Have you ever tried ‘monsoon coffee’? Also called ‘monsooned Malabar coffee’, it refers to coffee beans subjected to a particular process, designed to produce an individual taste. Unique to the Malabar coast in the subcontinent of India, the coffee beans used in this process are harvested then left exposed to the seasonal monsoon rain and winds for up to four months.
The constant wetting and drying process causes the beans to swell and lose any acidity, which apparently gives a far smoother, mellower flavour once the coffee beans are brewed.
The history of the process, which can be applied to any type of bean, dates back hundreds of years. When coffee beans were first brought to Europe from India, they travelled by sea, sometimes taking six months to complete the voyage. The long exposure to humidity and sea weather caused the beans to age from the normal freshly-picked green to a pale yellow, and caused corresponding differences in the taste of the coffee. As transportation times improved, the beans were less affected – and legend has it that Europeans began to notice and remark on the difference in flavour. Upon investigation, it was determined that the variation in humidity appeared to have a positive effect on the coffee, and experiments were made to replicate the conditions by exposing the beans to monsoon conditions.
The modern process is very carefully managed, and involves spreading, raking and turning the harvested beans to ensure that they absorb the moisture evenly. When it’s ready, the bean becomes significantly larger and turns pale golden in colour. Once packaged, the beans are roasted and brewed as usual.
Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, you won’t find monsoon coffee – but you will find a great range of top quality coffee beans, all offering fantastic value for money. For more information, visit our coffee beans page.