REGION: Malabar Coast
ALTITUDE: 1,000 - 1,500 m
VARIEITIES: Kent, S.795, Catimor
Q-GRADE: 81 Points
CUP: Mild acidity, heavy body
FLAVOR: Earthy, pepper spice, nutty, dark chocolate, smoky
A Short History of the Monsooned Malabar
A historical accident brought the Monsooned Malabar into popularity back at the turn of the 19th century. In route to Europe, green coffee from the Malabar coast of India was exposed to the harsh storms, humidity and the salted winds of the monsoon season which changed the characteristics of the coffee. Over the 6th month journey around the Cape of Good Hope, the green beans ripened from their fresh green, to a larger, pale yellow bean with a strange smell. When the transportation methods changed over time, these beans lost their characteristics. The result was that coffee farms in India had to emulate the 6th month sea journey that made this coffee so popular back in Europe.
As the coffee cherries reach maturity and are harvested, the cherries are sun-dried until the flesh easily comes off by hand. Once dried, the beans are stored in warehouses with open walls where the gale winds of the monsoon season (June - September), saturate the beans with their moisture and the sea salt from the nearby ocean. It is at this time where the green bean transforms and is shipped off to roasters around the world.
Optimal Time to Drink the Monsooned Malabar
As roasters, you are all probably aware that some coffees must "rest" more than others, before the optimal flavors manifest to make the greatest cup. The Monsooned Malabar especially fits this bill. The coffee community has differing opinions, but many agree that a 10-day resting period is ideal to bring out the Monsooned Malabar’s distinctive flavor characteristics.
Many roasters report a less than terrific aroma, until about seven days after roast, and sometimes longer. Some even report that it takes up to two weeks for all the characteristics to truly come out. Once rested, the roasted beans will have a strong, full-bodied, malty sweet, smoky, and earthy delivery.
For most roasters, we recommend waiting several days and then cupping and testing it to see when it tastes ideal for you, and for what you think your customers will like. This is usually in the 7-14 days range. Unlike other coffees, we do not recommend serving this roast after a couple days. And unlike many origins, this coffee is not for everyone. But for those who do enjoy it, it serves great as espresso and with chocolate and other confections to pair with its malty sweetness.
We recommend serving a Monsooned Malabar hot, as it does not serve well iced. We really love this coffee and hope it makes for good conversation with your customers. So once roasted, set your alarm for 7-14 days and then serve away!