Organic arabica coffee is grown at higher altitudes between 4000 to 6000 feet, which is where Balmaadi Estate is located in the Nilgiris under the shade of the native shola trees unique to the Nilgiris biosphere, which give it that distinctive flavour and superior quality.
A practice of ancient Vedic agricultural practices coupled with biodynamic methods is practiced. At sunrise, homage is paid to the sun god and a small offering made to invoke the blessings in a ritual called agni hotra. The ashes from this offering are sprinkled all over the estate as a pest repellent.
Balmaadi coffee won recognition at the Flavour of India - The Fine Cup Award 2004 for India's best arabica coffee.
Chikmagalur in Karnataka is the homeland to robusta coffee which is grown at lower elevations, between 2000 to 3500 feet. Coffee originated here in the 17th century, brought in by an Arab saint, to the Giri mountains, now known as the Baba Budhan Giri mountains, which are part of the Western Ghats. The coffee is grown under the shade of rosewood, mahogany, fig, sandalwood & cedar which give it the name of "shade grown coffee" giving it a rich flavour.
This is a full bodied organic coffee grown at the Sathkodige estate, with a very low acidity and a spicy woody flavour and had also won many a Fine Cup award.