Friday, May 11, 2007

Mansooned Malabar coffee to get GI tag

We all know that GI tag is acquiring importance in international trade. GI stands for Geographical Indication and is used to identify goods having special characteristics and originate from a definite geographical territory. For example: Darjeeling tea and Pochampally sarees. These certifications aim to provide legal protection to Indian geographical indications for boosting exports and prevent unauthorized use of a registered geographical indication by others.

We can easily understand Malabar coffee. Coffee originating from Malabar region of India. But what is Mansooned Malabar coffee? This has an interesting story.

Prior to opening up the Suez Canal in 1869, this variety of Arabica coffee bean was transported across the Mediterranean Sea to the Scandinavian (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland) countries in about six months. Due to high sea moisture, the bean lost its green colour and turned golden. After the opening up of the Suez Canal, the coffee was transported through the shorter route and the Scandinavians started complaining about the lack of the regular aroma and flavour. So, the coffee growers in the Mangalore regions devised the process known as “Monsooning Coffee”. The process involved seasoning the coffee beans with humidity.