An Inside Look at India's Coffee Growers (Slideshow)
August 14, 2013
Coffee's rich history in India
Coorg: The Coffee Cup of India
A glimpse into the forest.
It’s beautiful, breathtaking, and gorgeous. A visual treat. You can sit in the same spot for hours and the scene changes every moment, each moment more mystical than the previous. Known as the Scotland of India, Madikeri, Coorg, India, is more than a coffee cup of India. One moment...
... and the next....
At 4,000 Feet....
More than 155 miles in six hours, with numerous stops along the way for coffee, local delicacies, and scenic spots. The experience totally worth it, and the drive from Bangalore to Coorg was something I will cherish for a long time.
We passed some quaint little towns, coconut groves, lush green fields, small village homes, streets vendors selling local produce... it was absolutely memorable. This particular picture is taken at 4,000 feet above sea level in Madikeri, Coorg.
In the Rainforest
A cottage right in the middle of 180 acres of living rainforest. There are 250 species of flora, the canopied woods, and the aroma of fresh air, the likes of which your lungs have never breathed.
In the Rainforest
Cottages right in the middle of the rainforest.
Coorg's Nature Trail
Nature trail at 4,000 feet above sea level, miles and miles of natural bliss, your eyes will never get tired but your legs can give way. A steaming hot cup of coffee after a long walk in the woods. You can’t ask for more!
Another glimpse at the nature trail in Coorg.
A cup of coffee starts with a jasmine-scented blossom. Each flower lasts only a few days. Within two months clusters of green berries appear where the blossoms were, and in another six months or so they ripen to the rich cherry-red.The rich ripened berries have to be hand-picked, and are then dried and processed into coffee beans.
There are two main types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica considered as the cream of the crop and is grown at higher altitudes. Robusta is lesser known and used mostly for instant coffee or is blended with Arabica for commercial use.
Arabica has a wider range of taste, from sweet to sharp and more flavourful, depending on the climatic condition it is grown. Robusta has a stronger and harsher taste.
Most coffee is a blend; like with wine the climatic condition is very important for the ultimate coffee experience.
There are three basic characteristics that coffee connoisseurs use to describe coffee — FAB: flavor, acidity and body.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America words it as :
Flavor — the overall experience of drinking a coffee, including both flavor and aroma
Acidity — refreshing, mouth-cleansing quality, a sparkling lively taste
Body — the sensation that coffee elicits from your tongue, whether it feels heavy, thick, or oily
Coorg has both Arabica and Robusta, depending on the altitude, since Arabica thrives on higher altitude and Robusta is hardy and can be grown in lower altitude.
Pepper and Coffee?
Pepper is cultivated as an intercrop with coffee. Pepper vines grow on the trees which are planted to provide a natural canopy and shade for coffee. You can see tiny peppercorns in the picture.
Pepper vines growing on silver oak.
From Coorg to Bangalore
Driving back from Coorg to Bangalore, a quaint village.
Local Store Selling Spices
Yes, I bought my share of it.
On the Drive
Driving past the coconut groves.
More Scenes From the Road
On our drive back, locally grown vegetables, fresh from the farms.
Finally, a Cup of Coffee
A piece of Coorg for me to take home. A cup of Coorg bella coffee/Coorg jaggery coffee. Jaggery is a form of unrefined sugar that's rich in minerals. The darker the color, the higher the mineral content. This coffee is made from black jaggery and freshly brewed coffee and is a local favorite in Coorg.