Balmaadi Estate is situated in the Nilgiris district of India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, and is located in the verdant O'Valley.
With plantations at an elevation ranging from 4000 - 6000 ft above sea level, Balmaadi produces some of India's highest altitude coffee.
Balmaadi is committed to sustainable, unintrusive methods of agriculture and maintaining the exceptional biodiversity of the area. The estate is certified organic and practices a mix of ancient Vedic methods, and bio-dynamic techniques advocated by Rudolf Steiner. It produces its own compost, liquid manure and cow horn manure, and 'Pachagavyam', which is concoction of 5 products from the cow - milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine fermented and sprayed as a fertiliser.
Balmaadi harvests its coffee in November. The coffee is hand picked, and processed using natural method starting by cleaning and sorting of the cherries to remove unripe, over-ripe or damaged fruit, before being allowed to dry whole in the sun on patios or drying tables. Then the dried fruit is removed, and this has a big effect on the final cup.
In the cup these are amazing coffees. Indian coffee for me in the past has been very flat uninteresting and boring (with the exception of the monsoon Malabar and peaberry bold with get from Fiaz). This natural is everything but boring. Wild is a better descriptor. It will not be to everyone's taste and I wouldn't want to drink it every day. Its winey, ripe fruit, with sultanas and a sherry like aftertaste. But what a treat after some of the very clean washed centrals we have arriving.