving tobacco shrub.
The plant influenced mostly the State of Sao Paulo, coffee received a special role in the foundation of close to 90% of the cities! In some cities, such as Santos -which gives place for the museum-, clearly the coffee was the engine of development, the beloved beverage gets at the tables of coffee aficionados through the port of Santos, and the coffees will get a trademark Santos-1 or Santos-2 after the port city’s name, according to their quality grades.
The museum -which is famous for it’s exhibitions and it’s beautiful building- opened it’s doors in the building of the old Coffee Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa Oficial de Cafe) in 1922 under state control, with the aim of monitoring the coffee trade.
The so-called “Auction Room” functioned for decades as the center of the coffee trade and the favorite haunt of Sao Paulo’s elite. On the ground floor, we may now find a research center, but in the last century, stocks were exchanged here while the barons observed the evolution of business transactions from the mezzanine.
The splendid room decorated with stained glasses and paintings received a place in the eclectic tower and it is still one of the main attractions in the museum.
The visitors of the museum may enjoy a real time travel: we can follow the long path of coffee from the arrival of the first coffee shrub in Brazil through the development of plantations until today.
We can learn about the coffee-making process, as well as the habits of Brazilian coffee farms and the rural folk elements, in addition, the museum pays special attention to the social and economic changes caused by coffee, such as the expansion of the rail network.
The museum plays an important role in barista training. In addition to the monthly starting courses, they organize other classes, workshops and discussion evenings.
The coffee shop of the museum is one of the foremost in São Paulo; those who are interested may select from a huge range of the coffee specialties of the various regions of Brazil and may purchase the grists or taste it locally.
By Pavel Bolero