Region: Karnataka, Western Ghats Mountains
Producer Type: Private
Altitude: 1100-1200 masl
Genetic Varieties: Kents, S-795, Catimor, Selection 9
Drying Method: Sun Dried
Notes: Almost all Indian coffee is shade grown, and frequently inter-cropped with pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The cup quality is generally low-acid, mild, and well balanced, with spicy notes and full body.
In 1670, a man named Baba Budan was on a pilgrimage to Mecca and discovered coffee in Yemen. At that time it was illegal to remove green coffee from Arabia and he smuggled 7 coffee beans from Yemen into Mysore, India by tying them around his waist. Once in Mysore, Baba Budan planted the seeds in the Chandragiri Hills. The location was eventually named after Baba and is now called Baba Budan Giri.
Coffee production in India has steadily evolved while maintaining many unique traditions. One is the processing monsooned coffee which is unique to the Malabar Coast of Karnataka and Kerala and makes use of the moisture laden monsoon winds from June to September. During 3 to 4 month process, high grade Arabica cherries are exposed to the winds in well ventilated brick floored warehouses are raked and bagged frequently to equalize moisture absorption. The beans absorb moisture in stages, nearly doubling in size and developing colors ranging from pale gold to light brown. After several more weeks, the coffee is re-bulked, graded again, bagged and moved to a drier region for longer-term storage. The end result is a unique flavor that appeals to a group of ardent fans.