The Chikmagular District in India
It is a rare occurrence to find great tasting coffee from a single plantation farm in India, however this microlot from the Chikmagular district ticks both of these boxes.
Often renowned for its Robusta (as the climate conditions favour this crop more) India has been vastly improving its farming techniques and infrastructure so much so that more and more Arabicas have been cultivated over the past decade. Sustainability of the coffee is also high on the agenda at this farm as a lot of research goes into maintaining the quality and ensuring the crop remains resistant to leaf rust and other diseases.
Smaller plantations have more at risk during these outbreaks, so their hard work outlines the respect they have towards the coffee.
This particular crop is natural process, meaning that the cherries are sorted and dried almost immediately after they are picked, they coffee undergoes a maturing process whereby natural sugars help within the cherry are transferred to the seed – resulting in a wild tasting brew.
Indian Coffee Profile
Coffee in India has been cultivated since the late 17th century but it wasn’t until the 19th century until plantations in the south began to flourish. A common myth with Indian coffee is that the pilgrim Baba Budan smuggled green coffee beans through Yemen and planted them the Chikmagular region creating India’s first coffee.
Whatever the truth may be, this coffee represents what that coffee might have tasted like, and that’s good enough for us to believe. A dominant process method in India is the washed or ‘monsooned’ method whereby the green coffee endures an artificial monsoon environment in warehouses, emulating the conditions the first green beans had when they made their way over to Europe.
For this coffee to have a completely different method and still taste fantastic it goes to show that India can rely on more than its traditions to take on the fast-paced coffee industry.
With time, single farm gems like this will draw the world’s attention to what else India has to offer.