India has eight main coffee growing regions, all in the southern part of the country. Those with highest elevations - Baba Budan, Niligris, and Shevaroys produce most admired coffees bought around world for their special qualities. They are wet-processed or washed coffees; Arabica Plantation A being best grade out there!
India arabica tends to be full, round, sweet, occasionally spicy or chocolaty. India coffee beans are generally full-bodied, but can also be a bit on the sweet side.They're often used in espresso blends to add sweetness and body. India is known for producing some of the world's most sought-after coffee, but less than a century ago it was one of many countries in Asia with no indigenous knowledge about how to produce or roast. Today India has established itself as a major player on the global stage and their Mysore coffees are prized by connoisseurs across continents.
India coffees are often characterised by their full body and acidity, which is more balanced than a typical Indonesian coffee. India's rich flavours can range from spicy to fruity notes depending on the variety of beans used in its production.
Indian Mysore coffee is grown in the southern district of Nilgiris and Shevaroys generally exhibit higher levels of acidity than other coffees from this region. Respectable Indian coffee can also be found in Tamilnadu (which was once called Madras) and Kerala, where it's grown at elevations ranging between 2200-2700 meters above sea level.
India coffees are often exposed to the moisture-laden winds for long periods of time, which can increase sweetness and loamy sensations. Over a span of as many as three years, these beans undergo monsooning in open silos or warehouses that leave them vulnerable to the changing weather conditions throughout India's wet season called"monsoon." The result is a strengthening of the coffee's sweetness, often creating intense woody and loamy sensations - and a weakening of the acidity. The monsooned coffee beans go through a colour change during the monsoon season, when they turn even darker than their original green tint. The coffees are often described as having heavy bodies and muted acidity, making them ideal for blending with espresso due to its pronounced flavours of sweetness and bitterness.
The monsooning process in India's Malabar region of the country is not your average coffee roasting. The beans are left out to dry for a few months, but then exposed outside for three-four more months to absorb moisture from heavy winds during the Indian Monsoon season. The monsooning process turns beans yellow and reduces the acidity, adding a heavy syrupy flatness to the cup. The coffee is sharp and hard in flavour with this treatment.
One of the coffee plant varietals growing in India is called Sarchimor and is a hybrid between the Timor varietal and the Costa Rican Villa Sarchi varietal . One of the most interesting varietals they grow and export to other countries was developed by hybridizing two popular Indian varieties: Sarchimor which combines Timor with Costa Rican Villa Sarchi. Its high resistance to the plague "coffee leaf rust" and the stem borer larvae.
The label “Plantation-A” refers to the highest grade of Washed Arabica grown in India. The first part “Plantation” is the Indian terminology for Washed Arabica, with Natural or dry-Processed Arabica being referred to as “Cherry.” The second part of the name (-A or -AB) indicates the bean size and the percentage of imperfections.