India Ratnagiri Estate – 10 oz
The Western Ghats run parallel to the west coast of India, reaching into the Karnataka State. Westerly monsoon winds carry dense rain clouds that break on the intercepting mountain range, sustaining the rainforest’s flora, fauna, and wildlife. Ratnagiri Estate is situated in the southwestern Ghat’s foothills, where the mountain meets the Deccan Plateau near Bababudangiri, the birthplace of coffee production in India. This abundant mountainside is canopied by silver oak trees, shading the coffee that’s been grown below for generations. The Patre family founded Ratnagiri Estate in 1927, and Ashok Patre assumed ownership in 1989. Since then, Ashok has revolutionized coffee production on his farm and in India.
Ashok explains, “Slowly, we were successful because the coffee spoke for itself… It was a long journey, but well worth it because we were able to showcase that even India can produce some really good specialty coffees. We are proud to offer these coffees today.”
Converting from a traditional coffee farm to a specialty-focused operation is a risk, especially within a country where nearly 75% of the coffee produced is Robusta. After taking over the farm in 1989, Ashok only practiced washed processing like his family before him. In 2010, though, he noticed the single-origin trend in cafes and the industry’s push for higher-quality offerings. In 2016, Ashok produced his first honey-processed coffees and slowly started adapting production toward specialty to meet this demand. He invested in infrastructure by constructing a mill, drying houses, and a washing station outfitted with fermenters.
Ashok is focused on eco-friendly farming. “The only thing we use is fertilizers, and in case we have a pest attack, it is always biological control… I have seen a lot of farms all over the world [who] by indiscriminate use of pesticides and herbicides…ruin their farms.” Varieties grown at Ratnagiri include Catuai, Catimore, Cauvery, SL-9, and Hemavathi intercropped with fine pepper. In processing, many unique modulations of washed, carbonic maceration naturals, anaerobic naturals, yeast-fermented naturals, aerobic fermented honeys, and their signature carbonic macerated washed are applied to individual varieties from specific farm subplots.