Our Farm

Our Journey that has brought us to greatness in the Indian Specialty coffee industry.

Overview

Since 1920, Riverdale Estate has been a family owned business where three generations have worked to improve the quality of our coffee plants.The Farm is located in Eastern ghat mountains in yercaud – south India.  Prakashan Balaraman who is a young passionate coffee farmer who challenge the tradition coffee growing practices and processing .

In the last 10 years Riverdale Estate has been transformed with new modern farming practices like state of art cupping lab, energy efficient pulping station(wet mill), drip irrigation for the plants, African style raised beds to dry all our coffee and temperature controlled storage room to store coffee beans post harvest The plantation sits at an altitude of 1450 meter above sea level where we grow Green tip Gesha, brown tip Gesha, SL9 and SL5B arabica varieties.

The Loam soil in these mountain ranges have a perfect mixture of clay, silt and sand to grow coffee and other crops like oranges, jackfruit & peppercorn.  The estate has a natural water stream which flows throughout the year making it a very interesting place to cultivate coffee.

Varietals

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Green Tip Gesha

This variety was originated from Ethiopia, in 1960s it was bought to panama by CATIE to central America. It produces exceptional cup quality for its unique floral, jasmine and peach like notes in the cup. We sourced this seedling about 4 years ago (2016) from our good friends in panama and planted at the highest elevation in Riverdale estate.

Ever since it has been nurtured, cared and grown at our farm. We are proud to say we have the first ever pure GESHA variety in India.

SLN 9

This variety is a hybrid between Ethiopian Tafarikela and Hybrido-de- timor developed by central coffee research institute – india in 1970. This plant variety has shown more resistant to leaf rust and it is a hardy drought plant variety.

It produces uniform size bold beans, syrupy body, medium acidity, hazelnut and soft spice flavour in the cup. In early 1970 this variety has been planted widely in shevaroy hills and other region in india. 

Cherry Picking

How we pick our cherries

Only selective ripe cherries are hand picked by our trained pickers at Riverdale Estate. Quality picking = quality green beans this is in our DNA . Training our hand picker team on an ongoing basis and having quality control measure is the key to ensure coffee are picked at the optimum ripeness for different process.

Fruit development is a lengthly process understanding the maturation of the bean development on a weekly basis provides us the roadmap, the work starts from early on the seed development of the endosperm – how the seeds store protein and sucrose within its walls.

Coffee fruit ripen at different stages so our field manager starts the day by choosing which section of the farm is ready to be picked they do that by measuring the sugar content of the cherries with the help of brix meter, once they select the area in the farm we send the pickers to pick the cherries in the field.

We invite our roasters community to visit our farm during harvest season (November – January) to experience first hand how the cherries are picked, processed and dried in the raised beds.

Drying

How we dry our coffees

We sun dry the coffees in African style raised bed as it helps us to remove the excess water quickly and creates good air circulation for the coffee beans to dry evenly. Any defective or broken bean in the bed gets cleaned along the way. Every few hours coffee gets turned around by hand so all beans are exposed to the sun evenly. Part of the quality control we monitor the moisture loss every day with the help of the moisture meter and record all the data’s so we can maintain the consistency of every lot produced.

For naturals, honey, carbonic and anaerobic lots extra care is needed while drying in the bed. For the first 4 to 6 days coffees are dried in full sun and cherries are spread out evenly into thin layer so cherries dry evenly and the outer layer of the cherries are sealed properly. Coffees cherries are then moved into a part shade drying beds to slow the drying process for 20-25 days depending the process. 

Once the beans reaches between 10-13 % moisture we store the beans into a purpose build storage space where the humidity and temperate are monitored daily. All the lots processed are stored separately with the name tag where we record all the necessary information about when it was picked, drying conditions, lot size and processing information.

Our Team

Mohan

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Mohan

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Mohan

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