India Coffee

Indian Coffees are well-admired all over the world due to their unique taste. The coffee from India has medium to full body, low acidity, and top notes of subtle spices. This country has a deep and long culture in terms of coffee. Now, India is known as the largest coffee producer in the world after Ethiopia, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. Some of the well-admired coffees come from Indian regions like Shevaroys, Nilgiris, Coorg, and Baba Budan.

Top Indian Coffees

India Coffee

Origin of Indian Coffee

The origin of coffee in India dates back to 1600 A.D. The Sufi saint Baba Budan made it possible. He tasted coffee for the first time as Qahwa. He brought seven coffee beans on his way back to India from his pilgrimage to Mecca. Budan planted those coffee beans in his courtyard, which was there in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. From there on, it spread out to hills. That’s why Karnataka is considered the origin of coffee.

History of Indian Coffee

The cultivation of Indian coffee thrived during the British regime. It started with the Malabar region, where the Dutch grew coffee. After a while, the British moved the coffee plantation to the south Indian regions. The British found the climatic conditions of the hilly areas appropriate for the cultivation of coffee beans.

A British Manager of Parry & Co., JH Jolly noticed the potential of Indian coffee and thought of expanding it commercially. He began with 40 acres of land so as to grow coffee. After him, more people emerged into the business of coffee plantation.

After the Great Depression, the government formed an organization called the Coffee Cess Committee to regulate coffee production. It was renamed as the Coffee Board of India. Earlier, this institution used to fund the coffee exporters. Later on, the Coffee Board of India started to buy coffee beans from planters and sell the produce itself.

In the post-liberalization era, the government permitted coffee growers to take on marketing the produce themselves instead of selling it to the central authority. Now, India offers 15 different varieties of coffee. Its roots are spread over the whole country.

Different Varieties of Indian Coffee

When it comes to coffee varieties, India has a lot of offer. Out of its numerous coffee varieties, Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee are the most admired ones.

Arabica

Arabica coffee comes from the coffee plant Arabica. This coffee has a balanced aroma and delicate flavor along with a sweet and sharp taste. Arabica coffee is harvested between November and January. Some of the popular Arabica varieties include Kents Coffee, Cauvery Coffee, Selection 9 Coffee, and S.795 Coffee.

Indian regions that grow Arabica coffee include Araku Valley, Biligris, Anamalais, Shevaroys, Brahmaputra, Pulneys, and Bababundangiris.

Robusta

Robusta coffees have more caffeine quantity in comparison with Arabica ones. This coffee has a grainy essence and strong taste along with notes of peanuts. Robusta coffees are harvested between December and February. Its popular varieties include CXR Coffee and S.274 Coffee.

Indian regions that grow Robusta coffee are Travancore and Wayanaad, which is the largest Robusta coffee producer in the world. However, there are certain regions like Coorg, Nilgiris, Manjarabad, and Chikmagalur, which are admired for both coffee varieties.

Growing regions in India

As of now, India has 16 coffee growing regions, which offers unique flavor profiles. The coffee growing regions in India are divided into three major categories. These categories are named as traditional coffee growing regions, non-traditional regions, and north-eastern regions. Know about more these coffee growing regions below:

Traditional regions

These regions include three Indian states, which are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka.

  • Bababudangiris (Karnataka)

It is the birthplace of coffee. This region stands on higher altitudes like 1500 meters. Here, growers produce heavy-bodied Arabica coffee. Its mild climate conditions slow down the ripening of berries. Its characteristics include mild flavor, acidity, and full body.

  • Biligiris (Karnataka)

This region lies at higher altitudes. It is famous for the coffee variety S.795 Arabica. Its characteristics include full body, unique flavors, and sweet aroma.

  • Chikmagalur (Karnataka)

In Chikmagalur, the Central Coffee Research Institute is situated. It is also known as the Coffee Country of India. Chikmagalur coffees have a light acidity, medium body, and strong aroma.

  • Coorg (Karnataka)

It is the largest coffee producing district of India. Here, both Arabica and Robusta coffees are grown. Its characteristics include a mild flavor, strong aroma, and light acidity.

  • Manjarabad (Karnataka)

Here, coffees are known to have a full body, intense aroma, and mild acidity with a pleasant taste.

  • Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu)

This region is also known as the Blue Mountains. Nilgiris has an elevation around 5000-8800 ft. The Blue Mountains produce the finest Kents Arabica along with premium teas. Coffee beans from here are of bluish green color. Coffee has a sharp acidity, full body, mild flavor, and striking aroma.

  • Pulneys (Tamil Nadu)

Located in the Western Ghats, Pulneys grow some premium Arabicas such as Cauvery, S1n. 10, and S.795. Coffee from Pulneys has a slight flavor, medium body and acidity, and a citrus aroma.

  • Sheveroys (Tamil Nadu)

Sheveroys produce high-quality Arabica coffees such as S1n. 9, Cauvery, and S.795. Coffees have good acidity, medium body, and spicy tinges.

  • Travancore (Kerala)

In Travancore, coffees are grown in two different regions, Idduki and Nelliampathys. Idduki produces Robusta coffee while Nelliampathys offers both Robusta and Arabica coffee. Nelliampathys is well-admired for its CXR Robusta variety. These coffees have a sweet taste and full body with a little bitterness.

  • Wayanaad (Kerala)

In Wayanaad, coffee is prepared from the washed Arabicas. These Arabicas arrive from Coorg, Bababundangiris, Shevaroys, Coorg, and Chikmagalur. Coffee beans are of bluish green color with a clean finishing. Wayanaad coffees are popular for their strong aroma, full body, and soft-neutral essence with top notes of chocolate.

Non-traditional regions

This category is relatively new as compared to other ones. Under this category, there are two states, namely, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

  • Araku Valley (Andhra Pradesh)

Located in the Eastern Ghats, Araku Valley has recently started to cultivate coffee. Araku Valley coffees are known for their medium-sharp acidity, medium body, and strong aroma with spicy top notes.

North-eastern regions

The coffee growing regions in the northeastern side include states like Tripura, Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.

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