The Planter : Unakki Coffee Collective
Set in Joldal, Palya in Chikmagalur district, Unakki Coffee Collective was born out of a passion for Indian coffee and elevating the processes that coffee producers indulge in. The name ‘Unakki’ derives from ‘den of snakes’ which has been a part of the region for more than 400 years and is worshipped by the local community. The name is also an ode to their coffee community which has stayed strong and withheld all kinds of climate changes.
The collective was started by Kathyayini Muddiah and Rakhee Vishwanath who have backgrounds in Architecture and Software, respectively, and strive to highlight the work done by smaller farmers and celebrate specialty coffee. They also help the producers with timelines, pulping coffee, picking cherries, and more. The biggest challenge they faced was drying the coffee and maintaining its quality because of drastic changes in climatic conditions.
After quitting their corporate jobs in the Covid-19 lockdown, they began researching how specialty coffee is grown and processed internationally, which prompted them to implement the same in India, to empower neighbouring small-holding coffee farms. The first harvest that they worked on was done using basic specialty practices which was bought by us to support the work that Unakki does. They follow a similar co-op model to how coffees are produced and sold in Costa Rica and most African coffee-producing countries. This model aims at ensuring a sustainable income for smaller producers who wouldn’t usually have access to specialty processing opportunities.
The three estates from where the coffee cherries hail provide a welcoming habitat for a number of birds, animals and plants. The farms also grow other crops like orange, lemon, jackfruit, banana, soapberry and pepper. (1)
The Roaster : Kapikottai
Barista on Bike AKA Binny suggested that i visit this roaster a few blocks from home, who was roasting coffee on his OTG. Akshay showed me the whole process, but who undoubtedly charmed me was Bumbles – the amazing doggo and mascot of Kapikottai. Akshay is a musician who plays the Chitravainika and hence the raagams for the names of the coffee. However, he is under strict orders from regulars to never rename Mind=Blown and Curveball. OG Classics. He’s now roasting on a Ailio Bulledt R1V2 which makes his coffee extra superbly awesome but he still drinks half the bag in the name of QC checks. 🙂
The Processor : Barista on Bike
Barista on Bike AKA Binny AKA Coffee Coach helps the coffee farms with processing of their coffee among so many other things. At the farm level, he helps with training ground staff regarding selective picking, drying process, helps them make the PSD and honeys that we roast and brew at home. Binny is now a Q Processing Level 2 Professional which is just absolutely 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥
What i want to Remember
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Brilliant morning coffee!! Doesnt seem “washed” and iam going to attribute the amazingness to the Women @ Unakki, Binny for the processing and Akshay for the precise roasting,. Also my soulmate SLN13 helps. 😛 I remember reaching out for this pack as my first morning brew until this was completely done! Winner for sure.