Variety: Catuai, Cauvery
Altitude: 4,400 feet
Tasting Notes: Cacao, smooth, earthy, no acidity
Its name refers to both how it’s processed “monsooning,” and where it’s processed “Malabar.” It starts with a naturally-processed coffee bean, which is then meticulously weathered, or “monsooned,” to result in a chocolatey, woody, nutty coffee with almost no acidity. Monsooning beans began around the time of the British Raj, when wooden vessels carried raw coffee to Europe during the monsoon months (a 6-month journey), where the humidity of the hold and the sea winds caused the coffee to undergo characteristic changes and ripen.
When modern transportation reduced the length of this journey and better protected the beans, the Europeans noticed that the coffee beans lacked the depth and character they’d come to enjoy. Upon determining that it was the sea air and the monsoon winds and rain that created this unique taste, the industrious Indians looked for a process to replicate these conditions. The verb “to monsoon” was born.
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