Coffee seeds are planted and cared for in special nurseries,
after a year the finest seedlings are selected and taken
to the large plantation sites. These seedlings are then
inter-planted with other trees (teak); these additional
larger trees provide them with the shade they require to
maintain a cool temperature, which they need to thrive.
As well as the teak trees other crops are inter-planted
amongst the coffee; these are black pepper and cardamom,
which provide the plantation with additional harvests.
These additional harvests contribute to the unique spicy
taste of the Indian coffee bean.
The plantation is positioned at a high altitude on a slope
with good soil drainage to prevent the coffee beans from
being saturated from heavy rains.
Coffee plants require a balanced environment in which to
mature, the most appropriate climate is tropical; these
trees do not like too much sunlight and cannot endure frost.
Generally coffee beans grown at high altitudes are more
popular as they take longer to mature and produce a fuller
flavor. The seedlings are left to grow for around 7-8 years
before their red cherry like fruits are ready for harvest.
The coffee plant is an evergreen, its leaves are
a polished dark green and its white flowers are an aromatic
beauty. The first showers before the monsoon are required
for the coffee flowers to bloom, these are known as the
In addition, there are sprinkler irrigation systems in place
to give the same effect. The flowers bloom when the tree
reaches around 2-4 years of age and have an aroma very similar
to jasmine, these only flourish for a period of 2-3 days.
Around 6 months after the flowers have disappeared the fruits
begin to develop, they begin as small hard green berries,
which over a period of 4-6 months turn to red then eventually
a juicy crimson berry.
There are two methods that can be used to
process coffee - the wet procedure and
the dry procedure:
The wet approach is more commonly used, it
requires the coffee beans to be softened in water, then
de-pulped mechanically in large tanks after they are sent
to be re-washed. Next the beans are dried; either by placing
them on a tile drying yard to be dried out by the suns natural
elements or placed in large revolving heated cylinders.
The dry approach is far simpler; it requires
the beans being left to dry in the open allowing the sun to
absorb all moistures. Once these processes are complete you
are left with green beans.