Sunday, August 20, 2017

Coffee notes: Black Baza's Wanderoo (Coorg, India)

Black Baza is one of the new-ish artisanal coffee roasters in India, and the unique thing about them is they're perhaps the only coffee company in the world that has explicit conservation agreements with growers wherein they grow coffee under the shade of at least a 100 indigenous trees and 22 species of trees per acre, maintaining a shade canopy of 60-80%. That's quite something in this day and age, but for Arshiya Bose, the founder, it couldn't have been any other way. Sanctuary Asia has done a complete story on the positive impact on the environment by the plantations from where Black Baza Coffee sources its coffee  from (read here).

I've tried a couple of their coffees, and I'm a fan already. Today I'll be talking about the Wanderoo, which is an Arabica blend of beans from Kodagu (Coorg) and BR Hills in Karnataka. Up until recently, I wasn't a big fan of the coffee from the Coorg district as the ones I had weren't very smooth, and a majority of the coffee I've had from Coorg was of the Robusta kind, and not Arabica (not saying Robusta isn't good, just that it serves different purposes, not the same as Arabica). One coffee grower, a long time ago had told me the that the terrain and climate of areas like Virajpet (Veerarajendra Pete) in Coorg were much more suitable for Robusta than Arabica. However, it's nice to see that Black Baza has not only found farms that have agreed to have a positive impact on the environment by agreeing to move back to shade-grown coffee and grow 100 indigenous trees and 22 tree species per acre, but also good tasting Arabica!

Biodiversity & environment friendly coffee!
The Wanderoo coffee, a blend of Arabica from Coorg & BR Hills, Karnataka. Named after the lion-tailed macaque

Wanderoo means forest-dweller, and is also the local word used to describe the Lion-Tailed Macaque, one of the indigenous species of monkeys (endangered) that's found in the forests in the Western Ghats of Southern India. The Wanderoo is an Old World monkey and spends the majority of its life in the upper canopy of trees in rainforests feeding on fruit.  The Wanderoo coffee blend from Black Baza is a blend of Arabica coffee beans from BR Hills & Kodagu.

Aroma: When freshly roasted, and then powdered, the Wanderoo gives a rich chocolate-y aroma. Considering this is a blend and not a single origin (or single estate) coffee, it would be interesting to see if subsequent batches of orders of this would give off the same aroma. Nonetheless, it's quite fantastic.

Taste: This really is a good coffee to have black. It's got good body, low acidity, no bitter after taste (or any kind of after taste). I've also had a small glass of this with a splash of milk (no sugar) and it played out quite nicely with the coffee. However, it's best to have this black. I go the French press way, and I've also experimented with a new method of extracting a little more without making the coffee bitter (using the French press itself - more of this in another post).

Overall, lovely sparkly coffee, which I'll be having a lot of in the coming days!

You can buy Black Baza coffee online here


GST Courses Delhi said...

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Suhas said...

Sounds intriguing. I'm more of a striaght-up filter coffee person, but this might be good for the occasional branch-out.

Good to see you back! Do post more regularly dude.


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