RIVERDALE ESTATE - SHAVROY HILLS - INDIA
Since 1920, Riverdale Estate has been a family owned business with three generations of growers striving to improve the quality profile of Indian coffee. The farm is located in the Eastern Ghat Mountains is Yercaud – South India.
Prakashan Balaraman runs the farm, a passionate coffee grower who has pushes the boundaries on traditional growing practices and challenges the processing of coffee with a fresh, dynamic & creative approach.
Over the last decade, Riverdale Estate has transformed from traditional methods to modern farming practices. This includes the additions of a state of the art cupping facility, an energy efficient pulping station (wet mill), drip irrigation system used for the plants, African style raised beds to dry out the coffee and a temperature controlled storage room to store the harvested coffee beans post harvest.
The plantation sits at an altitude of 1450 meters above sea level, where Green tip Gesha, Brown tip Gesha, SL9 and SL5B arabica varieties.
The Loam soil in the mountain ranges have a fertile mix of clay, silt and sand perfect for growing coffee as well as other crops that are harvested on the farm like oranges, jackfruit and peppercorn. The estate also has a natural water stream flowing throughout the year making it ideal to cultivate coffee.
Some of the processes that are conducted on the farm are: Washed, Wet Hull, 72 hr Natural, Watermelon, Papaya, Red Fruit, Carbonic Maceration, Lactic, Champaign yeast & Honey to just name a few.
Melbourne Coffee Roasting Co. is a proud user of the excellent coffees that are produced on the Riverdale Estate, it gives us great joy to know that through our purchases and support of the farm we have been able to support the local farming community which helps people to earn a good lively hood, help children go to school and allow funding for community.
Every time a coffee is purchased from the cafes we supply or a bag of beans is bough through our online store we are making a difference to the farmers we support abroad.
Once the cherries are hand picked by our team to achieve consistent in washed coffee for our roasters .
We use 3 stage process to remove all the defective/ underdeveloped beans.
Firstly we use the flotation method to remove underdeveloped beans, natural spring water is used to soak the cherries in a tank all the underdeveloped beans start to float on the top it gets removed.
Secondly the cherries are pulped in the wet mill we use mechanical inbuilt grader to remove all the small size beans and the unpupled coffee fruit.
Finally all the mucliage are removed from the seed by de-mucliager machine and we float the seeds in the tank again to remove low denisty beans for our washed process coffee.
All the beans are dried on the raised bed for 25-30 days and every few hours seeds get turned over so it dries evenly.
We use the moisture meter to monitor the loss and store the coffee when the moisutre reaches between 11 -13 %. We use different type of washed processing technique to achieve an ideal body, acidity and aftertaste for our customers.
We sun dry the coffees in African style raised bed as it helps us to remove the excess water quickly and creates good air circulation for the coffee beans to dry evenly.
Any defective or broken bean in the bed gets cleaned along the way. Every few hours coffee gets turned around by hand so all beans are exposed to the sun evenly.
Part of the quality control we monitor the moisture loss every day with the help of the moisture meter and record all the data’s so we can maintain the consistency of every lot produced.
For naturals, honey, carbonic and anaerobic lots extra care is needed while drying in the bed. For the first 4 to 6 days coffees are dried in full sun and cherries are spread out evenly into thin layer so cherries dry evenly and the outer layer of the cherries are sealed properly.
Coffees cherries are then moved into a part shade drying beds to slow the drying process for 20-25 days depending the process.
Once the beans reaches between 10-13 % moisture we store the beans into a purpose build storage space where the humidity and temperature are monitored daily.
All the lots processed are stored separately with the name tag where we record all the necessary information like when it was picked, drying conditions, lot size and processing information.
Once the ripe cherries are hand sorted and cleaned, it is processed in no oxygen environment for the number of days where the fermentation happens slowly this process is complex and delicate.
It took us 2 years of research with wine industry to get the tasting we wanted. We usually process Gesha and SL9 variety for this process.
By creating new techniques and methods in processing to create complex and delicate flavour which has never been achieved in the industry is the challenge but this challenge give us a opportunity to think outside the box while processing these carbonic lots.
These 10 lots of carbonic maceration are processed with care and to create unique experience for customers around the world.