INDIA – Ratnagiri Estate
The estate has been in operation under the Patre family since 1920, being passed down from grandfather to father to son. While initially the son, Ashok, continued with traditional farming practices, he has since spent many years travelling to origin countries, visiting well known farms and taking from the best of their practices and incorporating them into his operation at Pearl Mountain.
For all intents and purposes Ratnagiri Estate is an organic/biodynamic farm and also maintains official Rainforest Alliance Certification. The estate is a lush, shaded environment with three stories of shade. It is home to over 48 recorded bird populations, monkeys, leopards, wild boar, tigers, mongoose and – on occasion – elephants. The rich biodiversity demands that Ashok and his family have an approach to farming which places ecology and harmony with the environment at the forefront. This is a world class farm, without doubt one of the leading farms in India.
The art of production
After picking, the coffee is de-pulped, leaving some of the mucilage. It is then dried on raised beds for 16 to 20 days where further sorting and prearation takes place for these microlots. The coffee is raked and turned every three hours from the first day of drying, and then covered in the evenings.
Agricultural maintenance is a top priority at Ratnagiri. Quarterly soil tests and organic corrections to soil are applied. Ionic seawater and seaweed extract are applied to improve plant immunity and sugar levels of the fruit. Brix testing of coffee cherries is done before harvesting.
Ratnagiri or “Pearl Mountain” Estate is situated at the top of a mountain range in the Western Ghats region of India. The local Hindi name Ratnagiri translates to “Pearl Mountains” in reference to the dense silver oaks which tower over the estate and provide a natural shade canopy for coffee.