Almost everybody begins their mornings with a strong cup of coffee – it literally kick-starts your day. Although today, it’s easy to access any range of coffees – You can order your favourite cup even at the touch of a button on a smart phone. However to know the real taste of different coffees, means visiting different parts of India, each producing their own individual variety of coffee beans, for centuries now. What are you waiting for? Start your journey with us!
India, is the seventh-largest coffee producer in the world. It exports some of the finest and most unique kinds of coffee through the Malabar Coast of Karnataka and Kerala. Monsooned Malabar, also known as Monsoon Malabar is unique because of its earthy wooden notes and full bodied flavours that instantly introduces sweetness into your coffee cup, with no acidity whatsoever. Monsooning is a procedure applied to coffee beans that are exposed to the monsoon rain and winds for as long as three to four months. The exposure to such atmosphere causes the beans to swell and lose their original acidity, producing bleached beans with notes of spice and sandalwood, boasting of soothing mellow flavours.
This coffee is in fact named ‘Monsoon Malabar’, because of its exposure to the monsoon and winds from the Malabar Coast.
In the 19th century, the southern parts of India exported raw green coffee beans to Europe. Travelling around the Cape of Good Hope took almost six months, where wooden vessels carrying coffee beans were exposed to high winds and constant humid conditions, causing the beans to swell up with moisture and curiously, take on the colour of antique ivory. The result was a surprisingly delicious cup of coffee.
Now, instead of travelling for six months, coffee producers decided to simply replicate these weather conditions. In a bid to bring the same changes to ordinary cherry coffee beans, the planters spread the beans on concrete floors when humidity level reaches an average of 80 to 90 percent during the monsoon (usually in the month of June) and keep it like that for 12-24 weeks. This process also involves handing the coffee carefully, spreading repeatedly, raking and turning the coffee around at regular intervals. They used the Arabica or Robusta beans of AA and A grade as B-grade beans, they noticed, would fail to absorb enough moisture during this process. Once the monsooned beans were ready they were sorted, packed and piled into shipping containers. Voila! Like magic, no?
Fun Fact: about 5,000 metric tonnes of the Monsooned Malabar coffee beans are shipped every year from Mangalore to Germany and Scandinavia, where these are ever so popular. What we’re wondering is, how long before you decide you want to head out and have a taste of your first cup of Monsoon Malabar?