India washed Robusta Parchment AB Organic
|Unit of Measure||Sack à 60kg|
India measures a total of 3,214 km from north to south. Not surprisingly this country is one of the richest in terms of cultural and natural diversity. Take for example the state of Kerala, in the very south of India. A scenic coast stretches along the western shores vanishing into green deltas moving to the inland.
A three hour drive from the coastline, however, leads you to the Anamudi Shola National Park. The park is set at the foothills of the Western Ghats mountain range and amazes with lush jungle-like forests. Periyar tigers, elephants and Indian bison herds call this place their home. Amidst this thrilling biodiversity lies the village of Idinjamala. About 1,600 small scale farmers have been cultivating vegetables, spices and coffee for generations in this remote area.
Today, coffee is entirely farmed by women who are members of the Manarcadu Social Service Society (MASS). MASS can be understood as a cooperative that unites the 1,600 farmers in the area and fosters communal development. Coffee pulping facilities were set up in the village to not only enable the farmers to further process their beans but which also function as a center of information and welfare. Part of this is an education program for the upcoming generations of coffee farmers. In the center’s own coffee nursery, seedlings are bred for training purposes to ensure quality cultivation, but are also handed out to the farmers for regular cropping.
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|