Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monsooned Malabar: A Coffee With a Cool History
When the British finally came around to enjoying coffee (though not as much as tea, I guess), they looked to their colonies to provide them this vital, vital resource. Temperate India was a logical choice for growing beans, and it became a major supplier.
But the trip back to Europe was a long one by sea, and the beans, stored in the leaky hold of the wooden trading ships, went off, ever-so-slightly. The resulting coffee was mysteriously delicious, however, mellow and dark, smoky, but not too acidic. It was like blue cheese I guess? But not blue, or made out of milk.
Since then, we have made huge advances in having ships that are not made out of wood technology, and so this peculiar kind of coffee has undergone a change as well. Now, beans grown in the Malabar region of Kerala, in India, are allowed to become dampened during Monsoon season before they are dried out and roasted. The process is called, awesomely, "Monsooning." It is the opposite of sun tanning, scientifically speaking. And so, now we can all enjoy Monsooned Malabar, available at your friendly neighbourhood Mercury Espresso Bar for a measly nine bucks per half pound.