Bewild Coffee FAQs
How is Bewild Coffee Processed?+
Our coffee is processed using a natural process. Natural process, dry process, unwashed, sun dried or cherry, all refer to the same method of processing that usually involves drying coffee cherries on either patios or raised beds in the sun. This process ensures that we save almost 130 litres of water for every bag of coffee processed.
What Is A Natural Method?+
Natural process or cherry (commonly used in India) refers to the method of processing that involves drying coffee cherries on either patios or raised beds in the sun. To prevent the cherries from spoiling, they are raked and turned throughout the day and then covered at night or during rain storms, to protect them from moisture. This process, which can normally take between 3-6 weeks, is a traditional method of processing coffee. This process of drying the cherries out in the sun originated in places without reliable access to water. After the cherries have been dried to the optimum level, they are sent to mills or curing works to separate the seeds from the rest of the dried fruit.
What Is A Dark Roast?+
Roasting involves using the art and science of time, temperature and air. Dark roasts are dark brown, slightly oily, sometimes almost black, in color. They resemble chocolate, if it was shaped like a coffee bean. Oils can be seen on the beans at this point. Dark Roasts showcase a bold body and a richer taste. When drinking a dark roast, you’re almost exclusively tasting notes from the roast and not from the origin or farm. Dark roasted coffees are best when consumed with milk, hence used to create espressos, cappuccinos, cold coffees etc.
What Occasions Are Bewild Coffee's Ideal For?+
1. Pēruḥ - A strong cup of filter. For the morning coffee drinkers who need a kick/coffee rush. Also for sweet coffee lovers (as you can add sweetener without masking the flavour of the coffee
2. Jāga – For home brewers, balanced coffee lovers and coffee connoisseur
3. Parimaḷa – Ideal for Espresso home brewers
4. Bhūmi – For the lazy ones who are looking for an easy way to brew. Mild and balanced coffee lovers.
5. Vāyu - A cup of light and creamy coffee. Ideal for evening cups after work.
6. Sandhyā – A sundowner for Cocktail and Iced coffee with cream lovers, who prefer Cold Coffee.
What Makes Bewild Coffee’s Unique?+
What makes Bewild Coffee unique is where and how it grows and is processed. To start with, Bewild Coffee’s are sourced entirely from our Poomaale (literally meaning– Garland of Flowers) Estate at Kakkabe (Coorg). Located in the midst of the Western Ghats at an elevation of 1040 meters, the estate receives an average rainfall of 6000 mm a year. It is home to diverse wildlife ranging from elephants, wild boars, monkeys, deer, insects and birds whose undisturbed natural habitats make up at least 20-25% of the land. Despite the abundant wildlife at the estate, any human-animal conflict is prevented by using behavioural cues that help them understand that they are welcome to consume as much as they want in certain parts of the farm. Bewild Coffee, along with all our other produce grows naturally, without the use of any external nutrition, artificial pest control and with limited external intervention. We follow the Permaculture philosophy of ‘Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share’; while supporting co-existence with abundant wildlife. The immediate impact of this is that the surrounding forests have also benefited from this approach. The existence of these farms has helped the eco system, including the wildlife and surrounding forests thrive. Our produce growing in such a natural forest environment without any external intervention, is what we refer to as forest friendly produce. All our coffee is processed using a natural or dry process that usually involves drying coffee cherries on either patios or raised beds in the sun which reduces the use of water substantially. All our produce is not only grown and processed responsibly, but also packaged sustainably. So, by choosing a Bewild product, you are contributing towards keeping a forest intact.
Bewild Produce FAQs
Why are vegetables priced so high?+
The pricing of our veggies is based on the average expenditure of an urban Indian family (₹3000/month & ₹750/week) for an average weekly consumption of 5kg per family. Keeping these in mind we have introduced the veggie bag. The 5kg Bewild veggie bag is priced at ₹650, which includes the costs of last-mile logistics and storage, making the rate competitive with the average market rates. We have also compared it with 20+ organic stores and websites with equivalent weights, and the price of the Bewild veggie bag is 15-20% lower. Also, note that these are wildly grown with minimal inputs. Hence, they are a few steps ahead of organic produce. All in all a fair deal.
