Near São Paulo, the port city of Santos is home to Brazil’s Coffee Palace. Opened in 1914, it served as the hub of Brazil’s booming coffee industry, where traders determined the daily price of Brazil’s main export until the ‘50s, effectively making the Coffee Palace South America’s version of the New York Stock Exchange.
Today, the main floor of the Coffee Palace houses the Museo Do Cafe—dedicated to the history and importance of the building and coffee in Brazilian culture. Exhibits tell visitors about the coffee economy and its relationship with Brazilian agriculture, folklore, and rural life. You’ll also learn about South Korean immigration to Brazil to help in the plantations.
You’ll also get to visit the historical trading room, and you can see the riches the coffee bean brought to the country in the Coffee Palace’s ornate stained glass ceilings and large murals by famous Brazilian painter Benedito Calixto.
Covering two stories, on the ground floor there’s a cafe where you can sample coffees from across the country. Here you’ll get tips and tricks on tasting from the Coffee Palace’s knowledgeable baristas.
Around 15 buses leave São Paulo for Santos each day from Jabaquara Bus Station, and the journey takes around 1.5 hours. On Rua XV de Novembro 95, the museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 5pm. Entrance to the Coffee Palace costs R $5.