PALACE FIELD ESTATE
HALERI, NORTH COORG
This fourth generation run coffee estate has more legacy than what meets the eye. To begin with, it stands out as a well-managed plantation that has a meticulous routine. The father-son duo Sunil Somaiah and Rajan Appanna are at the helm of all management and ideation to scale the estate.
At the farm level, constant efforts are taken to mitigate climate change challenges and maintain the quality of the produce. Staying ahead of the game is something that’s deeply ingrained in the estate management at Palace Field. A story of resilience that will live long is how the estate kicked back to work after being hit by the brutal forces of nature that caused massive landslides in 2018. A sizable land was ravaged and awash with water overnight. The rebuilding of the site, drying yards and storage took a few years and now there’s no looking back.
Today, Palace Field Estate has come a long way and the coffee that we have sourced is so refreshingly good, they sure know how to turn adversities into advantage! This year we were eager to collaborate and source their washed Chandragiri lot. The estate in all its glory is summed up as a treasurable experience as you sip every note of this brew.
As you wind down through the roads from Madikeri, you meet this hamlet of Haleri where the estate is located. The village was a stately place as it housed the palace of the erstwhile Haleri King and hence the estate was named as Palace Field Estate.
Arabica being the predominant crop, the valley that encompasses as the Palace Field Estate is a green haven with numerous native trees, epiphytes, birds, fungi and water bodies. Multi-tiered canopies are formed with species such as Noga, Balangi, Atti (wild fig) and Nandi. Intercropping with pepper, areca nut, orange, lemons, pomelo, avocados, guavas, bird eye chili and a host of other plants keep the place bursting with bird life. Parakeets, hornbills and peacocks are a common sight during estate strolls.
There are some hands that get noticed in plant management but there are also some that are quiet workers – bees, kingfishers and insect species help in pollination and in situ pest control. Together, as every fruit of nature is a product of symbiotic efforts, the coffee from Palace Field is unique owing to the work of its inhabitants. That’s what the humble growers attribute to the impressive 10/10 score this lot bagged for being a clean cup.