Seasonal Cause and Effect

A single glance at Monsooned Malabar coffee beans tells you they are unique. Before roasting, they are creamy yellow to yellowy cream instead of the usual pale-to-medium green. Their average size is another giveaway: bigger. These Catimor Arabica beans have been painstakingly handled to recreate a 19th-century accident.

Weather Makes the Coffee Special

India’s Monsooned Malabar coffee develops its low acidity and thick, creamy earthy flavor during repeated cycles of humidity and drying that once was the natural consequence of sailing around the Cape of Good Hope during the monsoon season. Smallholders in Karnataka each produce only a little coffee. From these batches, they select entire crops of coffee cherries to patio-dry. From June through September, these beans wait in warehouses for the onset of the monsoon. Then they are exposed for 12 to 16 weeks to moisture-saturated monsoon winds. The weather makes the drying coffee beans repeatedly swell and contract. It requires constant handling to keep the beans from rotting: spreading, raking, and turning new surfaces to the air.

This year’s monsoon began a few days early, around June 4. Imagine a season of almost constant overcast, cooler temperatures, saturated atmosphere, and roughly three meters of rain after the incessant heat of March to May.

Again this year, Holler Roast has been lucky enough to acquire a supply of the special Monsooned Malabar beans. It’s among connoisseurs’ favorites because of the very long-lasting flavors of wood, smoke, and the earth, along with a lingering malty sweetness. It carries an almost neutral acidity, too. Take a good, long sniff of its nut and dark chocolate aromas. Try this month’s coffee as espresso as well as in weaker dripped infusions. We’re pretty sure you’ll reorder Monsooned Malabar. It has become a perennial favorite at Holler Roast Coffee.

If you love to taste new things, don’t forget to subscribe to Coffee of the Month, where you can pick how much coffee and how long to receive the best coffee varieties Nicole locates. Only sometimes does a Coffee of the Month join the regular Coffee Shop offerings.

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