In the Portuguese language, Minas means mines, that much is clear. Gerais--”general”--is less specific, thought to refer either to the mines or the fields of this diverse state. Either way, Minas Gerais, Brazil is a place of diamonds, gold, and gemstone mines, and huge stretching savannah known as cerrado. Within its vast boundaries are found the coffee regions of Sul de Minas, Matas de Minas, Chapada de Minas, and Cerrado de Minas.
A mind-boggling 2,488,000 acres make up the coffee-growing area within Minas Gerais. No wonder, then, that it accounts for nearly 50% of Brazil’s coffee production. Rich in history and European influence, first-nation people make up a significant percentage of the state’s population, and though Portuguese is the prominent language, other residents hail not just from Portugal but from many parts of the globe, including Africa, Germany, and Lebanon.