Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monsoon Coffee

     The British became infatuated with coffee during the 1600s. India subsequently began shipping coffee beans off the Malabar coast on a six-month long voyage nearly halfway around the world to keep up with England's exponentially growing demand. Of course, this was before there was such a thing as "air-tight" or "vacuum-sealed," rather the beans were exposed to the saturated monsoon air. They soaked up the moisture and swelled to about twice their usual size, thus (and quite to the people's delight) eliminating its acidity. This made for a mellow flavor, free of the biting, sour bitterness the British were so accustomed to.
     Was it perhaps an act of divine intervention? Did the coffee gods come down and blow the torrential monsoon winds upon the beans to make them even sweeter? Or was it simply a happy accident of nature? Who knows. If you ask me, it sounds like a health code violation, because a bunch of wet beans sitting for six months makes for a lot of mold as far as I know, but apparently I'm wrong, because Malabar Monsoon Coffee Beans are still sold and consumed to this day. The process, however, has been modified since the 1600s.
     Today, Monsoon Coffee is replicated by setting raw beans out in storehouses that are open on all sides, immersing the beans in the humid monsoon air. As a result, the unpleasant acidic qualities are absent from the bean after a good twelve to sixteen weeks of soaking up the moist monsoon air. The beans become a distinctly yellow color, as you can see. Crazy, right? Who woulda thought. Monsoon coffee... I mean it doesn't get more exotic than that.

1 comment:

  1. Sure it does- kopi luwak, as I'm sure you've mentioned before. Humans will eat and drink just about anything, it seems (Sardinian maggot cheese, I'm looking at you... and wishing I wasn't...)