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A Coffee Getaway: 5 Coffee Estates For A Rejuvenating Holiday

Coffee-loving souls who are aching to travel, this list is for you.

Ruth Dsouza Prabhu

With the current wave of Covid-19 ebbing, many of us are looking for that much-needed break. Up in the hills, by the coast, deep in the valleys—anywhere for a respite from the monotony of being stuck at home. Getaways in estates are quite common. They give you a chance to commune with nature, sit back and relax, and make for a lovely change of scene. If you are a coffee lover, we have an interesting kind of getaway for you—an immersive coffee experience. It is coffee picking season and the perfect reason to take a coffee break of a different kind. A dream vacation that offers the ultimate caffeine fix with not only a perfect cup of it but do that amidst a full-fledged coffee bean plantation. 

Take a look at what these five coffee estates have to offer.

1. The Tamara Coorg

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Guests at The Tamara Coorg can deep dive into coffee with the Blossom to Brew experience. The experience begins with a walk around the coffee estate and a light-hearted trivia session. At ‘The Verandah’, a heritage building with a coffee lounge and bookstore, the in-house coffee connoisseur will demonstrate how coffee is blended to develop a range of aromas and body styles. You will get to try your hand at making your own blend under his watchful eye. Sample coffees in a profiling session to better understand their properties and varied taste profiles. And finally, sit back and enjoy your personalised blend and take your creation home as a souvenir.

2. Harley Estate – Golden Wood, Sakleshpur

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The Speciality Coffee Trail is unique to the award-winning Harley estate, Sakleshpur(established in 1864), who are known to produce some of the finest speciality coffees in India. You’ll be hosted by fifth-generation coffee planters in an eco-homestay (Golden Wood) nestled in this 800-acre lush green estate, with beautiful mountainscapes and waterfalls, and treated to authentic Malnad cuisine. At the coffee trail, you’ll be getting a hands-on experience of everything that goes into giving you the perfect cup of coffee. From harvesting to processing, roasting, and an immersive coffee tasting experience. This three-night weekend getaway is all about coffee! 

3. Cauvery Peak, Yercaud

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Enjoy an experience of a 150-year-old working estate when you sign up for the Grower to Connoisseur experience at Cauvery Peak. The experience takes you on a 75-minute journey of the estate (you will however need to use your vehicles) with a coffee guide. You will learn the history and operations of the estate and make pit stops at coffee processing units along the way. Each of these stops has easy accessibility for children and seniors alike. The processing units include a wet and dry mill, roasting, and grinding. You will also stop at the estate museum and the coffee shop. The tours take place four times a day. 

4. Old Kent Estates, Coorg

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This 200-acre estate is one of the oldest coffee plantations in India and is home to some of the oldest cultivars of coffee, pepper, and cardamom. With the Crop to Cup experience at Old Kent Estates, you can experience a day in the life of a coffee planter—right from inspecting the workers pruning the bushes and picking the berries, to taking a tour with the friendly estate manager and the pulper house where the coffee beans are processed dried and roasted.

Depending on the season and time of your visit, you will get to see a different part of the coffee process in action. Some antique equipment is still retained at the pulper house. Complete the CroptoCup experience with a steaming cup of coffee from the heartland, made from a variety of brewing techniques you can choose from. During the harvest season, Old Kent Estates have coffee workshops with international experts where participants are taken through the value chain of the coffee process right from crop to cup. Participants can harvest with the locals and learn about how coffee is sustainably cultivated in India while gaining a deeper appreciation of roasting techniques and experiencing subtle notes hidden in the beans. 

5. Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate, Coorg

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The Plantation Walk at Evolve Back is a guided tour of the 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation on foot. Learn first-hand the principal types of coffee and the difference between an Arabica and Robusta. On the Worker’s Trail, you step into the shoes of a plantation worker and join the workforce in the seasonal estate activities. From pruning coffee plants to harvesting ripe red coffee berries, you are introduced to whole new work culture. It will enhance your respect for that cup of coffee that is often taken for granted. “Coffeeology" is a daily live session on the art and science of gourmet coffee held at the Sidapur Coffee and Culture Museum on the property. Visitors can observe and experience the making of coffee preparations from around the world. Also available is the Plantation 4x4, a guided tour of the 100-year old coffee and spice plantation in a specially designed 4×4 Jeep. 

Photo: Featured Properties
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