|Processing:||Natural processed and monsooned|
Monsoon Malabar is full bodied and often used in espresso blends as an alternative to Indonesian Lintong or Mandheling.
‘Monsooning’ is a process unique to India, with a lengthy history and a distinctive, potent cup. It dates back to coffee farming under British colonial rule, when during the several months that it took to ship green coffee from India to Europe, the humidity and sea winds caused the beans to swell and age. As transport improved and the beans suffered less from the elements en route, European coffee-drinkers noticed that the coffee was losing the character and distinctive, bold flavour they were used to.
So, a new process was devised to replicate the conditions that produced this singular coffee. To create a ‘monsooned’ crop, natural sun-dried green coffee is stored in open-sided warehouses on the coast, which allow moist tropical air from the monsoon winds to blow through the storage area. Over a 2 to 3 month period, the beans absorb moisture, lose a degree of their natural acidity and swell to around double their original size, becoming brittle and pale.
The process starts when the monsoon season begins in June/July and is usually completed by the end of October.