Full City and darker: Monsooned roasts in a unique way: you have more volume and less weight comapred to other coffees. It colors in a unique way, with coffee at 2nd crack with an even caramel-brown color whereas another coffee at the same degree of roast would be darker in appearance.
Monsooned coffees are stored in special warehouses until the Monsoon season comes around. The sides of the structure are opened and moist monsoon winds circulate around the coffee making it swell in size and take on a mellowed but aggressive, musty flavor. Our source for Monsooned Malabar is the Coehlo's Gold brand from the Silver Cloud Estate. Silver Cloud Estate was founded in 1950 by Gregory Joseph Coelho, the scion of an illustrious family of planters - whose coffee growing traditions, date back to the early part of the 20th century. In thier monsooning process, arabica coffee is spread on the floor of the special monsooning warehouse in Mangalore, raked and turned around by hand to enable them to soak in moisture of the humid winds. The monsooning process takes around 12 to 16 months of duration, where in the beans swell to twice their original size and turn into pale golden colour.Then there are additional hand-sortings to remove any coffee that did not expand properly, and the coffee is prepared for export. This is an extremely earthy, musty, pungent cup with a unique combination of caramelly finish and potent flavors. It is not for those who like a "clean" cup, or sweet coffees! By all standard definitions, this is a defective set of cup flavors. But Monsooned Malabar get's a free pass past the coffee censors because of cultural tradition, history, and the fact that (while it doesn't conform to the traditional ideas of good coffee) it is in it's own right a unique coffee flavor. It has some use in espresso blending with a preparation of longer drum roasting and resting (after roasting) of 3+ days. There are Italian espresso roasting companies that use this coffee in their "exotic" blend offering, along with 2-3 other non-monsooned arabicas to even out the cup and provide aroma and some sweetness ... for example Cafes Trottet. Even as a drip/infusion brew, the coffee mellows after 2 days and the cup is more balanced so resting is key to best cup results. A note: I cupped a lot of Monsooned coffees (and in fact, quite a few different lots of Coehlo's Gold) to find this particular lot. There are some VERY nasty lots of Monsooned Indian Malabar out there - I really think this represents the true cup, what it really should be.