First Batch Edition No. 12 - India, Ratnagiri Estate, Ashok Patre
Region: Athigiri, Karnataka, Southern India
Growing Altitude: 1355 masl
Processing Method: Natural
Length of Relationship: Second Year
Returning to our First Batch program for a second year is another excellent, natural processed offering from Ratnagiri Estate. After a successful first year of sourcing from India, we partnered with Ashok once more to bring in one of the highest-scoring coffees that we tasted from anywhere in the world last year. When compared to the First Batch Edition No. 10 release from Ratnagiri Estate, this year’s preparation yields the same deep berry-like, syrupy-body, vibrant kiwi and green apple acidity, with a long-lasting muscovado sugar sweetness.
A Blend of Tradition and Modern Practices
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.
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.
Naturally Processed Coffee
The lot that we chose specially for First Batch is a naturally processed coffee with juicy notes of strawberry, kiwi and muscovado sugar. 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. 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 tasted.
Just the Beginning
Ashok Patre’s goal is to put specialty grade Indian coffee on the map, through his experimental processing techniques, operational excellence, and incredibly high standards for quality. This is our second year sourcing coffee from India and we look forward to tasting more.