Coffee has been cultivated in Southern India since the mid 19th century, when British plantations were established throughout the mountains of Southern India. The tropical climate, high altitude, sunny slopes with rich soil and ample rainfall combined to offer perfect growing conditions.
Traditionally, coffee was shipped to the Europe in wooden sailing ships, the trips taking four to six months around the Cape of Good Hope. With beans stored in a damp, humid atmosphere below the water line, the beans evolved as the journey unfolded. On arrival, rather than being the green, dense beans they were at the outset, the beans had turned to a pale gold, doubled in size and tasted completely different, but none the less delicious, offering a distinctly mellow flavour.
Such was the popularity of the well-travelled beans that the Monsooning Process was developed in order to provide European customers with the distinctive cup profile that they had come to expect from Indian beans as transport conditions and speed improved over time. The process consists of exposing the top grade, dry processed coffee beans in 4-6inch thick piles to moisture-laden monsoon winds in a well ventilated, solid floored warehouse during the months June through to September. Beans are hand sorted and raked frequently to equalise moisture absorption over the 12 – 16 week process within a series of carefully controlled stages to ensure a consistent final result.