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The Connoisseur’s Book of Indian Coffee
 

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Elite Clubs of India
Kelagur Coffee & Tea Estate

Four generations of the Mathias family have been directly involved in cultivation and processing of coffee and tea.

Kelagur Estate was acquired by Diwan Bahadur S L Mathias (1868 – 1940), himself the son of a coffee planter, in 1927. At a time when the global coffee market was fluctuating, ‘Sathab’ as he was respectfully known, staked his all to open up a tea estate – the first Indian to do so in Mysore. He became a legend – being honoured both by the then Viceroy and Governor-General of India and by the Maharajah of Mysore, for his achievements.

His son, E J Mathias (1913 – 1992) carried on the family tradition for five decades and developed the estate further, planting coffee, clonal tea and progressively improving the social welfare for the workers.

Since 1980, Peter Mathias, grandson of S L Mathias, runs the estate, nurturing coffee and tea on a 1000-acre estate that yields bountifully, joyously, year after year…

Kelagur Coffee & Tea Estates is located in Chikmagalur District in Karnataka state. The history of the estate dates back to 1857-58 when it was first opened by the Mysore Coffee Company; it was considered amongst the finest coffee estates in Mysore Province. Subsequently, the estate became the property of Binny & Co., and was later acquired by S L Mathias in 1927. Situated in the Western Ghats, the elevation of the estate ranges between 3000 to 4500 feet above msl. The annual rainfall is between 120 to 160 inches.

Arabica coffee, the main strains being S 795 and Sln 9, grows at elevations of 3000 – 4000 feet above msl; robusta coffee, a mix of old robusta and S 274, grows at lower elevations. Coffee grows under a mixed canopy of shade, with the upper canopy comprising trees such as ficus, albizzia, bischofia and javanica.

The estate has fully integrated facilities for coffee processing, with on-site pulp house and curing works. Fourteen perennial springs on the estate ensure that the washed arabica and robusta is of the highest standard.

The year round harvesting and processing of tea at Kelagur Estate has created a well-trained and disciplined workforce. Quality CTC teas are produced at a tea factory that was first built in 1934, and which has subsequently been modernized and upgraded.

Social standards on the estate are high – workers are provided with housing and a Government primary school operates on the estate. A crèche is available for infants as also medical facilities for all workers and their families.

Contact: D B S L Mathias & Sons, Kelagur Coffee & Tea Estates, Javali P.O., Chikmagalur – 577 122, Tel: 91 (0) 8263 345322, E-mail: kelmat@sancharnet.in

Bangalore office: 36 Rest House Crescent, Bangalore – 560 001
Tel: 91 (0) 80 25587175 (Office) 25595929 (Res) Fax: 91 (0) 80 25586706
E-mail: mathi007@blr.vsnl.net.in

- PENSCAPE

 
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