This Tata Estate Monssoned Malabar is our replacement for the legendary Coelho’s Gold MM – sadly no longer available since the death of the owner in 2010.
It is a classic Monsooned Malabar – not well regarded as a single origin, but a very worthy addition to many blends, adding body, richness and that certain MM ‘funkiness’.
Monsooned coffee is unique to India.
The monsooning of coffee was discovered by accident in the 1950’s when coffee beans shipped from the ports of Malabar coast, travelled to Europe during the wet monsoon months and were found to have swollen in size due to absorption of moisture in the air.
This produced a coffee with distinctive lingering mellow flavour. The preparation of monsooned coffee is an elaborate process carried out at the Malabar and Konkan coast of the country and the entire operation of monsooning takes about 10 to 12 weeks.
At Tata Coffee, the process starts by selecting the best whole crop Arabica/Robusta ‘A’ grade. These coffees are evenly spread in well-ventilated godowns at their coastal unit in Mangalore bordering the Arabian Sea. The process of monsooning is carried out from the months of June to September of the year, when the South West monsoon is very intense on the West Coast.
The coffees are spread on the floor and raked regularly to mix the top and bottom layers uniformly and it takes about 8 to 10 days to absorb the required moisture. During this process, the coffee beans swell in size to about one and a half times the normal size with the colour changing to pale white and golden or light brown. These coffees are then polished in a huller, after which it gets a distinct shining appearance.
A testimony to the care Tata Estate has for the environment, it’s people and quality is the triple certification of all 19 coffee estates: Rainforest Alliance, SA8000 and Utz. (SA8000 is an auditable certification standard based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and various International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.)