Monsooned Malabar Coffee

Monsooned Malabar Coffee

Monsooned Malabar Coffee

Among India’s Specialty coffee segment, there are two gem of coffees that stand out for its unique processing, appealing physical  characteristics, distinctively different mellow flavour traits and the value adding rich & long-lasting crema in the cup.

Monsooned Malabar Arabica


Monsooned Malabar Robusta

Once upon a time….

The origins of Monsoon Malabar is believed to date back to the times of the British Raj, when, during the months that the coffee beans were transported by sea from India to Europe in large wooden vessels which took almost six months to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. The humidity and the monsoon sea winds combined to cause the coffee to transform from the fresh green to a more aged pale yellow and the beans changed in size, texture, and appearance, the changes were more apparent in cup too. The monsoon sea weather worked its magic on beans making them swell and acquire a texture smooth and soft to the touch. The coffee developed an incredibly complex taste profile which, won connoisseurs the world over.

The invention of safe and faster shipping vessels and introduction of Suez canal has the transportation time over the seas drastically reduced to about one month and the coffees reached the European destination without prolonged exposure to high humidity winds over the sea. As a result, the unwashed coffees reached Europe without the musty monsooned flavour. This led to a complaint from European consumers who missed the distinctive musty monsooned flavour of the unwashed Indian coffees. With a view cater to this demand for musty monsooned flavour coffees, the coffee exporters in the Malabar Coast devised and perfected the process known as “Monsooning of Coffee” in which it successfully recreated the unique aged coffee flavour preferred by many consumers in Europe. A typical ambiance could be simulated along the coastal belt of southwest India especially Malabar region during the monsoon months, bringing about the same characteristic change to the ordinary cherry coffee beans

Our Monsooned coffee curing works located in the Malabar Coast – Mangalore, commence the monsooning process during the active South West monsoon season (June-Sept) in highly humid weather conditions. In this process only the ‘A/ AA’ grade beans of Arabica cherry/ natural & “AA” grade beans of Robusta cherry/ natural coffee are spread in the well ventilated cement/tile floored warehouses in layers of 10cm to 15cm thickness and subject them to frequent raking at fixed intervals, so as to ensure uniform exposure of beans to the monsoon winds. For a time the saturated winds enable the beans to absorb moisture to about 14-15%. Later, the coffees are packed loosely in gunny bags upto half the capacity without stitching and arranged in stacks of four bags high in rows by leaving sufficient space in between the rows, to enable the monsoon air to circulate freely around each bag. This spreading of coffee in the floor and packing in rows are repeated till the desired Monsoon effect is created in the coffee.  The coffees in floor & bags are continuously monitored to prevent them getting mouldy and to ensure even monsooning.

This entire process of monsooning completes in about 12-16 weeks time. During this process, the coffee beans swell and changes colour from initial brown colour to pale yellow/ golden straw colour. These coffees are then polished, graded and manually garbled to bring in uniformity within the grade and fumigated during storage. The coffee will be evaluated both physically and cup wise to ensure the monsoon standards are attained in our well sophisticated cupping laboratory.

Monsooning is a traditional process for bringing about some quantitative and qualitative changes in the coffee beans to give the characteristics cup quality of monsooned coffee. Principally, the process is a controlled fermentation of the beans within the limits by adjusting the moisture content, which results in swelling of beans to double their original size, change in color of cherry coffee from golden brown to pale yellow/ straw colour, bring down the density of beans by about 40-60% and increase the soluble solids when roasted and a mellow cup quality.

The name “Monsooned Malabar’ is exclusively associated worldwide with monsooned coffee prepared and processed under the unique natural elements present in the Malabar coast. The name Monsooned Malabar immediately invokes in the minds of the consumers in India as well as abroad the distinctive flavoured coffee prepared and processed (monsooned) only in the Malabar coast. Therefore, recently Monsooned Malabar Coffee is awarded the GI (Geographical Indications) tag under the initiative of Indian Coffee Board, and Aspinwall and Company Limited is awarded the Authorised User status.

The Monsooned Malabar coffees are prepared using both Arabica and Robusta varieties of coffee. In each variety, the following grades are prescribed for trading.

Monsooned Malabar – Arabica coffee

  • Monsooned Malabar Arabica AAA
  • Monsooned Malabar Arabica AA
  • Monsooned Malabar A
  • Monsooned Malabar Arabica Triage

Monsooned Malabar – Robusta coffee

  • Monsooned Malabar Robusta AA
  • Monsooned Malabar Robusta Triage

Product Showcase

Monsooned Malabar Mellows

Monsooned Malabar Mellows

Aspinwall markets its Monsooned Malabar, as Monsooned Malabar Mellows- a tribute to the striking mellowness trait that has been the clinching factor for the breed's success. The best among monsooned coffees, Monsooned Malabar AAA & Monsooned Malabar AA, is the product of high quality Arabica cherry beans subjected to the process of monsooning.

Monsooned Malabar AAA- Standing on a sieve standard of 7.5mm (screen-19). Monsooned Malabar AA- Standing on a sieve standard of 7.1mm (screen-18), these clean garbled lot is a cynosure of all eyes for its sheer size, shape and sheen. And in cup, with a body so smooth and full, a pleasant earthy flavour, the acidity toned down- a trait known as mellowness, is any gourmet's delight.

Monsooned Malabar Robusta

Monsooned Malabar Robusta

The colonial cousin - similar yet distinct, overgrown yet succinct, Monsooned Malabar Robusta AA, is the outcome of the Robusta cherry beans subjected to monsooning. Though of a pedigree less prominent in the hall of fame, this specialty coffee has carved an identity of its own. Sticking to a sieve standard of 7.10 mm (screen 18), it is known for its bold and roundish physical traits. The cup reveals a similar smooth, full bodied mellowness but is a tinge heavier that gives it a distinctive punch.

Other grades

Though not of the specialty breed, the monsooning process also churns out a series of by-products that is soft on the palate which can make a big difference to your blends viz. Monsooned Malabar A, Monsooned Malabar arabica Triage and Monsooned Malabar Robusta Triage.

Monsooned Malabar A - Outcome of the monsooning of arabica cherry beans, having a minimum 75% by weight standing on a sieve with round holes of 6.7mm (Screen No 17), clean garbled, containing 3% triage max.

Monsooned Malabar Arabica Triage - Collection of triage elements formed from monsooning arabica cherry beans, 90% by weight standing on a sieve with round holes of 6.00 mm (screen No. 15), containing no more than 3% of blacks/ browns and or bits.

Monsooned Malabar Robusta Triage - Triage particles emanating from monsooning of robusta cherry, minimum 90% by weight standing on a sieve with round holes 6.00mm (screen No.15), containing not more than 3% of blacks/ browns and /or bits.