Roasters of Fine Coffees in beautiful Santa Cruz, California

Seethargundu Estate, Nelliyampathy, Kerala, India


Seethargundu Estate, Nelliyampathy, Kerala, India

from 15.75

Coffee was introduced to India in the 17th Century by Baba Budan, a Muslim saint returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, who at great personal risk - and in a distinctly unsaintly maneuver - smuggled out seven seeds of Yemen coffee, planting them in the Chikmagalur district of current day Karnataka, where they flourished. 

Coffee is grown today in the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. More recently, Orissa and the traditional tea-growing area of Assam in the far northeast of the country have taken up production as well, although we have yet to see these coffees come to our cupping table. 80% of the Indian coffee crop is exported, mainly to Europe, where it is a traditional base in espresso coffee, popular for its syrupy body, and otherwise relatively quiet profile. It makes a good backdrop for more acidic and lively coffees in espresso blends. Some of the most recognizable names in Italian espresso use substantial amounts of Indian Mysore coffees for this reason.

Seethargundu Estate is one of only two Demeter-certified biodynamic coffee estates in the world, the other being a Chapada Diamantina farm in Bahia, Brasil, also a favorite of ours. 

About Biodynamic Farming:

It's not too often that we get to create a listing for a coffee that touches on Anthroposophy, Waldorf education and the surreal architecture of the first and second Goetheanums, but so broad is the scope of Rudolph Steiner's intellectual and spiritual estate that those are simply some of its highlights. Among his many contributions to modern Western thought is the practice of biodynamic farming, a concept that went from abstraction to practice following a series of eight lectures he gave in 1924 to a group of farmers in Silesia. Arguably, his proposal for "anthroposophical gardening and agriculture" was the genesis of modern organic agriculture. The term biodynamic farming has enjoyed an ascendancy in recent years, representing as it does a sort of enlightened, saturated, hyper-holistic approach to organic farming, a term that itself has been increasingly diluted as it has been incorporated into the marketing vernacular of every multinational from Whole Foods to Walmart. 

The Cup:

This is a very nice example of what good Indian coffees can be. The cup is caramelly sweet and heavy bodied in a very peculiarly Indian style, but with an additional citric fruitiness that's surprising in a coffee from this region. Overall, very pleasing as a stand alone coffee. It makes a very nice espresso, and a warm breakfast coffee brewed filter style.

Producer: Poabs Coffee, Seethargundu Estate

Country: India

Region: Nelliyampathy, Kerala

Cultivar: Selection 9, a Tafarikela Ethiopia and Timor cross-breed)

Process: Washed, Demeter-Certified Biodynamic

Elevation: 3500 feet 

Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Candied Orange, Chocolate

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