First Batch Edition No. 10 - India, Ratnagiri Estate, Ashok Patre
Region: Athigiri, Karnataka, Southern India
Growing Altitude: 1355 masl
Processing Method: Natural
Length of Relationship: New!
Centuries of Tradition
We love a coffee that surprises us. Having tasted coffee all across the world, it’s rare to find a coffee that changes the way you think about a farm, much less an entire country. Ratnagiri Estate has opened our eyes to the exceptional coffee being produced in Southern India and we’re thrilled to offer it for First Batch No.10.
India has a long history in coffee. Sufi Baba Budan, brought coffee to India in the 16th century on his return from Hajj, acquiring the seeds at the famed Port of Mokha in Yemen. Upon his return he planted the seeds near his home in the Western Ghats mountains, the same range where Ratnagiri Estate now sits.
A Producer that Redefines an Entire Region
The climate and land are exactly what coffee craves: misty mountain terrain, cool weather, ample rainfall and nutrient rich soil. Silver oaks and pepper trees are planted among the coffee farm and provide shade during coffee cherry ripening.
What sets Ratnagiri Estate apart from other farms in the region is the care, attention and constant improvements in equipment and technique. Producer Ashok Patre partnered with experienced green buyer and coffee consultant Damian Durda to push coffee quality even further.
Together they continued to improve their picking and sorting practices, built African-style raised beds to evenly dry the coffee, and experimented with various processing methods to bring out the full expression of the coffee. All of their hard work has led to one of our favorite coffees of the year, and the best we’ve ever tasted from India.
Naturally Processed Coffee
The lot that we chose specially for First Batch is a naturally processed coffee with juicy notes of strawberry, kiwi and crème brûlée. Naturally processed coffee means that the skin, fruit and seed are dried together as opposed to the washed process where the skin and fruit is removed, leaving the seed to dry on its own.
When done with care, the extra contact time between the seed and fruit imparts extra sweetness and fruit notes to the coffee, but it takes patience and practice to do it well. We typically avoid naturally processed coffees due to the high potential for defect and inconsistency. In sharp contrast, Ashok and his team take time to carefully sort the ripe coffee before slow and even drying, producing one of the very best natural coffees we’ve ever tasted.
Just the Beginning
Ashok Patre’s goal is to put specialty grade Indian coffee on the map, through his tireless work and incredibly high standards for quality. This is our first-ever coffee from India, but from what we’ve tasted so far, it certainly won't be our last.