Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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49 OmnivoreÕs Dilemma, but also economic sustainability. As one estate owner acknowl- edged, refl ecting on a year when the timber and pepper sales offset a down year for coffee, "I call myself a coffee farmer. But this year, I should say I'm a timber farmer." DAY 11 — MANGALORE/ ASPINWALL A three-hour drive—including a winding stretch through a protected forest and wildlife preserve—gets me to the coastal city of Man- galore. This is where Josuma's monsooning partner, Aspinwall, has its coffee headquarters. Monsooning is a process unique to India that uses the moist winds from the summer rains to replicate what used to happen back when cof- fee travelled to Europe in wooden sailing ships. During those voyages, and today during mon- sooning, the beans absorb moisture, increase in size, and shed both acidity and density. There's no monsooning to be seen on this trip, though. That happens during the summer, well after the coffee harvest ends in March. What I see instead are the post-monsoon steps that Aspinwall takes to create a cleaner version of Monsooned Malabar (they call it "Super Grade") that is geared toward espresso blends. To get to the 270 bags that fi ll a container, Aspinwall starts with more than 500 bags of monsooned coffee. These get winnowed down by multiple rounds of electronic, mechanical, and manual sorting, steps that remove the funky-tasting beans that cause standard ver- sions of Monsooned Malabar to be an "acquired taste" for some roasters. From this year's experience, I already know a few things to expect on next year's sourcing trip. First, I'll need to act quicker to secure the Ethiopian Agaro or Yellow Caturra at Bettada- khan. Second, I'll go in knowing that the best way to navigate climate and water issues is to have a fl exible buying plan. And third, having answered the, "When am I getting married?" question with news and photos of my wedding last August, every family will now be asking, "Is your wife with you? When are we going to meet her? You need to bring her with you." The author (right) is pictured with Sunalini Menon, known as the First Lady of Indian Coff ee, and a friend at the Coff ee Lab offi ces in Bangalore.

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