Balmaadi Estate is situated in the Nilgiris district of India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is part of a group of plantations developed over 150 years ago by Scotsman John Ouchterloney and sits nestled in the verdant O’Valley, which is criss-crossed by numerous mountain streams. With plantations at an elevation ranging from 1,200-1,800 metres, Balmaadi produces some of India’s highest grown coffee.
Balmaadi is committed to sustainable, ecologically-sound methods of agriculture, and to maintaining the exceptional biodiversity of the area. The estate is certified biodynamic and practices a mix of ancient Vedic methods and bio-dynamic techniques advocated by Rudolf Steiner. It produces its own compost and liquid manure. It uses biodynamic preparations, including cow horn manure, which is produced by fermenting cow dung and powdered quartz inside a cow horn buried in the ground for six months; and ‘Pachagavyam’, which is a concoction of 5 products from the cow – milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine – fermented and sprayed as a fertiliser.
Balmaadi usually starts harvesting its coffee in November. The ripe cherries are hand picked, pulped, fermented, washed, and sun dried. At no stage in the processing are chemicals used. The slow-dried parchment is packed in clean, vegetable-based jute bags and stored at an ambient temperature while awaiting further processing into clean coffee.
Biodynamic means the farmer gives a stuff about the farm, the land, the animals on the farm and the people that live and work on it. Think prunes and sultanas and currants, all left to soak in cooking sherry overnight, and you’re somewhere close to this coffee. A super coffee from a super farm.
Beans, Aero press, Espresso, Filter coffee, French press, Hemex, Moca, Turkish pot