We say there’s no such thing as an ‘ordinary coffee’ and today’s coffee being sampled as part of Filter Coffee Fortnight is a great example of this.
The term “Monsoon Malabar” came about following a (very fortunate) historical accident when a cargo of Indian coffee from the Karnataka farmers destined for Europe, were exposed to frequent heavy humidity and moist sea winds on their long journeys. The wooden hulls of the ships created a particular environment that influenced the flavour of the coffee. European coffee drinkers loved it and Malabar coffee gained a reputation for the rich, well developed heavy body, muted acidity and complex flavour.
In modern times, transportation has improved so the monsoon ageing process has been replicated at origin. After washing with clean mountain spring water, the beans are dried to 85 % moisture content then laid out in open sided warehouses, then exposed to the monsoon wind at the Bibi plantation.
The rainy season in Karnataka state begins in June, and the harvest coincided with the start of this period. When the rains begin, the coffee is laid out in the warehouses for several days regularly raked, turned and tended to ensure even exposure and the prevention of mould or taints developing. After this period, the coffee is bagged, stored in the open warehouse, with the winds blowing through until the end of the Monsoon season. The coffee is then dried fully through September and October before shipping from November onwards.
Bibi Estate is well noted locally as a model estate for the services that it provides to its workers, and also to the surrounding community. Subsidised food supplies and dwellings are supplied to permanent farm employees, while healthcare, electricity and transport to local villages are available to neighbours and workers alike.
Come by our emporium on Church St between 2pm and 3pm today to get your hands on a cup of this fantastic coffee for just £1.00 as part of our Filter Coffee Fortnight.