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Techniques - Written by Miles Spencer

How to make Monsoon Malabar

Most people associate India with tea production, but some areas of the country have excellent conditions for growing coffee. India actually produces some excellent coffee and one of them is Monsoon Malabar.

What is Monsoon Malabar?

This is a type of coffee produced in a specific way in a specific area. Enjoying protected status thanks to India's Geographical Indications of Goods Act, the arabica coffee is grown in the Nilgri Mountains in Tamil Nadu and along the Malabar Coast at Karnataka in Kerala, both being the southern-most states in the country. It is the crop's exposure to the monsoon winds that gives this coffee its name.

The coffee cherries are picked and then sun-dried and stored in well-ventilated warehouses until the arrival of the monsoon season. The beans absorb the moisture from the winds, and they grow plump and change to a pale gold colour.

The resulting beans are practically Ph neutral and have a taste that coffee professionals describe as tasting like red wine, chocolate and nuts with a faintly tobacco/smoky and spicy nuance producing a full-bodied and smooth coffee.

Although the raw beans are paler than other varieties, they are dark roasted to achieve the best flavour.

The Best Way to Drink Monsoon Malabar

Monsoon Malabar coffee is not available as instant, so you have to purchase whole or ground beans. Lacking bitterness, it is a versatile coffee and can easily be ground at home if you prefer to buy beans. The drink can be made in stove-top percolators, cafetieres and filter machines.

To get the most from the flavour it makes a great espresso, but it also pairs extremely well with milk-based drinks because the milk complements rather than deadens the flavour. Monsoon Malabar is really good in flat white, latte and cappuccino.

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