What is monsooned coffee?

Monsooned Malabar Coffee or Monsooned Coconut Coffee is coffee that is roasted and fermented for 6 months in rainwater or coconut sap, and traditionally shipped for up to one year from Kerela district, Tamil Nadu. 

What is monsooned coffee?
What is Monsooned Coffee?

As of 2012, there are seven companies in the United States that sell "Monsooned Malabar Coffee." All of the companies that market Monsooned Malabar Coffee describe it as unique, quality product and as such, an integral part of Kerala cuisine.

What is monsooned coffee?

Monsooned Malabar Coffee, also known as Coimbatore coffee or Coimbatore style coffee is a well known cup of coffee which is traditionally prepared for Tamil Brahmins in the Coimbatore region in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India.  Coffee is prepared in earthen pots made from clay or iron and is often served with small cups or pots of sweetened coconut milk.

Origin and history 

According to most stories, the coffee is said to originate from the Kaveri Coffee Roasters, a company in the town of Coimbatore which was started by an Indian coffee entrepreneur Rama Ravi Rao. Coffee, which was started as a small business enterprise, was first introduced in Coimbatore in the early twentieth century. The coffee was prepared by the Kaveri Coffee Roasters and is now prepared in earthen pots and served in smaller cups than the cups used by the Tamil Brahmins in the town. 

The monsooned coffee, which is a specialty of the Coimbatore region in Tamil Nadu, was introduced to the United States in the mid twentieth century in the Southern and Eastern region and by 1970 became popular throughout the US and is mostly sold by specialty coffee roasters.


Monsooning is a coffee-making process in which coffee beans are soaked in hot water to extract some of the oils in the bean and thus the resulting brewed coffee is of darker appearance due to this process. Some believe that the earliest coffee-making method, or monsooning, was around the time the coffee beans arrived in Indonesia and the practice gradually spread to Arab countries in the Middle East and later to South America and East Africa. The practice was adopted by coffee-loving Indians in Coimbatore, India who adapted it for their own purposes. It is served  inmany places in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Puducherry. There are coffee places called 'monsoon shops' in many villages and towns of Tamil Nadu.  The coffee in monsoon shops are usually prepared in monsoon mugs which are usually made of a thin wooden with wooden slabs covered with a plastic cover.

The South Indian coffee served in monsoon shops is prepared in a different way than that of the Tamil Brahmins in Coimbatore. While Tamil Brahmins drink their coffee using the "Coimbatore Way", the Tamilians of Coimbatore use a simpler monsoon method.  The monsoon coffee used in Coimbatore and other parts of Tamil Nadu is prepared by pouring hot coffee mixed with water into a monsoon mug, covering the mug with a plastic cover and leaving it to stand until the brewed coffee dries off on the lid.  The coffee is then sipped.

Similar monsoon coffee preparation in Tamil Nadu was used by the early Christian missionaries when they came to the region in the 19th century. In the same way, they served the Malabar monsoon coffee in the monsoon shop to the locals. The "monsoon shop" was later taken to the other parts of the world to form an indigenous branch of monsoon coffee. The monsoon coffee was adopted by North American coffee enthusiasts. 

Coffee lovers drink some monsoon coffee in the mornings when they wake up and at night when they return home. Most of the coffee sold in monsoon coffee shops are of fair quality, although it depends on whether the coffee is freshly brewed or kept for a long period of time before selling. 

Monsoon coffee is considered the "best coffee ever" in monsoon shops. However, since most of the customers drink monsoon coffee because of tradition and not taste, many monsoon coffee shops today sell poor quality coffee without a filter or with a filter that is only partially effective.

Monsooned Malabar Coffee Festival in Kerala

The Coffee Festival of Malabar is one of the largest and most spectacular events in Kerala. The festival is held in the month of January and marks the commencement of the monsoon season. Kannada and Tulu are the most widely spoken languages in Malabar. To create excitement, there is a special musical programme on the day of the festival. The venue is spread across 5 acres of land and hosts a large number of colourful stalls. Festivities begin at 08:00 AM and continue till 7:00 PM. The venue accommodates close to 15,000 stalls selling everything from coffee, spice and food to flowers, incense and souvenirs. Most stalls are open to the public and it is the preferred leisure time activity of many.

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