Coffee Beans Grown in India
Indian Coffee - What is Coffee Grown in India Like?
Coffee production in India started in 1600s with a muslim saint named Baba Budhan smuggled seven coffee beans from Yemen to Maysore in India. The beans were planted on Chandragiri hills (now the hills have been named after him- Baba Budangiri), and from there the coffee plantation in India took off.
If you are sipping a cup of coffee in Europe, United States, or Japan; there are lot of chances that your coffee is from India. India accounts for about 4.5% of total coffee productions in the world. Coffee producing regions of India are divided into three regions- The traditional regions (Karnataka, Kerela and Tamil Nadu; majorly the southern India); the new non traditional areas of Andhra pradesh and Orissa and; The north eastern states of India.
Beans and its characterisctics
Traditionally India is known for growing Arabica beans. The varieties of Arabica grown in India are Kent (the earliest one), Cauvery, S. 795, Devamachy and Selection 9. But as the Arabica variety was sucepptible to coffee rust disease, the more robust variet- Robusta started gaining popularity. Most of the coffee blends in India does contain mix of fragnant arabica and bitter robusta.
Indian coffee is grown in shades and are ‘monsoon kissed’. Often spices like cardamom, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg are intercropped with the coffee. The shade, monsoon, presence of spices in the estate and the handling gives indian coffee that characteristic spicy aroma and acidity. In few places like Araku valley of Andhra Pradesh, organic and micro batch of coffees are produced by the tribals. It is also sold in the market as ‘Tribal Coffee’. Generally good coffee beans in India are slow roasted. Roasts can be medium to dark depending on the desired taste and aroma profile. Commercial roasting is more popular but there is good presence of people who do their own roasting.
Consumption of quality coffe in India is on a steady rise and the demand of artisanal, organic and small batch coffee increasing. With Arabica being the more popular bean variety, other varieties like Robusta and Liberica are also being grown for blending purpose to create desired taste.