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.
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 – Robusta coffee