March 2021

March 2021

Feature #29

 A warm welcome back to Empire Coffee Roasters. We first collaborated with Empire back in March 2020 (Yip, who could forget that March, just as Covid hit N.Z) featuring a Kenya AB, also sourced by John Burton Limited.

Since that collaboration (and possibly even before) we've sampled the entire Empire stable and the India was something that wowed us time and time again. Something so different to what we regularly see, its been planned for a whle that this coffee would be a feature as soon as the schedule would allow it. That moment is now.

March saw us tell the story of the Empire, the state of Karnataka and explore yet another varietey.


Empire (n): a collection of territories or nations ruled over by by an Emperor or powerful Sovereign. See also: Empire Coffee Roasters (AWESOME): Wicked coffee Like every good story, it started over a few beers at a local joint. None of this mainstream drinks, but really good local craft beers. Having met a few years before, Michael and Ethan spent a lot of time discussing crazy coffee ideas over those pints, and in particular the idea of owning a coffee roasting company. As time went on, the conversations became more and more serious, and in January of 2017, a lease was signed for a newly founded Empire. Setting up their small roastery in a large shared space, they focused on slowly growing the business whilst continuing to work for other people. the next 14 months saw a lot less beer time, as steadily the business grew, until it became too much for their tiny set up. So in April of 2018, Empire Coffee Roasters packed up their coffee, and moved to a new home in the heart of Pirimai Napier, with their roasting operation becoming fully operational in June of 2019. Now into 2021, their story has really only just begun. It will be a growing story of an Empire and a dream, the victories and defeats they faced along the way. A story of a business who focuses on its environmental and social responsibilities. A coffee company that is all about letting the good brews pour, and the good times roll.


Among all coffee producing states in India, Karnataka is the indisputable leader and produces more than 70% of the total coffee produced in the country. Karnataka produced 2.33 Lakh Metric Tonnes of coffee in the last financial year, which is the highest coffee production by any state in India. Coffee is planted in a large area in Karnataka and account for more than 60% of the total area under coffee cultivation in India. There are more than 4,500 coffee plantations in India, which is generally on high altitude of about 1,300 metre above sea level. Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan are the main coffee producing regions in Karnataka. Kodagu is the largest coffee producing region in Karnataka with more than 50% share in the total coffee produced in the state. Mysore and Shimoga are the other coffee producing regions in the state. Apart from the highest coffee production, Karnataka also has the highest yield, which is more than 1,000 Kilograms per hectare. The main reason for coffee production in a large quantity in Karnataka is the suitable temperature, climate and rainfall. Words thanks to John Burton Limited.


Recognised as the first coffee variety selected for it’s resistance to coffee leaf rust, Kent is believed to be a descendent of the bourbon – Typica family and having originated from the first Bourbon seeds taken from Yemen to India in 1670. Originally discovered as a single tree selection on Doddengooda Estate in Mysore, East India by Mr L.P Kent in 1911, Kent has been widely planted in India since the 1930’s. While Kent’s resistance to coffee leaf rust has faded with time, it is still recognised for its exceptional cup quality and is still grown in a few areas in India. The 1920’s saw Kent make its way into East Africa, including being introduced into Tanzania as part of an intensive selection programme focused on production and quality, undertaken by the Lyamungu Research Station from which Kent derivative KP423 was born. Released for commercial production in the 1940’s it made its way to Uganda and remains an important variety despite its high susceptibility to coffee berry disease.


Country: India

Region: Chikmagalur

State: Karnataka

Altitude: 1000-1600 M.A.S.L

Process: Fully washed

Varietal: Kent, Cauvery, Catimor, Catura

Flavour notes: Chocolate Toasted nuts & Grains Cinnamon


Recommended method: Pour over

Brewer: Kalita 185 or Gino Dripper

Dose: 18g

Water: 300g

Bloom: 50g for 30 seconds

Give a gentle swirl to ensure even saturation Pour remaining water aiming for completion at 1:15 – 1:30 minutes.

Recommended method: Immersion

Brewer: Clever Dripper

Dose: 20g

Grind size: Half way between espresso and filter

Water: 300g

Method: Rinse filter thoroughly

Pour 300g water into Clever Dripper 

Dose coffee into water and push grounds down with paddle until all grounds are wet and dry lumps broken up.

1:30 min, place brewer over server to decant giving a good (3x) stir for even drawdown

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