Danelaw - India
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The Ratnagiri farm near Bababudangiri in the Western Ghats region of Southern India
Catuai & Chandragiri
1280 - 1417 masl
Notes of Spiced Orange and Milk Chocolate
India has been growing coffee for a long time, and is often overlooked when it comes to Speciality Coffee, with focus being on commercial arabicas and robustas, both washed and naturally processed. Thanks to a well-engineered trade tariff regime, it’s commercially challenging to import coffee into the country, either green or roasted, and so a lot of coffee grown in India is also consumed here. This sometimes takes the form of South Indian filter coffee - very different to a European pourover, and closer in style to a Vietnamese drip. Multinationals dropping anchor in the country to capitalise on the growing consumer base will also find it essential to source coffee locally too, and these chains are becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers, particularly in Northern India.
Working with Howard Barwick, a specialist in sourcing tremendous coffees from India, I first came across coffees from the Ratnagiri Estate, a 285 acre farm located between 1280-1420 metres above sea level, a couple of years ago and was really impressed by the coffees I tasted. It’s been in the Patre family since 1920 and current incumbent, Ashok, has been inspired by coffee farms around the World to promote low input organic/biodynamic farming. The farm is well-shaded, utilising 3 different layers of canopy to protect the coffee trees from the sun. The Patre family’s farming methods promote biodiversity, with a wide range of birds, monkeys, leopards, wild boar, tigers, mongoose and elephants calling the area home.
This honey processed coffee is produced by pulping the coffee to leave some mucilage on the bean, and then drying it with the mucilage still attached. It will rest on raised beds for 16-20 days, raked and turned every 3 hours to promote even drying, and covered overnight.
This care and attention to preparation leaves a medium bodied coffee with balanced acidity and sweetness, and tasting notes of tropical fruit, milk chocolate and raisin.