This Peaberry lot cups unlike other India coffees we've tasted. Grain and developed sugar sweetness makes way for light fruit notes of citrus and stone fruits. There is a rindy aspect too, that holds on til the finish. It's a clean cup, and one that has crisp, tea-like acidity. City to Full City.
Karnataka is a state in India, and the name of the group who sourced this coffee for us. They work with a fairly large group of plantation farmers throughout different counties within Karnataka, and this lot represents mostly coffees from the city of Chikmagalur. Chickmagalur sits at the foothills of Mullayanagiri range, probably the most famous coffee region in India. The Karnataka folks used to just buy from one growing group, but have since cast a much wider net, where some of the value is in their ability to increase selection, and putting together from this more premium blends. This is a PB selection, so around 15 screen bean size, and gets a second sort during milling. About 70% of the coffee grown in the region is of the old Kent 975 arabica varietal, and all the coffee is shade grown out of necessity, for reprieve from the oppressive Summer temperatures. In contrast to the A selection we also brought in (also now available), this PB coffee shows a level of complexity we're not used to in India coffees. It's actually very interesting to taste them side by side, showing just how different two coffees from the same region and made up of the same varietals can be so different.
Aromatically, this coffee is not like any other Indian coffee we've tried. The dry fragrance is quite alluring actually, with a strong scent of toasted sugar and an apparent smell of dried stone fruit. Just south of City+ builds on the fruited sweetness, even with a (dare I say) slight floral note. The wet aroma continues to 'wow', with notes of brown sugar and raisin, along with a pleasing smell of buttery caramel on the break. In the cup, there are some grain-sweetness flavors that we tend to taste in the better India coffees. It's similar to barley or Assam tea - crisp, clear, and clean. This cup cools nicely, with some citrus aspects, both rindy and juice flavor, as well as a buttery toffee note. It's a great drinking coffee, and great to try in conjunction with another of our Indian coffees to compare and contrast the vast profile differences.