If we are Beforest members, why do we still have to pay for these vegetables?+
The Beforest membership is priced to include
1. Cost of land
2. Cost of earthworks and permaculture setup
3. Cost of workmanship for the first 4 years since seed community formation.
It does not include the operational cost of running the estate. This is equivalent to ownership of a farm where you would pay for the work and effort and take your produce for free or account for the produce. 75% of the payment goes back to the collective. This topic was discussed over many sessions by our seed community and we figured accounting for everything and paying ourselves was the simplest and fairest method to follow. This is also endorsed by the same principle being followed by other collectives.
Are these organic?+
Bewild produce is not just organic but well beyond it. It is forest-friendly! By this, we mean the natural methodologies we are using to grow vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains, etc, at the collective are feeding the landscape and improving the soil health gradually. We also measure this using our 4Returns framework. We will soon publish the 4Returns framework so that other farming communities can adopt its principles and continue to inspire many more.
What is so unique about the produce?+
Besides the produce being forest-friendly, permaculture farming methods to this detail and at this scale have not been tried before, to the best of our knowledge. The Beforest Collectives act as a ground for innovative experimentation in food-growing methodologies. For instance, we are a three-dimensional farm with multiple layers growing in the same space. We are also conscious of the carrying capacity of the land and do not force it to produce beyond its natural capacity. This is a long game and we hope that these farming collectives eventually result in healthier, diverse and productive landscapes.
What types of veggies can we expect in a bag?+
You can expect a combination of staple and seasonal vegetables in your Bewild veggie bag. Currently, among staple vegetables, you get varieties of tomatoes, brinjals, gourds and beans. Among seasonal vegetables, you get leafy greens and root vegetables. As the food forest grows, we’ll look into gradually including more vegetable varieties in the collective.
Why are the vegetables so differently shaped?+
When the butterfly emerges from the cocoon, do we complain that is yellow in colour and not red? We are following the same principle with our produce.
Every leaf in a forest looks different from the other and so does every veggie. Goodness comes in all shapes and sizes, as nutrition lies in what's within. At Beforest Collectives, we focus on growing native heirloom species of vegetables which are not only high in nutrients for consumers but also good for the soil as their growth helps improve the soil health by supporting the microbial life inside it. So some vegetables may look unfamiliar, but they have familiar tastes, smells and nutritional contents. As long as the produce is healthy, we have nothing to worry about.
Why are the fruits (sitaphal) so small?+
Like mentioned above, good things come in packages both big and small. Some studies suggest that smaller fruits and vegetables have higher concentrations of nutritional content and flavours while utilizing lesser water and resources. They also make for better snacking portions than large fruits, meaning we can get our share of diverse essential nutrients without over-filling ourselves. Sizes and shapes are also highly dependent on the variants. The native variants that grow in our food forest are examples of food in its most natural form, with nourishment in every bite no matter what the size.
I had insects in my veggies!+
Pests are a part of the natural order of happenings at the farm, and we try not to look at them as threats. Their presence also brings more birds, bees and beneficial bugs to our estate, improving the biodiversity and strength of the ecosystem. Though pests can damage the produce, they also indicate a healthy crop. Every creature has a role to play in the ecosystem so our efforts are towards designing a system that balances all stakeholders of nature, even the pests.
Before dispatching the veggies, we clean them to remove the particle residue, insects, etc. However, some of the critters may escape. We hope you don't mind it, and if you do, take a moment and think about the role the insect has played in improving the food forest, either directly or indirectly.
Why are the vegetables so ripe? They are getting squished in transit.+
We are a young company with lofty goals. During our journey, we have come across several industry-bred myths that have not held true in practice. So we believe in a culture of experimentation and try things our way.
