Not only did they change in colour from blue-gray to a creamy yellow, the beans also doubled in size and lost their
acidity. Their resulting intense character and aromatic profile, quite different from coffee beans that remained
in the country, became the norm in Europe for Indian coffee.
With the arrival of modern steam ships, and the opening of the Suez Canal, the six-month sea journey eventually
shrank to just three weeks, decreasing the time beans were exposed to the surprisingly ideal conditions. Later,
in the 1930s, European buyers noticed that the coffee no longer retained its distinguished taste, so the rainy
conditions were recreated in a process intended to conserve the beloved flavour.
Known as monsooning
(or Monsoon Malabar), we’ve chosen to
Fortissio Lungo coffee to temper the acidity and increase body so that it impresses more strongly on the palate.
Our West Indian Malabar Arabica beans are harvested from plantations in Karnataka, in southwest India, then taken
to the city of Mangalore where they are stored for the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. There,
batches of dried beans are thinly spread across the floors of special warehouses, the sides of which are
to nature’s elements. To ensure that the moisture absorption is even, beans are spread and raked
(known as “garbling”)
in regular intervals on alternate days. Having been hulled at the farms, the beans are at their most vulnerable
to the environment and it’s not long before they swell in size and turn light yellow.