India is the land of Spices, the thick western ghats and numerous birds/animals
Spice in coffee
In our plantations we grow fruits and spices amidst the coffees, the main reason we planted these crops as it became economically difficult to mange land and labours a few decades ago when the coffee was decentralized and open market started. Some of the plants you find in a typical coffee estates are oranges, banana, mango, cinnamon, green cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and abduntly pepper vines which run along the tall trees in our estates..
This gave the coffee planters a more diverse collection of product which helped tolerate market fluctuations or poor growing seasons between one or two crops. This goes as an advantage to coffee as it generally acquire some of the taste and aroma of the fruits and spices planted nearby. This results is a spice character in the coffee which is truely Indian.
Coffee plants require only a few hours of sun rays to fall on them each day as coffee's in India are grown in the southern part and we are closer to the equator, temperatures are generally higher than in other parts of the country, and coffee trees need shade to survive. The shade used in coffee plantations falls into two categories: an upper, permanent canopy and a lower, temporary canopy.
The increasing variety of overhead shade trees provide a sanctuary for birds and animals like the most common ones are Deer, woodpeckers, peacock, parrot, jungle fowl, elephants, leopard, bison and tigers
Growing coffee in high-diversity shade remains the most environmentally sustainable way to cultivate coffee. Surprisingly, India is just one of the few countries that continue to grow the majority of their coffee using such traditional techniques.
All our coffees are handpicked without the use of machinery so that only the fully ripen beans are picked. Under-ripe beans are allowed to remain on the plants and ripen further, requiring the pickers to return to a plant 4 or 5 times, this ensures that coffee beans are picked at the peak of flavour.
Our coffee’s are sun dried on patios within the estates itself. Although this process of sun drying takes a much longer time than mechanical drying, we believe that slower drying enhances the flavours in the beans.
Watered by Monsoon Rains
Coffee-growing regions in India receive between ~1000 – ~2500 millimetres of rain each year. This is the why the western ghats are nothing but think forests/jungles and house a rich flora and fauna.
Rains during the monsoons are so heavy that much of the water simply runs off the steep slopes of coffee plantations without soaking deep into the soil.
We also have a large pool/tank within our estate which is used for storing of rain water. Which we also use it for pulping, fermenting, and washing coffees during processing, the same water is also used for irrigating our coffee plants during the dry season or summer.