Maverick & Farmer’s two new blends are perfect for the adventurous coffee drinker
When Ashish D’Abreo, Tej Thammaiah and Sreeram Gangadharan launched Maverick & Farmer in 2018, the aim was to push the boundaries of coffee making. Not surprising, coming from a trio that had earlier launched Flying Squirrel Coffee, which is considered one of the pioneers of the third wave coffee movement in India. But, with this venture, the team hopes to kickstart the fourth wave of coffee, one that is marked by unconventional artisanal blends which see innovative interventions during the different stages of processing.
“There is so much more we can do with coffee, so many more flavours we can unlock. So when we started out, we wanted to look at ways to innovate and get more out of the coffee grown at our plantation,” explains Ashish, who is also the head roaster and barista.
Take a sip
The plantation in question is Ajjikutira, a 150-acre farm in Pollibetta, Coorg which is looked after by Tej, a third-generation coffee grower who has been in the business for 20 years. “It’s both a 150-acre farm and a 150-acre lab. Because a lot of our experimentation happens on the farm,” shares Ashish.
If you visit their cafes (they have three — one in Bengaluru and two in Delhi-NCR), you can sample some of their earlier blends such as Parama, Sunkissed and Say Hello To Mellow. Their latest releases — Ol’ Smoky and Orange You Curious — however, are available exclusively online and in limited quantity.
It’s these two blends that put the ‘maverick’ in Maverick & Farmer. Ol’ Smoky is the world’s first cold-smoked coffee. The uniqueness comes from cold-smoking freshly pulped arabica green beans for 13-15 hours in the smokehouse on their plantation. The beans absorb the flavours of the wood (from locally available fruit trees) they are smoked with. This results in a smoky and spicy flavour. “The smokiness from some blends are because the beans have been taken a little too far while roasting to achieve that flavour. But with Ol’ Smoky, you get the same flavour without the beans being burnt,” explains Ashish, adding that it is best consumed black or with a dash of milk. Sreeram, who looks after sales and is the resident cold-brew evangelist, says that it makes for a great cold brew, both black and with milk. “I think it’s as good as whisky,” he quips.
On the bean
With tasting notes of citrus and cherry wine, Orange You Curious is made with beans that are fermented with orange juice, extracted from fruit from the orange trees grown on the farm. The fermentation process takes 24 hours during which the natural yeasts in the orange skins and the coffee skins react with fruit sugars to result in some interesting flavours and aromas. “This one is also great as a cold brew. But it works well when drunk hot too,” says Tej.
Next on their agenda is the launch of Milk & Honey — coffee fermented with lactic acid bacteria. “With the harvest season being just three months, we have a limited time frame within which we can experiment. We have a lot of new ideas that we want to work on, but it’s going to take some time,” says Ashish, adding that they will be launching two more cafes — one on MG Road and one in Ulsoor —within the next month.
Rs.499 for 200 gms. Available online.