Climate and Landscape of Coorg: Making It Amenable for Coffee Cultivation

Did you know that a majority of the coffee produced in India is grown in the hills of Coorg? That’s right, Coorg is not just a great holiday spot with incredible views, but is also a land rich with coffee estates with certain spices peppered through. This ‘Armenian gold’ kind of ‘knowledge of growing coffee’ has been passed on by generations to generations that follow and has helped create a vibrant and rich community of coffee growers.

On one of my trips, I found a farm in Coorg that was home to different spices along with coffee ofcourse. I asked the owner to teach me the ropes of working on a coffee plantation. He not only taught me the basic ways of coffee plantation, but also gave me free accommodation and some hearty Coorg food. Needless to say, I came back a wealthy person with knowledge most city dwellers never get. Not only did the owner have great insights, but the plantation workers too, had much to contribute.

Coffee flourishes in a unique blend of climatic conditions that includes humidity, heat and abundant rainfall. Coorg is ideal for these conditions and the slopes of the Western Ghats ensure orthographic rainfall that measures between 60 to 80 inches. Coorg mainly grows two strains of coffee beans – Arabica and Robusta.

While coffee requires temperatures between 23 to 28 degrees and as high as 32 degrees during mid-day, it also needs shade to grow in. It grows under taller trees like Rose Wood, Wild Fig and Jackfruit which are well supported by the fertile soil of Coorg. This region has close to 270 species of shaded trees which work together in a two-tier system to protect the coffee plants. These trees also prevent soil erosion and provide mulch to act as a fertiliser.

Another reason why coffee is often and is best grown on slopes is because water stagnation can be extremely harmful to the coffee plant. Much care is taken to ensure that the surface run-off is not blocked by any fallen object such as tree trunks or rocks.

The soil of Coorg is rich with nitrogenous material and has a good sub-surface drainage. The former is good for the nutrition of the plants, and the latter helps with water drainage. Another thing that makes Coorg the perfect place for coffee plantation is its brilliant connectivity and thereby the produce from the plantation can be easily transported into the markets. Coffee is a labour intensive crop, which is available in Coorg in spades. Even with all our technological advancements, the magic of the human hand and touch on the flourishing of the plantation has proven to be irreplaceable.

Our coffee, here at Aromas of Coorg comes from plantations that follow traditional practices of farming with immense respect for the earth and the soil. This is evident in the depth of the flavour and aroma of the beans. Having lived and worked on a coffee plantation, I know how delicate the ecological balance of the region is and how we must strive to maintain this balance. You can get yourself some of this wondrous child of our beautiful Mother Earth here on our website and have it customized to your taste. This is your chance at literally tasting the very earthly element of love, don’t miss it!

– Rakshita Sridharan

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