& Tea Estate, Nilgiris
Balmaadi estate is situated in the Nilgiris
District of the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. It
is part of the O’Valley group of plantations that were
developed over 150 years ago by an enterprising Scotsman,
John Ouchterloney. Home to the mysterious Toda tribes the
Nilgiris today is a major tourist destination.
Balmaadi grows coffee, tea and stevia at elevations of 4000-6000
feet above msl. The coffee is grown at comparatively higher
elevations, which produces a distinct flavour. The bushes
grow under the natural shade of the native shola trees that
are unique to the Nilgiris biosphere, and others such as jack,
ficus, albizzia, African neem and cedars. The estate is adjacent
to reserved forests.
Balmaadi is a fully organic estate that has chosen to practise
a mix of ancient Vedic methods coupled with the biodynamic
methods advocated by Rudolf Steiner. At Balmaadi, organic
compost is produced on-site. ‘Panchagavyam’ which
is a concoction of five products from the cow i.e., milk,
curd, ghee, dung and urine are fermented using time-honoured
proportions and sprayed as a tonic. At sunrise, homage is
paid to the sun god and small offerings made to invoke blessings
in a ritual called agni hotra. The ashes from this offering
are sprinkled all over the estate as a pest replellent.
November is harvest time at Balmaadi. The ‘just ripe’
berries are hand-picked, pulped, fermented, washed and sun-dried
on tables. At no stage in the processing are chemicals used.
The slow dried parchment is packed in clean vegetable based
jute bags and stored at an ambient temperature awaiting further
processing into clean coffee.
Balmaadi is a small producer of niche, superior quality,
high altitude arabica coffee. Stringent standards of excellence
as set by Coffeelab, Bangalore and IMO Switzerland are used
Balmaadi coffee won recognition at the Flavour of India –
The Fine Cup Award 2004 for India’s best arabica coffee
and also the best arabica coffee in the Nilgiris region.
Marketed under the trade name ‘Chettinad Imperial’,
the coffee is described as follows by Sunalini Menon, expert
coffee cupper: “A balanced cup with sweet acidic notes.
Delicious flavour of citrus fruit with burnt caramel finish
is the hallmark of Chettinad Imperial.”
Contact: Balmaadi Estate, Lauriston Post, Gudalur, Nilgiris
District, Tamil Nadu Pin: 643 211. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 91-44-24671446 / Fax: 91-44-2496 4280