Great Taste Awards 202027 September 2020
We're delighted to receive Great Taste awards again for some of our coffees. We don't enter all of our coffees, we like to try a few different ones each year and only repeat coffees that we think are really special.
This year we had 2 Gold Stars for our PNG Sigri, Vernal Vibe, Ethiopian Deri Kocha, Shakisso and Kenyan Jungle Estate. 1 star for our Ethiopian Kochere. I hope you enjoy some of these as we add to our online list.
Kasia's video on using a Cafetiere/French Press17 June 2020
Watch this little video and learn how to use a Cafetiere/French Press
Nearly the end of April16 April 2020
Here we are in the middle of this pandemic with all of you. Really strange and surreal times! I do really hope everyone of you is keeping well and managing to keep some kind of normality in your life at the moment. Here at Monsoon I think we are pretty lucky! So far so good and we have some sunshine too!
Just before lockdown our biggest worry was how on earth do we keep roasting if one of us gets ill. How will we supply all the coffee shops/hotels etc? We knew there would be changes to come but we were slightly off piste! Within 2 weeks about 90% of our business had gone as all those businesses we were worried about supplying, had closed!
As I said, we feel very lucky, you see the other great thing for us is that we have always had a small webshop. We always intended trying to grow it but always seemed too busy with other stuff. Now we have time to try and grow it! All was going well until about a month ago. We were getting busier online, I was able to keep two full time staff members employed, happy days, then the postal service started to struggle!
Each day we have had more and more and more......non delivery enquiries. Those who know us know that normally when someone doesn't get their delivery it's a no questions asked new pack sent with our apologies. This is different though. Royal Mail have assured us that packs will get through, but with delays. They do update their site daily but there ar some serious back logs. Some customers tell me that their postal service is not affected, I don't think there are many places now that are unaffected. The link below is for updates. I speak to my account manager at Royal Mail on a regular basis but things are just not improving. Mainly not enough staff and too many people posting things!
I think if you get your coffee in a week you're doing well, most are about two weeks now.
Every few days we're changing how we do things here. We stopped anyone visiting the roastery and stopped markets before any government guidlines were issued. We decided we would send everything via Royal Mail, even local deliveries.
Now we're back to doing as many local deliveries as we can do ourselves and we have reinstated the collect from Monsoon button on our delivery options on the webshop. If you collect you won't be charged postage. However, you still cannot collect from the roastery but we have a collection point nearby for locals.
I have plastered all over the website that Royal Mail is not delivering on time. We still have 1st and 2nd class mailing options available but please be aware that you will have delays!
For those of you who want a quick, guaranteed delivery, take us up on our temporary offer for Special Next Day Delivery. If you buy 4 bags and pay 1st class post of £3.70 or 5 -8 bags at £5.57 we will upgrade you at our expense to Special Delivery. Remember you have to buy at least 4 bags though for Special otherwise we can't afford to upgrade you. Many of you are using this now and I thank you for that!
Thank you too from the bottom of my heart for all the support you have shown our little business.
Keep well, stay positive and hopefully some of you will be able to visit us again in the not too distant future.
Anne and the Monsoon Team
India - Day 6 & 706 December 2019
Day 6 - Our last day on the farm was a day of relaxation and sampling even more Indian delicacies. A late start, bit of fun with air rifle shooting coconuts and bagging samples to bring home.
Day 7 - 05.30am start for the long, adventurous, adrenaline filled drive back to Bangalore, stopped for a coffee in a highway stop. This was one of the "cool western style" cafes. Robusta coffee! Say no more and the cost for a local was about half a days pay for a double espresso! A thousand near misses later we arrived in Bangalore. We went to a cafe called "Third Wave Coffee" for an acceptable flat white, shame about the UHT milk! A bit of last minute shopping and a fantastic lunch, served on banana leaves and we were dropped off at the hotel for our last night in India.
It's been a fabulous trip, met some wonderful people and learnt more about the issues about growing, processing, selling and exporting coffee. We certainly hope to be working more with the Mooleh Manay estate in the future!
India - Day 505 December 2019
Another day another drive, thankfully not so far this time, off to see a friend of Akshay’s, Shiv, he is a fourth generation coffee grower, who is now also roasting for the local market. A really interesting character, always up for experimenting, larger than life character (apparently used to work in Bollywood, can’t say I’m surprised)! We checked out his shade drying area, and he did a small roast while we were there on his home 500g gas drum roaster, this was fascinating, to cool the coffee when it came out, he emptied it into a tray, took it outside, plugged a fan in, and cooled the beans under it, somehow it seemed to work! We chatted about all things coffee, while we tried a couple of his coffees, and were introduced to a surprisingly pleasant snack, fresh coconut chunks, eaten with lumps of palm sugar, delicious!
After that we headed back to the house, just in time as the pickers had unloaded today's crop, to everyone’s delight, they’d finally managed to properly selectively harvest, and all the cherries were an even red, as required for a better natural coffee.
Early evening, off to see Akshays uncle, who owns the neighbouring coffee estate, Kanbile estate. We had an evening of beer, snacks and music, this was everything from Chicago blues, John Mayell to Amy Winehouse. We had a really interesting chat about the good old days in coffee, the recent climate change effect (predominantly in the last decade) and the dilemma they now face as to whether grow more robusta, which is a much hardier plant, more productive, commodity coffee, but is currently significantly more profitable than arabica which is much harder to grow, although more delicious. The consensus was not to give up on arabica as the current disparity in price could change in the near future. He was also interested in experimenting currently with naturals and anaerobic fermentation, we also discussed the possibilities of a smoked coffee, you’ll hear it first here if this works! A thoroughly fantastic night, finished off with everyone (Chris and Akshays uncle) singing along to Leonard Cohens Halleluiah, the world needs more characters like this!