Centuries ago, when ships sailed around the Cape of Good Hope taking almost 6 months to reach Europe from the Malabar Coast of India, a strange but fascinating effect took place on the coffee that occupied these ships. Due to the moist sea winds blowing over these ships, the coffee lost its original color and acquired a special earthy and mellow flavor that was cherished by consumers in Europe. The beans swelled and took on an entirely different, pale-yellowish appearance that distinguish them from regular ones. Today, this process has been commercialized and is exclusively carried out in the coastal town of Mangalore in the South of India.
In the Monsooning process, whole crops of coffee cherries are selected and dried in expansive barbecues. The dried beans are then cured and sorted into grades – AAA, AA and A – following which they are stored in warehouses until the monsoon season. During the monsoon, these beans – stored in large ventilated warehouses – are exposed to the moisture-laden monsoon winds that blow over the western coast of India. The beans absorb the moisture and salts from these winds and get significantly larger taking on a pale-yellowish or golden color. The final result is a coffee that has pleasantly earthy flavor with very mellow acidity.