Monday, June 22, 2009

Malabar coffee India's Finest

By ntjones

India's Monsooned coffee is a tradition that is now many years old, but the "monsooning" of the coffee is something that happened purely by accident.

Before Steam engines, the coffee was transported by sail ship. While the beans where in transit they started to soak up the moisture in the air. After many months at sea the beans would swell and dull in colour and by the time these coffee beans reached their destination they had acquired a mellow taste and unique aroma and so this was the start of Indias famous monsooned coffee.

I'm glad to say transport has moved on since those days but India still produces the famous monsoon coffee. The production of the beans has changed a bit, but they still offer a unique coffee with a wonderfully mellow taste and aroma. Nature also lends a hand in the form of the monsoon season.

Once the Coffee beans have been picked it can then take between 10 to 16 months before the monsooned coffee is finally ready. Once they have been picked they are stored in warehouses and once the monsoon winds begin to blow the sides of these warehouses are opened exposing the coffee beans to the full force of the monsoon season. While this is happening the beans are absorbing moisture from the air.

While the beans are in these warehouses they are constantly raked and moved, by doing this they absorb even more moisture. Also during this process the coffee beans themselves begin to lose the characteristic colouring and now take on a much paler colour. These monsooned beans also lose a lot of the acidity that you find in most other coffee.

Though coffee is widely produced throughout Indian. there is only one true place where a monsooned coffee can be produced and that is Malabar. the major factor which makes the malabar region perfecr is the high humidity of the area. Probably the most famous of all these is the moonsoon malabar coffee.

The History of the Monsoon Coffee

Back in the days of the sailing ships Coffee was sent to Europe often taking up to 6 months to get there, this meant that the beans sat in the damp and humid holds of the ships for quite a long time. These conditions forced the beans to lose the original characteristics and instead take on some completely new ones, the most noticeable was the increase in size and the pale colour these beans had now turned.

As transport improved it tool less time to get the coffee to Europe so the beans did now have the time to absorb the required amount of moisture.

Europeans did not worm to this new tasting beverage and demanded the original that they had grown to love. So the Indian producers strove to duplicate the flavours and characteristics imparted by the long sea journey. They eventually realised that Malabar in the monsoon season had the perfect conditions to replicate these conditions. Today Monsooned Malabar coffee is loved all around the world and India now produces over the 3000 tonnes of this highly sought after bean each year.

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