Epic. Seasonal. Crafted.
Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
Dark chocolate orange, raisins, malty, clove.
A long-time partner of Grumpy Mule, the producers of Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh have been growing organic coffee since 2001.
The Araku Organic Coffee Project supported by Naandi Foundation aims to raise coffee quality standards to ensure higher prices and better living. It also aims to ensure sustainable farm practices using organic and biodynamic practices, but also with diversification of income via strategic planting of fruit trees with new coffee trees as part of a mutually beneficial eco-system.
The Araku Valley coffee is the product of a unique partnership between the Small and Marginal Tribal Farmers Cooperative Society (SAMTFMACS), Naandi Foundation and Araku Originals Limited. From 2008 onwards, ‘Araku Originals Limited’ has been playing the role of a unique social enterprise that implements strategies to make the cooperative financially viable and assure optimal returns to the farmers. With the help of coffee experts from the world over and organic/Fair Trade certifications, and with the philosophy of deploying all the profits/surpluses into the company/community (instead of investors/shareholders), farmers started earning 10 times their original income and many of them were liberated from poverty. The success of this quartet – farmers, cooperative, Naandi and Araku Originals Limited – resulted in the successful expansion of the project to a total of 600 villages covering 15,000 acres and thereby providing sustainable livelihood to over 100,000 indigenous people.
Gathering the best of the crop from villages in the valley, the central processing mill in Araku Village, produces around 90% washed coffee, with a small amount of honey and natural processed offerings as well – which we are lucky enough to have with this fantastic natural lot. Only the ripe red cherries are brought for processing as the leaders of each village make sure that the best of the production goes to the mill as a point of pride. We are lucky enough to have some of this beautiful naturally processed coffee.
Each year at the end of harvest, the producers come together and hold an awards ceremony giving prizes to the top 3 biodynamic coffees and then the grand prize for the best village lot in the ‘Gems of Araku’ competition. This has the effect of driving standards and mutual learning to push production standards higher.
Location: Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Varietal: SLN 5, SLN 9
Certification: Fairtrade & Organic
Earl grey & citrus.