India washed Arabica Plantation AA Little Flower, Kathlekhan Estate
|Unit of Measure||Sack à 60kg|
|Producer||Kathle Khan Estate|
India is a country full of color: bowls of spices in brick-red and ocher shades in vivid market streets, turquoise water hitting golden beaches, and verdant volcanic mountains pervading picturesque flora. The state of Karnataka is shaped by the Western Ghats mountain range. It is home to one of the greatest biodiversity hot spots in the world and provides excellent conditions for growing coffee.
The Kathlekhan Estate Arabica is part of the List + Beisler Little Flower brand series. Measuring a total size of 513ha, Kathlekhan is not only one of the largest, but also one of the remotest and oldest estates in the country. The extraordinary environment gives a name to the farm: Kathlekhan means Dark Forest in Kannada, the locally spoken language. Originally a dense forest, this area even remains almost dark during daytime, as sunlight only filters lightly through the thick foliage. Bordered by over 40,500ha of dense forest area, called the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, even today panthers, tigers, elephants, bison, and pythons roam freely within this area.
In addition to the cultivation of coffee, the plantation intercrops with pepper, cardamom, areca nut, and orange. The variety of native forest trees such as silver Silver Oak, Jackfruit, and Teakwood do not only provide shade for the coffee plants but also give shelter and protection to the above-mentioned wildlife while minimizing soil erosion at the same time. Thanks to the combination of the high growing altitude and the shade of the trees the coffee ripens slower so the cherries can develop their full flavor. Once entirely ripened, they are carefully handpicked, pulped, and naturally fermented before being washed and finally graded.
India is full of color: bowls of brick red and ocher spices at vivid markets and turquoise water hitting golden beaches. Verdant volcanic mountain ranges sketch the diversity of India's flora and fauna. Not surprisingly, it also offers a large variety of agricultural produce. Although making up only a low percentage of its exports, India's specialty coffee production has started to draw some serious attention.
India may generally be more known for tea. However, the actual origins of coffee production root back to as early as 1670. According to legend, Saint Baba Budan stopped in the port city of Mokka in Yemen on his pilgrimage to Mecca. There he discovered a coffee tree, wrapped seven grains in his turban, and smuggled them to India. Once he arrived, he planted the beans in his garden near the evergreen, flowery mountains of Chikmagalur- and so the birthplace of coffee in India had arisen.
In his honor, the fertile mountain chains were named after him (Giri = mountains) and are famous for some of the nuttiest Indian Arabicas. Today, there are about 250,000 coffee growers in India – 98% of them being smallholders. Most of India's production takes place in the southern part of the country, in the states of Kerala and Karnataka. The latter is shaped by the profuse Western Ghats, a mountain range inherent to one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots in the world.
While Arabica makes up about 40% of the country's production, Indian Robustas have also gained some reputation and are mostly grown in Kerala. Both Arabica and Robusta beans can also be processed as Monsooned Malabars. This traditional processing method is unique to India and stems from the early days when ships loaded with coffee experienced heavy rainfalls and high humidity on their way to England. Today, the coffees are thus exposed to high humidity during the monsoon period to soak up with water and gain a distinct woody flavor.
|COFFEE REGIONS||Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bababudangiri, Chikmagalur, Coorg, Kerala|
|COFFEE ALTITUDES||800 – 2,000 masl.|
|VARIETIES||S795, S274, Selection (4, 5, 5B, 6, 9) Kent, Cauvery, Robusta|
|HARVEST PERIOD||Oct – Feb|
|COFFEE FARMS||250,000 smallholders and plantations|
|AVERAGE FARM SIZE||0.5 – 5.5 ha|
|YEARLY PRODUCTION (IN 60KG BAGS)||4,988,000|