India Monsooned Malabar is a single origin coffee grown at 1100-1200 metres in Karnataka, South India.
Most people will think of India in terms of sophisticated teas from regions like Assam and Darjeeling. What is unknown to many, however, is the country’s ancient tradition of specialty coffees. India has been exporting top-quality coffees for more than 150 years and today is even the fifth largest producer of Arabica beans in the world!
Both the colour, shape, aroma and flavour of the beans are the result of a special process: Monsooning. Indian coffee was originally transported to Europe in wooden sailing ships. It took four to six months to reach mainland Europe past the Cape of Good Hope. During the voyage, coffee was stored below the water level in the hold. That was a sweltering environment because of seawater seepage through the wooden floor. This provided – unintended -special treatment. When the coffee was launched, it had changed colour from fresh green to soft gold. The acidity of the new harvest was also completely gone. This process of “Monsooning” is mimicked today to match the famous taste of the time.
In the counter Monsoon process, the newly harvested coffee beans are exposed to humid monsoon winds on a well-ventilated surface. This happens on India’s west coast, where winds from the Arabian Sea are best from June to September, during the Southwest Monsoon period.
The processing is done using only top quality beans, Arabica Cherry-AB, which have been well dried beforehand (dry method). To keep moisture absorption constant, the beans are constantly scooped over during monsooning, also to prevent mould growth. At the end of the monsoon period, the coffee is repacked and checked and then transported to a drier area where it can be stored longer.
During this 12- to 16-week process, the beans absorb a lot of moisture. They can grow almost twice as big! Their colours change to soft gold or light brown. And the taste… which is totally unique!
This coffee is freshly roasted every week in our micro-roastery in Rotterdam-West.
Main notes of spice and earth, followed by tobacco. Smoky with a touch of wood. Medium body, medium acidity.
Washed Arabica, variety: Kent, S795, Catimor, Selection 9
Karnataka, South India, Western Ghats.