For Lot 8 of our Producer Series, we have partnered with Riverdale Estate — a farm we featured twice in this series last year! This year too, we're excited to be able to feature one of their experimental lots as part of our Producer Series, owing to the coffee’s high cupping score.
While it’s important to talk about all things coffee, it would be remiss to not show you the loving hands and smiling faces that have worked hard to ensure you get the highest quality beans and the most flavourful cup.
Tucked away in the Shevaroy Hills of Yercaud, Tamil Nadu, Riverdale Estate is named after a freshwater stream that meanders through it, and has a history of three generations working away to produce some of India’s best coffees.
Prakashan, the farm owner, is a big proponent of experimentation when it comes to the coffee he grows. This time around, he and the team decided to explore grape fermentation which turned out to be a tricky balance to achieve initially.
This lot was processed using a method which required coffee cherries to be fermented with green grapes - lending this coffee warm aromas of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon that make it perfect to bring in the winter season.
To process this lot, ripe red cherries were handpicked from selective higher elevation blocks of the estate. After the floaters were removed, high brix cherries were carefully triple-washed in clean spring water and fermented with green grapes under a controlled environment for 3 to 4 days.
Our roasters have chosen to light roast these beans to bring out the complex flavours, without too much caramelization. The high malic acidity of tropical fruits like raspberry and pineapple keep the taste juicy and bright.
The coffee picking team has been a part of the Riverdale family for many years. The coffee pickers live in a neighbouring village and are kept employed throughout the year with other tasks around the farm. Years of working with the estate has attuned them to produce arguably some of the best coffee India has ever seen.
Tyler Ritchie, Head of Roastery at Blue Tokai, has fond memories of working with them. “Once after breakfast, I raced down and joined the ladies for their morning picking. I've never seen bigger smiles! These ladies radiate joy, warmth and kindness, and I seriously love spending time with them” she remembers warmly.
Our Senior Roaster, Suman Das, who profiled this nano lot from Riverdale spills the beans about the roasting technique they’ve used this time. “These unroasted beans are deep red, which is a sign that they’ve absorbed sugar from the cherry during fermentation because of the added yeast. The yeast used has brought out a lot of sugar in the beans, so this coffee needs to be roasted light and fast to preserve the bright malic acidity” he says.
“I cannot express my love for this whole team enough. Kudos really does go to Prakashan, and his brother Mohan, for treating them all like family and sharing the highs that come with processing some of the best coffees in the world. The team at Riverdale Estate is truly quite special” concludes Tyler.
To try our delicate light roast from Riverdale Estate, click here.