Before 2003, India didn’t have any provision for protecting goods that came from a specific geographical region ‘n were famous for their quality. Be it tea from Darjeeling, Feni from Goa, Raja Mircha from Nagaland, Monsoon malabar coffee from Mangalore, Kashmir Pashmina ‘n many other such examples of spectacular produce ‘n goods from across India. That were very famous for their quality. But didn’t have any sort of official recognition or protection. And hence were being copied by unscrupulous elements left-right-and-centre. In 2003, India joined The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS controlled by the World Trade Organisation. Which enforces Geographical indications. The GI gives protection to names or signs used to denote special products that originate from a specific geographical region ‘n are made by traditional methods. And over many years have developed a certain reputation.
Monsoon malabar coffee
Tea ‘n coffee were some of the major Indian produce that were exported during the days of the British raj. Slowly, over the years. It was established that the best tea came from Darjeeling ‘n coffee from South India. Three main states Karnataka, Kerala ‘n Tamil Nadu account for most of the coffee production in India . Monsoon malabar’s the coffee bean that’s probably the most famous Indian coffee outside India. I guess, the Indian love for ‘imported’ overshadows everything good that you get here. That’s why we run after Davidoff. The Monsoon malabar on the other hand isn’t really sold in India as a brand. Like how it’s done when exported. The story of this coffee bean’s fascinating.
During the British raj. Coffee was mostly grown in ‘n around Coorg, Chikmanglur ‘n shipped to England through the port city of Mangalore. During monsoon months, the journey was tough ‘n the longest. And the beans were exposed to humidity-laden monsoon winds. Over a period of time, it was realised that the beans that went though the journey during monsoon. By the time they arrived in England, had lost some bit of their acidity. And became mellow ‘n smooth-tasting. This became a super-hit in England. And hence was born the Monsoon malabar.
Of course, with air travel coming in ‘n better packaging. Coffee was no longer being shipped like earlier. And hence, coffee manufacturers started laying out beans in covered-from-top but open-from-the-side, well-ventilated sheds during monsoon months to expose the beans to the monsoon winds. Hence was born the modern avatar of the Monsoon malabar. The monsooning process also involves careful spreading ‘n repeated raking to expose all parts of the bean to humidity.
Monsoon malabar cappucino at The Farm
It’s quite difficult to find coffee made from only Monsoon malabar beans in restaurants or coffee shop in India. I chanced up on Monsoon malabar on the menu at a recently opened restaurant in Hyderabad called ‘The Farm’. The place has a decent decor. Very decent food. Ok sorta service. And over the top pricing. But that wasn’t my lookout. But the Monsoon malabar espresso on the menu was. So I arm-twisted the server to get me a Monsoon malabar cappucino. After all, like most self-respecting Indians. I drink milk. Coffee-flavoured milk ‘n tea-flavoured milk. Indians think they drink tea ‘n coffee. But think ’bout it again. It’s actually milk with a flavouring.
So came the cappuccino. It was creamy. Smooth. With a burst of rich coffee flavour in the mouth. I fell in love instantly. For long I’ve been tired of the coffee offerings of the home grown Cafe coffee days, Baristas ‘n Chocolate rooms. Their base coffee, though well-priced ‘n decent enough. Needs more attention. Another point that surprised me was that I saw the owner himself making the coffee. I was intrigued ‘n spoke to him. He told me that a Spanish friend of his taught him how to make coffee ‘n he likes to make the coffee at the restaurant himself. That I thought was key. Coffee’s the most ignored product in most restaurants ‘n even many of our so-called five star coffee shops produce the worst cuppa on mother Earth.
I hope The Farm continues with their focus on coffee ‘n keeps serving delicious warm Monsoon malabar.
Details of ‘The Farm’
Address – The Farm, KVR Holdings, 715, Ground floor, Road number 36, Jubilee hills, Hyderabad. Situated in the same building as designers Nikhil & Shantanu.
Timing – It opens from 930 in the morning to 10 in the evening.
Pricing – The monsoon malabar cappuccino at The Farm’s priced at Rs.100. Rest of the food’s good, but priced higher than hat it should be.
Phone number – (+91-40) 65867444
Location of ‘The Farm’ restaurant on Google maps
Happy hunting Monsoon malabar coffee in Hyderabad ‘n chow-chow!