Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

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Page 44 of 135

DAY 7 — YELEMADLU ESTATE I'm in a Jeep accompanying Rohan Kuriyan on his morning rounds at Yelemadlu Estate. The fi fth generation in the family that owns both Yelemadlu and nearby Merthi Subbangudigy Estate, Rohan offers a hypothesis as to why Yelemadlu produces consistently better washed Robusta than other estates. "We have a natural spring on this estate. We can use that water to process the cherries and don't have to rely on a shared water source." Perhaps it's because I live in drought-prone California, but I fi xate on the water issues that arise in cultivating and processing coffee. For Yelemadlu and other estates near Balehonnur, an untimely blossom shower—at least for the Robusta fi elds—was the start of a challenging year. While irrigation can typically offset a failed blossom shower, this was not an option last year. Low river levels prompted the government to bar farms from drawing water. As I tour estates around Balehonnur, many Robusta blocks show the effects of drought, suggesting a poor Robusta harvest this year. The plants at Yelemadlu, however, look as strong as ever. While this bodes well for quality, yields may still be down versus last year. This throws a wrench in my preliminary 2018 buying plan, which assumes a larger purchase of high-quality Robusta from Yelemadlu. Few origins produce higher-quality Robusta, with India growing the vast majority of it. How this comes about is simple: Indian growers apply the same care to washed Robusta as they do to washed Arabi- ca. Beans grow at a similar altitude as Arabica and also under shade. Cherries are selectively picked, with unripes left for the next round of picking. Tremendous care is also taken in processing, with extended (24+ hours) fermentation and assiduous washing, using natural spring water in Yelemadlu's case. This is followed by meticulous drying, often starting on raised beds. A team of workers hand garble—i.e., manually remove beans—from this lot of monsooned coff ee. Authentic Seattle since 1994 CAFÉ SUPPLIES ON DEMAND Find exactly what you need when you need it at Barista Pro Shop 1-866-776-5288 45

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