Monsooned Malabar coffee all set to get GI status

Written by Commodities Bureau | Kochi, Mar 28 | Updated: Mar 30 2008, 04:49am hrs
Monsooned Malabar, the specialty coffee cured by the unique monsoon rains of the Malabar Coast, is all set to receive geographical indication (GI) status, sources said. The coffee is well known for its defined characteristics like good body, mild acidity, pleasant aroma and flavour. Sold mainly in the Scandavian nations and a trifle in Germany, the coffee has seen mimic attempts from Italy and Indonesian coffee producers. Indian makers of the coffee hope that the GI status will confer a premium to the product that could help in withstanding the volatile fluctuations of the coffee market.

The coffee has also an interesting history behind its genesis. Coffee sold from the Malabar Coast in the time of the sailing ships were altered physiologically in the damp environment of the wooden holds. The coffee tended to lose colour and quality in the six-month journey, PD Thimaya of Aspinwall, a leading export house told FE. "But the consumers developed a palate for the coffee that was mellow and less acidic. Consumers began to complain about the taste when the coffee was later shipped in the good holds of the steam ships," he said.

Coffee exporters in Mangalore strived to provide the coffee to the preferred palate and rose to the occasion by devising perfect process known as `Monsooning Coffee' in which the coffee acquired the special flavour preferred by the consumers.

The process of monsooning involves subjecting of the principal grades of cherry coffees to a combination of specialised process over a period during monsoon months.