Indian Coffee: Traditions and Flavours of an Exotic Beverage

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Indian coffee is not just a beverage, it is a real part of the country’s culture and traditions. India is known for its unique coffee brewing methods, which are often different from what we are used to. The variety of coffees grown in different regions of India adds to the flavour nuances and peculiarities that make Indian coffee unique and appealing to connoisseurs of this drink.


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From the aromatic and spicy Malabar coffee to the rich and full-bodied coffee from the Karnataka region, each type of coffee from India has its own unique character and flavour, making it an integral part of this country’s coffee culture.

Legend has it that Baba Budan actually brought coffee beans from the port of Moka in Yemen and planted them in the Chikmagalur Mountains in Karnataka, in southern India, in the 17th century. This event is considered an important moment in the history of coffee in India, as it introduced coffee plants to the region and was the starting point for the development of the coffee industry in the country.

What kind of coffee grows in India?

Several types of coffee beans are grown in India, but the most famous are Arabica and Robusta. Each has its own characteristics and preferences in terms of climatic conditions and altitude of cultivation.

India is known for its unique method of growing coffee under the canopy of tropical trees, where coffee plants and spices thrive in a natural environment. This method is known as “shade” or “tropical” coffee cultivation. In this system, coffee bushes are protected from direct sunlight, which promotes more even ripening and careful use of water.

The spices growing alongside, such as cardamom and cinnamon, give the coffee unique aromatic and flavour nuances, making it special and varied.

Arabica (Coffea arabica).

That type of coffee bean is considered more prestigious and has a more delicate flavour compared to Robusta. Arabica prefers higher altitudes for cultivation, usually above 600 metres above sea level.

In India, Arabica is grown mainly in the south of the country in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, where the climate and soil provide suitable conditions for its production. In Kerala, coffee is also grown in Wayanad and Wayana districts, predominantly Arabica.

Robusta (Coffea canephora)

Robusta has a stronger flavour and caffeine content than Arabica. This type of coffee is more resistant to disease and is easier to grow at low altitudes, usually from sea level to 600 metres.

In India, Robusta is mainly grown in the state of Karnataka in the west and Tamil Nadu in the east, as well as in some other regions. The state of Karnataka is the largest producer of coffee in India.

India produces both high quality Arabica and the more affordable Robusta, and both types are widely used both domestically and for export. Different regions provide different conditions for growing coffee, making India an important producer on the world stage.

How is coffee drunk in India?

Indian coffee is not just a beverage, it is a real part of the country’s culture and traditions. India is known for its unique methods of coffee preparation, which are often different from what we are used to.

Indian cuisine is also known for its variety of coffee types. In addition, many other varieties of coffee drinks are popular in India, such as espresso and cappuccino, which can be found in coffee shops across the country

Milk Coffee

In India, Nescafe instant coffee is often served with or without milk. This drink is very popular and easy to prepare, especially in the fast paced pace of life. Some prefer it with added milk for a more delicate flavour, while others prefer it without milk to enjoy a more intense coffee flavour.

Kaapi Coffee

Also worth mentioning is the South Indian coffee known as “kaapi”. This coffee is prepared using a special Indian coffee pot called a decanter. Kaapi is usually served with milk and sugar and has a rich flavour with light spice notes.

Cold coffe

A unique drink that combines the rich flavour of coffee with a refreshing coolness, making it the perfect choice for a hot day. In India, this drink is known for its simplicity and richness and can be found on café menus across the country.

The base is strong black coffee that is blended with milk, sugar and sometimes a little spice is added for extra flavour. This drink has a rich, velvety flavour that makes it unique and unforgettable.

Recipe for making Masala Coffee:

  • 600 ml of water
  • 6 teaspoons of ground coffee “Black Card. Mysterious Asia”
  • 300 ml of milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 300 ml of water and milk to a boil. Add the cinnamon and cardamom to the boiling mixture. Stir and boil for another minute. Meanwhile, brew the coffee in a cezve. Without letting the milk cool, pour it into a cup along with the prepared coffee. Add sugar and stir well with a spoon until a light foam appears.

Done! Now you have an aromatic and delicious Masala coffee to enjoy.

Where can you buy Indian coffee?

Major exporters of Indian instant coffee:

  • CCL Products India Ltd
  • Nestle India Limited
  • Vayhan Coffee Limited

Major exporters of robusta:

  • Olam Agro India Private Ltd
  • Ned Commodities India Pvt Ltd
  • NKG India Coffee Private Limited
  • Louis Dreyfus Company India Pvt Ltd
  • Coffee and Spices Exports Private Limited

Suppliers of arabica and robusta:

  • Allansons Private Limited
  • Coffee Day Global Limited

To get the most enjoyment from coffee and appreciate its rich taste, it is important to choose high-quality natural varieties without additives and chemicals. Indian coffee can be purchased

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