Do you like drinking coffee? And trying various kinds of coffee? Then you might create a special relationship with Coorg. One of the biggest manufacturers of coffee in India, this beautiful hill station is covered in green acres of coffee plantations. It is a sight both serene and invigorating.
Coffee plantations are one of the most visited spots in Coorg. There are several ways of enjoying the sight. You can opt for a guided tour. This will be a pre-packaged tour. You will get a tour guide and a fixed itinerary. The tour guide will explain the process of preparing the best coffee beans. They will also take you on an expedition of abundant coffee estates where you can enjoy the green, dreamy vistas, listen to the birds in the trees, and soak in the strong aroma of the coffee town. The other way of enjoying a coffee plantation is to live in an estate or lodge that’s close to it.
Route 1: Guided tours
There are numerous thriving estates set amidst innumerable coffee plantations. It is hard to navigate them on your own but with a guide it becomes much easier. Many coffee estate owners offer guided and informative tours around their property and a chance to explore the verdant coffee fields. They even allow you to witness the process and be part of it. You can watch how coffee beans are plucked. Then you can see how they get sorted, refined and roasted. It is an intriguing, time-consuming process and one comes away from it feeling enriched and refreshed, and with a wider view of the places one loves.
In order to enjoy a guided tour, you could get in touch with manufacturers like Tata, Orange County and Bombay Burmah. They all offer personalised tourist tours and special explorations. There’s also the option of exploring the coffee estate at Amanvana. The manager will offer you a guided tour.
Route 2: Lodging
There’s another more ‘in situ’ option that will be more immersive for true coffee lovers. One could live in a lodge or resort that is situated inside a coffee plantation or is close to one. There are many home stays that also make this experience possible. They are nestled inside coffee plantations and one can enjoy delicious home-cooked food that is very authentic, the comforts of a home, and then, when you feel like it, take a walk through plantations. In the afternoons, the sun filters through the canopy of branches and falls on the ground in a profusion of golden yellow dots. It is the best time to observe the plants. For more scenic views, you can try early morning with the mist rolling down into the plantations from the hills. That is also when the planters awake and supervise the work of the coffee pickers who walk down the aisles laboriously but gracefully and very quickly, as they pluck the coffee.
Make sure you spend time with the pickers and absorb the details the process. Harvesting is almost entirely manual. Few machines are used. So it is an art as well as a science. Also Nov and Dec are the best times to go, so pack your bags!
Some of the popular homestays around coffee plantations are: Plantation Trails, Comfort Homestay, Silver Brook Estate and Bell Home. You can find all details online.
It is advisable to book rooms 10 days in advance for a confirmed booking lest you lose out on a coffee flavoured holiday.