One of those experiments is to see how great the veggies are if they are consumed within 12 hours of harvest. To facilitate that, we allow the tomatoes to ripen on the plant and harvest them only after they reach 7 on the ripeness scale (usually, they are harvested at 5, assuming 2-3 days of transit period). Every veggie dispatched from our dispatch centre in Hyderabad is checked for its quality before it is sent out. However, in the last-mile transit, some tomatoes may get squished. We have experienced this a few times and have taken it as feedback. We are refining our process further and taking precautionary steps to avoid this.
What do we do with these salad leaves/ herbs? How do we use it?+
Salads are a way of adding raw food to our diet that helps us intake nutrients in their purest form. Consuming them on a regular basis keeps us fit and healthy as they're naturally low in calories, cholesterol and sodium. However, they may not always taste the best, so building the habit of consuming salads can be tricky. The salad leaves/herbs that come with the salad box go well with any vegetable or mixed salad. We encourage salad lovers from our community to share their yummy recipes so that we all can eat healthy and tasty!
Can I select my own veggies?+
At present, we are not taking up customisations of veggie bags. We are starting small and with the support and suggestions from members, we will gradually grow into a farm with variety, quantity and quality of produce. Currently, we are splitting our weekly produce equally between different bags, keeping in line with our philosophy of fair share. We plan to introduce minor customisations as the food forest grows and the cycles and quantities become more predictable.
I don't like salad, can I replace it?+
We have now introduced the salad box as an add-on to the 5kg Bewild veggie bag. While placing your order for the veggie bag, you can choose to add it or not as per your requirement.
Why are the quantities so less? (of a specific veggie)+
The produce comes from a food forest system that is maturing. The forest is planned to produce diverse foods - some leafy greens, roots, tubers, veggies, spices, and more. These different components have different gestation periods before they peak in production. The veggie bag is a share of this produce of the food forest. The ratios of the produce will keep changing as the natural cycles take over and will stabilise over time.
How is this produce different from the organic produce we get in supermarkets?+
'Organic' is an extremely large umbrella. Our methodologies fall into the bracket of restorative practices, and growing forest-friendly produce is a large part of them. Through our methodologies, we are trying to move towards a largely self-managing ecosystem, whose purpose is not just to provide food for humans but also for other living beings that share the environment with us. Some of the ways we do this are by implementing polyculture practices, biofencing, and integrated pest management, among other things, which contribute positively to the landscape and not ‘less negatively’ as is often the case with organic farming.
In addition, our philosophy of being seasonal, local, native and subscription-based is what separates us from regular supermarkets. To the best of our knowledge, Beforest collectives are the largest permaculture farms in the country.
Can we come to see the farm?+
Members of the collectives are welcome to visit the farm at any time. We will also soon be opening the collectives to day visits.
You can share your interest to visit the farm at email@example.com
Can we come for the harvest?+
Every now and then, we put up posts calling for volunteers on our social media. Follow us on Instagram @beforestfarming to stay updated on these events.
It is difficult to fill out the form at short notice. Most of us don't get a chance to fill it. Maybe it is better to set a roster and allot vegetables so that all members get a chance to try them.+
Thank you for your sharing your feedback. We have noted it and will work towards streamlining the process for everyone.
When will we get a refund?+
In case the veggie bag is not delivered due to any reason, the refund will be processed within 3-4 working days post the refund request. In case you haven’t received the refund, you can mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look into the matter and resolve it at the earliest.
I ordered last time and did not receive the bag. Should I fill out the form this time? How will you adjust the amount?+
Yes, you will receive the bag this time (if not already refunded).
Our team keeps an account and delivery status of each person who has filled out the form. In case you have any further queries, you can mail us at email@example.com and we’ll try to resolve the query at the earliest.
Can I know in advance when and how much quantity of vegetables will be harvested so I can plan ahead?+
Our veggie harvest cycle is currently set for Thursdays. So you can expect to receive the bags on Thursday. Each veggie bag weighs 5 kg and has a reasonably similar composition of vegetables every week, consisting of staples (tomatoes, brinjals, gourds and beans) and seasonal vegetables (leafy green and root vegetables). We often have sporadic harvests of seasonal fruits and vegetables at the collective as well, so you can expect some surprise elements every now and then.