A state not known for its coffee is now bringing to the world some of the best brews that man has tasted and Zizira is hot on its heels. Meghalaya, India’s beautiful Northeastern hill state, is now growing high-quality specialty coffee, comparable to the best in the world.
Soon you can taste one of the best Arabica coffee from the hills and that too, grown naturally, the organic way. That’s the surprise that greeted Zizira’s explorers on their adventures through the hills of Meghalaya. We found coffee growing at an altitude of 4,000 feet. It’s now just a matter of time: with proper harvesting and post-harvest processing knowledge, this coffee is soon set to become the coffee connoisseur’s preferred brew.
The altitude is important. Remember, that the superior quality Arabica strain only grows at higher altitudes. They are hand-picked and hauled down the sides of mountains on the backs of mules and on the heads of laborers. It is about the same in Meghalaya. And the coffee is proving to be just as good.
Did you know? The earliest evidence of coffee-drinking appeared in the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen (Source)
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This is a big break for the farmers of the state. So far the south of India used to be known as coffee country – Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were the main producers with a combined output of 229,000 MT. Northeast India produced just 220 MT of coffee during the 2014-2015 cycle. Not that we are talking bigger volumes here: we are talking superb quality that can match the world.
Zizira has a mission of not only helping the marginal farmers of the state in the farming process, but also of promoting their excellent produce so they can reach buyers across the world. As Zizira’s tireless explorers set out to discover these high-quality coffee growing farmers, we drove through hills and valleys and then trekked to reach a place in Ri-bhoi district, never really known for its coffee. That is set to change now, forever. And keeping to our promise of helping the farmers through every stage, right till the market.
Zizira decided to bring back some of those excellent beans and roast them right, to find out just how good they are. Internationally, coffee beans are treated like gemstones, just more fragile.
Storing is as important as the harvesting bit. There are standards followed around the world for these expensive and fragile beans, and things can go wrong quickly.
Neglect to store them in a dry, climate-controlled facility, and they could be ruined right away. All these are done to preserve the integrity of the beans. These are also Zizira’s mission, to learn, to teach, to help with techniques that have been perfected around the world and then to bring this extraordinary flavor of the hills to your breakfast table. Over to you! Would you prefer quality coffee from the pristine hills of Meghalaya?