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Techniques - Written by Miles Spencer

How to drink Monsoon Malabar coffee

Monsoon Malabar coffee comes from India and gets its name from the way the coffee beans are prepared. During the drying process, the beans are stored in specially built warehouses in which they are allowed to experience moisture-laden monsoon winds for a period of several months (usually three or four). This causes the beans to swell and lose their green colour, becoming a very pale, almost yellow shade. After the monsoons have passed, the beans are processed in the usual way, and are roasted to a medium brown. The process of 'monsooning' the beans strips out the natural acidity, leaving the coffee with a neutral (or very nearly neutral) pH.

Monsoon Malabar coffee (grown on the Malabar coast of India) has a rich and pungent taste, with earthy overtones that are sometimes described as nutty and chocolatey. The transformation of the beans alters their flavour and texture, making them ideal for light roast coffees. Normally, light roasts are very acidic, but as Monsoon Malabar coffee has little acid remaining, a light roast gives a high-caffeine chocolatey sweetness.

Monsoon Malabar can also be roasted to a deep medium (also known as a full city roast) for more versatile usage. The resultant brew is not recommended for iced coffee (due to the low acidity), but is otherwise perfect for using in espressos – even as a cold brew. It can be blended with other coffees to create new experimental flavours, and is often used as an espresso base for many other coffee drinks. This makes Monsoon Malabar coffee one of the most versatile coffees around, and with its unique taste, low acidity and distinctive preparation method, it is a great addition to the arsenal of any coffee aficionado.

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