Yes, it’s true! We now also offer Robusta beans from South India. Robusta coffee beans have twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans because they grow at lower altitudes. With their increased caffeine content, they defend themselves against potential pests which are more prevalent at this altitude. We have been searching for the right bean and tested many different blends until the ratio of 50% Leal and 50% Robusta finally convinced us.
The result offers the best of both worlds: It is balanced, strong, sweet, very creamy and big-bodied with little acidity, making it ideal for the classic espresso drinker. The aromas are chocolate, dried fruits and earthy notes. This blend tastes particularly pleasant even if you don’t quite stick to the correct extraction time/ratio.
Pavan & Shilpa Nanjappa (India)
Venkids Valley Estate has been in the hands of the couple Pavan and Shilpa Nanjappa since 2013 after they took it over from Pavan’s father. Their first harvest yielded barely 480 kilos of Arabica and Robusta beans, but the couple’s new approach has paid off: their Robusta beans are of outstanding quality, and have fantastic flavours and an impressive sweetness.
The Nanjappas offer their 40 employees and their families free housing, water, electricity and schooling for their children. There is also maternity leave, hospital care if needed and loans for weddings.
The Venkids Valley Farm not only grows coffee beans but owns more than 40 different types of trees, and spices such as pepper and cardamom, oranges and avocados. Between 50 and 60 species of birds are either living there or passing by, as well as wild bees complete the ecosystem. The region is also known for fertile soils, diverse vegetation and a balanced climate.
If you haven’t yet experienced Colombian hospitality, you will be surprised to know that what was meant as a business visit to the Melo family farm turned into a big family lunch with us “gringos” trying their local delicacies.
Jonny Melo is one of the sons of Nelson Melo, born in Samaniego, Colombia. Nelson moved to the Caldas region, 900km away from his origin, to escape the constant threats of armed conflicts in that region. With his wife Maria Bercelia Ortega, he bought Hacienda Bellavista. Jonny has always helped his father with the farm. Some years ago, Nelson rewarded him with a piece of land where he could grow his own beans. That, we must say, is a great honour for a young coffee grower. Jonny took this opportunity with commitment and enthusiasm and in his short time as an individual coffee grower, has received two awards.