I meticulously maintain an Excel sheet tracking every specialty coffee I have tried. If you didn’t already know that, well now you do. I keep reach of every coffee with every detail I can find – where the coffee was grown, how was it processed, what is the roast, what are the tasting notes – stuff like that. I was looking at the sheet and I realized that majority of the coffees I have bought and tried are on the lighter side. I like coffees that are light roasts with great floral and fruity notes. Its been an unconscious bias even that keeps me buying these.
Recently, I bought a new coffee from the first specialty coffee roaster I ever had coffee from – Blue Tokai. The coffees are named after the estate they come from, and this one I recently bought, is called Howdia Estate, because it was grown at the Howdia Estate.
The Howdia Estate Coffee
The Howdia Estate coffee by Blue Tokai is a limited period seasonal coffee from the Howdia Estate, in Theni, Tamil Nadu. This is a light roast with the awesome notes of orange blossom, black tea, and honey. With its fresh floral aroma and sweet honey-like finish, the coffee is recommended for a pour over or an aeropress.
This seasonal series is made with coffee cherries picked from 20 year old plants, fermented overnight to remove excess mucilage, and then laid out to dry in the Sun for a week. The varietal is SLN 9 and Catimor.
The Howdia Estate
Located in the Western Ghats, Howdia Estate lies on the foothills of the Megamalai mountain range, also known as the ‘High Wavy Mountains’ for its cloud-covered peaks. The estate sits at an altitude of 5,000 feet ASL surrounded by green forests.
The current estate owner – Sheikh, is a second generation coffee farmer who has been maintaining the plantation since 1995. Coffee is grown across 30 acres of the farm while the rest of the estate is covered with cardamom.
The Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters
Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters are one of the oldest specialty coffee roasters in India. When they began roasting in 2013, they had a small 1 kg machine that would require them to roast for 12-14 hours straight. I really like how transparent they are about their beans. I find it exciting that I find names of estates I have never heard of and Blue Tokai gives them all due credit for the beans – well, even the coffee is named after the estate. Plantations, coffee-growers, estates put in a lot of effort to grow the coffee – it is definitely not love and patience in there. It is also a lot of risk, a lot of investment, and a lot of other things that we can’t even imagine when we sip our coffees. Blue Tokai strongly believes in continuous learning and they have always helped me with any questions I might have. They are the ones who introduced me to specialty coffee, taught me about roasts, and about cupping.
What is washed coffee?
Coffee beans come from coffee cherries. There are multiple layers of flesh and membranes that need to be removed before you can get to the cherries. And there are different ways the beans can be treated once all the protective layers are lost. The washed process coffee is a process where the beans are dried without the layers on it. The washed coffees are de-pulped then usually fermented to promote the separation of any remaining leftover material, especially pectin, that might be still stuck to the beans and the parchment. After this, the beans are washed with water and dried. It is a water-intensive process.
Washed coffees are prized for their clarity and vibrant notes. Removing all the cherry matter before the drying takes place allows for intrinsic flavors of the beans to shine through without anything holding them back. The washed coffees will still have the fruity notes in them, but it would be harder to find fermented notes or berry notes in them.
On a deeper thought, would you like me to do a post on the coffee processes? Like say something that talks about what washed coffee is, how does it happen, stuff like that?
What do I think about the Howdia Estate coffee?
I love the coffee. I even went on to say it feels like ‘Love in a Cup’.
Why do I like this coffee?
It smells delicious, tastes yumm, and it is a great light roast. I recently got the Timemore C2 grinder and have been using it to grind the beans fresh. It has also helped me be more mindful of the cup I am having and of what I am tasting. This coffee has been a joy to have. It feels like a light and easy cup, with just the right balance of sweetness and the light acidity.
If you like light roast coffees, then you definitely must try out the Howdia estate coffee. It is a limited seasonal release coffee, so definitely won’t be lasting long, and you must pick it up as quickly as you can. You won’t just get a great cup of coffee but you would also be supporting some great coffee growers, so that’s something, isn’t it?
Just a disclaimer, the opinions here are my own, they are based on my likes and preferences. There’s a healthy possibility you might not agree, or you might not like something I said about the coffee, or you might like what I said, try the coffee, and then not like it and not agree. But as I said, this is just my opinion based on my likes and preferences only, and I have tried my best to keep it unbiased, but I am just human. So, take it with a pinch of salt, maybe, if you need to.
And I’d definitely like to know what you think. So drop me a comment below. Or even better, find me on Instagram and DM me there. My Instagram handle is @banjaranfoodie – pretty easy to find that, I am hoping!
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