FEBRUARY DISCOVERY

INDIA

HOT CHOC, CARAMEL, CHERRY

OMNI ROAST

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FARM / NAME: GEMS OF ARAKU LOT 1006W

REGION: ARAKU VALLEY

PROCESS: FULLY WASHED

VARIETALS: SLN5, SLN9

ALTITUDE: 1012 - 1192M

GEMS OF ARAKU

Coffee was introduced to Araku in the early 1900’s from neighbouring Pamuleru Valley, and in 2007, Small and Marginal Tribal Farmers Mutually Aided Cooperative Society (SAMTFMACS), a coffee farmer cooperative formed with assistance from The Naandi Foundation, was formed to push the coffee production there even further. It operates across seven mandals in the area – Araku, Hukumpeta, Dumbriguda, Anathagiri, Paderu, Pedhabaylu and Munchinpet – covering 13,560 of land used for growing coffee. Araku farmers have decentralised small and scattered plots averaging 1-2 acres per family, and are subsistence farmers, balancing cash crops such as pepper, turmeric, and ginger with coffee production. There are 1125 farmers that contribute to this lot.

A state-of-the-art Coffee Processing Unit was set up in Araku, fully equipped with latest machinery such as coffee pulpers. Naandi in association with Araku Originals Private Limited (AOPL), a connected for-profit social enterprise, is also the first in the country to receive global accreditation as a Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) Premier Training Campus offering courses on green coffee, barista skills, brewing, and roasting, along with authorized SCA trainers.

Cherries are collected and brought to a centralised coffee processing unit that accepts the beans only within 10 hours of harvesting. It goes thorough an initial 18-21 hour fermentation before being washed and dried using a number of raised beds. It then rests for 180 days in parchment before being hulled and bagged for shipment. Any coffee on the raised beds overnight is covered with a light cotton cloth to protect from moisture in the air.

HISTORY OF COFFEE IN INDIA

India has a long history with coffee dating back to the late 1800’s. Today, most coffee is produced in the hills of South India. The state of Karnataka produces almost three quarters of all Indian Coffee. Over 250,000 producers grow over 5million bags of coffee. The vast majority of coffee farmers in India are small holders, with a number of very large plantations producing much of the volume. Roughly two thirds of the coffee produced in India are robust varietals. A large exporting nation, roughly 80% of Indian production is exported, given the local propensity for Tea. Traditionally Indian coffee has been known as one of lower quality, driven by the typical lower varietals and lower altitudes that coffee is produced. However in recent years huge strides have been made to improve the quality of production. Washed Robusta’s from Kaapi Royale have become the first R graded estates in the world, and areas such as Araku Valley have focussed on producing uniquely specialty quality coffee.

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