Red apple, Cocoa and little cardamom spice in the finish.
This is out first Indian coffee to be offered in the six years Crankhouse has been in operation.
A couple of people in the industry we respect highly had mentioned India as an up and coming specialty origjn and then some samples from Olam happened to appear with some interesting processes and varieties. We were immediately drawn to a couple of standouts including this Red Honey processed SLN9 variety.
The Ratnagiri Estate is an environmentally abundant corner of the majestic South Indian Western Ghats near Bababudangiri, the place where coffee in India originated. Spread over 117 hectares, Ratnagiri has an impressive yield of quality specialty coffee successfully inter-cropped with fine pepper. Ratnagiri literally means Pearl Mountains, and the dense silver oaks that tower over remarkably flavourful shade grown coffee give a silvery hue to the hills illustrating the name. At Ratnagiri, generations of the Patre family have dedicated their lives since 1927, caring for a land that has rewarded their passion and perseverance.
Ratnagiri or "Pearl Mountain" estate is situated at the top of a mountain range in the Western Ghats region of India. The local Hindi name Ratnagiri translates to "Pearl Mountains" in reference to the dense silver oaks which tower over the estate and provide a natural shade canopy for coffee. This estate has been in operation under the Patre family since 1920, being passed down from grandfather, to father to son. While initially the son, Ashok, continued with traditional farming practices, he has since spent many years travelling to origin countries, visiting well-known farms and taking from the best of their practices and incorporating it into his operation at Pearl Mountain.
Ratnagiri Estate is an organic/biodynamic farm and also maintains official Rainforest Alliance Certification. The estate is a lush shaded environment with 3 stories of shade. It is home to over 48 recorded bird populations, monkeys, leopards, wild boar, tigers, mongoose and - on occasion - elephants. The rich biodiversity demands that Ashok and his family have an approach to farming which places ecology and harmony with the environment at the forefront.
The farm produces diverse varieties between 1250-1450 masl and has exquisite conditions for growing coffee. Ratnagiri Estate has been producing distinguished coffee since 1927. In addition the Estate produce high quality black pepper and Cardamom.
From the nearby mountain, there are two streams of water that are supplying the farm. It comes directly from the source without any distortion in between due to farm location, at the slopes of the mountain. At the average elevation of 1000-1500 masl and rainfall annually at the level of 1750-2200 mm, the areal climate is mild with stable temperatures between 14 –32 degrees of Celsius and cool winds.
Each year shading at the farm is controlled by professionals workers regulating every tree to achieve 50% of shading. That way, the environment for fungus is minimised with access to the sun for photosynthesis.
The Selection 9 coffee plant (SLN9) is a hybrid between Tafarikela (an Ethiopian Arabica collection) and the tough and resistant Hybrido-de-Timor. It boasts of all the superior cup quality traits of Tafarikela, and won the Fine Cup Award for best Arabica at the Flavour of India – Cupping Competition 2002 organised by Coffee Board of India. The following year was successful for Ratnagiri Estate giving the farm a 1st place at Flavour of India 2003.
Ratnagiri invested in new equipment at the end of 2019, purchasing ECOpulper which saves approximately 65% of water use, recirculating it, working under high pressure. They also custom-built the machine to have upgrades for honey processed and naturally processed coffees. Each run removes floaters and clean coffee before depulping.
For this Red Honey process once picked, the coffee is de-pulped leaving some mucilage and is then dried on raised beds for 16 to 20 days, where further sorting and preparation takes place for these microlots. The coffee is raked and turned every 3 hours from the first day of drying, and covered in the evenings.