WATAPI was established in 1992 on virgin land. Progressively, an area of 10 acres has been developed as a COFFEE plantation mainly ARABICA SELECTION-9. 100% ORGANIC cultivation practices are followed right from DAY-1 - so far, no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides have been used in any part of the estate.
Only farmyard manure (locally available) is used. Up till now, there have been no major problems with any diseases or pests.
Initially (on recommendation of the COFFEE BOARD) the then famous CAUVERY coffee was planted on 3 acres, but it was not found satisfactory, and are being replaced now with CxR coffee (proprietary name: BUTTERCUP-BOLD, of PALTHOPE ESTATE, KUTTA, SOUTH KODAGU) which looks very promising. The plantation is rain-fed.
The coffee is SHADE GROWN, and for shade, SILVER OAK (Gravillea Robusta) is used on which PEPPER vines are trained, as in inter-crop.
The processing or curing of the coffee is undertaken by us on the estate itself. Harvest is between November December, and only the fully ripe berries are picked, leaving the semi-ripe and green berries on the plant, which results in several rounds of picking.
We use the WET PROCESS to obtain PARCHMENT COFFEE. After sorting, the ripe berries are pulped in a hand-operated pulper. We do not use running water for the pulping operation, with a view to: (i) conserve water, and (ii) avoid pollution by the effluents. The bean and the pulp are separated manually and then the beans soaked in clean water for fermentation which takes between 36 to 48 hours. After fermentation, the mucilage on the beans is broken-down, so the beans are washed and rubbed thoroughly to obtain "pebble-clean" beans. This is again soaked in fresh water for 36 hours, to improve the quality of the final product. After this, the beans are given a final wash and dried in the sun for about 15 days. The parchment is test-weighed to ensure full drying. The parchment is then polished in a huller to obtain roast-ready coffee beans which is finally sorted to separate the cut and damaged beans.
We have already received the Organic certificate from the IMO of Switzerland (Institute of Market ecology).
The coffee is sent to COFFEE LAB, Bangalore for cup testing, and we have received an excellent report on its appearance, taste and flavour. Copy of last year's test-report available on request.
WATAPI coffee can be classified under "speciality coffee" on account of the altitude in which it is grown, and the 100% organic practices followed..