Coffee of the month – Indian Monsoon Malabar

Indian Monsoon Malabar
Indian Monsoon Malabar

This continues my very amateur series of monthly coffee reviews. Last time it was the excellent Kenyan Kirigia Estate, but this month it is the exotic sounding Indian Monsoon Malabar.

Brewing
A quick word on brewing. Up until the last few weeks I’ve been either using a stove top/moka style pot (which I thought was espresso) or a filter machine with hot plate. Having looked into things with serious coffee drinkers I’ve recently concluded that I need to get my brewing right if I’m going to make the best of these wonderful coffees I’m drinking.

An expensive espresso maker is just not an option and by all accounts good coffee can be brewed on a much more limited budget. A simple but effective method of brewing is the old cafetiere (french press). I found a good video from the Square Mile Coffee people on how to get the most from this method. I’m seriously considering getting an aeropress which seems to be almost as good as an espresso maker but costs only £30.

Review
This coffee gets it’s name from the way it is stored in open sided warehouses in the port of Malabar where they let the moist monsoon winds circulate around the green beans.

I’ve so far brewed this coffee in the filter machine and the cafetiere. This coffee is definitely different and has an unusual taste. It’s quite light and open despite being quite a dark roast but there is a distinct hint of mustiness in there too. The tasting notes mention a tobacco aroma which I can kind of get a hint of, although I’m not sure this is a good thing.

It’s drinkable but I’m not entirely sure that I like it that much and certainly a lot less than last months coffee. On the plus side it’s unusualness makes it ‘an experience’ and I’m glad that I gave it a go. Not one I’ll be returning to soon.

Coffee fact of the month
The first coffeehouse opened in the UK in 1650 in the city of Oxford, followed two years later by one in London. The fashion for coffee grew thereafter, although the coffeehouses themselves did not always have the best of reputations.

“They were great social levellers, open to all men and indifferent to social status, and as a result associated with equality and republicanism.”

The great insurance firm Lloyds of London started business in a coffeehouse.

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Coffee of the Month – Kenya Kiriga Estate

Coffee of the month - Kenya Kiriga Estate
Coffee of the month - Kenya Kiriga Estate

I’m starting a new regular series on one of my favourite things – coffee. I aim to get at least one batch of gourmet coffee each month and give my own short review of it.

The aim is try a wide range of different coffees from different regions and estates.

My starting coffee is Kenya Kiriga Estate Auction Lot 729. I bought this batch as pre-roasted whole beans and ground them myself. I used a standard drip filter machine to make the coffee.

Review
I really liked this coffee, it is light, rounded with no sign of bitterness. Like all good coffee (and wine) it has a complexity of flavour and tastes slightly different when first sipped to tasted and then swallowed.

I also brewed this coffee using a stove-top maker but found it slightly sour and definitely not as nice as when put through a filter. It could be that my stove-top making was off, but I’ll be sticking to filter or cafetiere with this coffee for the time being.

Coffee fact of the month
The coffee plant originates from the mountains of Ethiopia in East Africa where it is the only place it is still found growing wild.