Our Group of eight estates are situated in the district of 'Kodagu'
in Karnataka State, South India. Coorg is a hilly plateau
bounded on the west and south by the Western Ghats. It is situated between
latitude North 11.55' and 12.50' and longitude east 75.25' and 76.14'
covering an area of approximately 4,105 sq.kms. (1585 sq.miles). The average
elevation of the upper plateau is 1,066 mtrs. (3500 feet).
The main crop grown in Coorg is coffee with citrus (Coorg mandarins) and
pepper interplanted within. Rice is grown in all the valleys and also
cardamom. Coffee is grown under natural jungle shade and pepper is grown to
trees as standards. Cultivation of all the above crops is intensive.
Coffee has been grown in Coorg for well over 100 years. Coffee was first
planted in the Nalknad area by Moplahs, but it was not until 1854 that the
first plantation was opened in the Madikeri area.
In South Coorg, the first plantation was opened in 1857 in the Bamboo
District, Pollibetta and by 1894 over 28,733 hectares was in bearing. Much
of this coffee was opened by planters from Ceylon, where the coffee estates
had been ravaged by severe attacks of leaf disease (Hemeleia vastratrix).
Unfortunately, the Ceylon planters had brought their practice of growing
coffee without shade to South India and many of the early estates were wiped
out by White-stem Borer (Xylotrechus quadripes). It was not until the Mysore
practice of growing coffee under shade was introduced, that the estates made
In the 1890's Coorg produced 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes of coffee per annum and
average yields were in the range of 370 to 495 kgs/hectare. By 1870 Reverend
G. Richter records in the Manual of Coorg that our Fairlands and Oaklands
Estates owned by Mr.J.Wright of Edinburgh had 158 hectares planted with
coffee. It is thought that some of the earliest Robusta planting was carried
out on our Mylatpur Estate where the Arabica was replaced by Robusta as the
former was wiped out by borer and 'leaf disease'.
Choudicadoo, Fairlands, Toobenkolly, Banangala and Silpi Estates were
purchased by the Corporation from the Elk Hill Coffee Estates, Ltd.,
Edinburgh on 30th January 1953. Raigode and Beetikadu Estates were acquired
from the Executors of the late John Aird on 4th January, 1954. Mylatpur
estate was purchased from Mrs. J.W. Whittekar on 4th March, 1958. Initially,
these estates were run separately until amalgamation, which finally took
place on 1st June, 1967.
ELK HILL COFFEE PLANTATION
The Elk hill and Fairlands Groups of Estates in Coorg were bought in
December, 1952. This was followed by an additional purchase of the Raigode
Group in January, 1954, Mylatpur Estate in April, 1957 and Karumbaramotte
Estate in 1986.
At present, The Elk hill Group consists of 8 Estates, totaling 927 hectares
of planted coffee (320 ha. for Arabica crop and 607 ha. for Robusta crop)
and produces about 1000 Tonnes of clean coffee per year, on an average, out
of which 50 Tonnes is organically cultivated coffee, which is in highest
demand for export. The Estate has an in-house coffee curing facility, which
ensures that the coffee is properly processed and does not loose its
A part of Elk Hill Coffee (both Arabica & Robusta) has been
upgraded to Gourmet Status, a recent trend in the Production, Marketing and
Consumption of Coffee all round the World.
The Arabica bean is considered to be the best in the world and as such, the
demand for Arabica beans is high on the specialty roaster market. Arabica
(Coffea arabica), named for the Arabs, grows in semitropical climates near
the equator, both in the western and eastern hemispheres, at high altitudes.
Because ripe Arabica cherries (unroasted beans) fall to the ground and
spoil, they must be carefully monitored and picked at intervals, which
increases production costs. Robusta trees (Coffea canephora), which are
grown exclusively in the eastern hemisphere, also thrive in equatorial
climates, but at low altitudes.
The taste of our coffee beans is difficult to describe without using the
words like smooth and mellow. They have a taste that is rich and delicate
and invade the tongue with a delightful taste and divine aroma. Because of
these qualities, they have won accolades from all over the world and are
much in demand. We have won several awards for the premium coffee varieties.