How Coffee Blended into Indian Culture

Manufacturing and consumption of tea is three times more than that of coffee in India. On a lighter note, tea can be titled as the national drink of India.

However, genuine coffee lovers vouch by its rich and aromatic experience. They just can’t miss their sweet-milk filter Kaapi or a fresh-brewed Latte at a local corner each morning.

Over time, India has developed a rich heritage of locally grown coffee. India is the 7th largest coffee producer in the world as per the International Coffee Organization. The country produced over 348,000 metric tons as of 2019.

History

Baba Budan, a Sufi saint, introduced coffee beans from Yemen to the foothills of Chikmagalur, Karnataka, in the late 17th century – much before East India Company introduced tea to us.

Geography

Fortunately, the hilly tracts of Southern India fall within the world’s bean belt. Coffee beans need a particular terrain and climate to thrive. The nurturing monsoon in the hills of Western Ghats provides the best ambiance for coffee beans to grow.

Chikmagalur, Karnataka, is one of the largest Coffee estates in the state, followed by Kodagu and Hassan. Kerala provides its share of beans from Wayanad, the green paradise amidst the Western Ghats, accompanied by Travancore and Nelliampathies. The Nilgiris or blue mountains are one of the potent areas for coffee plantation in Tamil Nadu.

Why Coffee Clicked?

Coffee made its way into a typical household due to the play of supply and demand. People have been drinking coffee for years owing to the massive supply of locally grown beans into the markets. Despite tea being popular in the north, coffee made its way into the southern breakfast.

Nescafe

Instant coffee entirely changed the way people knew coffee. The Indian coffee market took a new Avatar once Nescafe entered the markets in 1963. In no time, Instant coffee dominated 50% of the Indian coffee market. Moreover, Nescafe promoted its product as 100% coffee made in just five seconds. What can get better? It was a no-brainer for busy office-goers to give it a shot, and they loved it. You don’t even have to filter it as you do for tea.

Soon instant coffee vending machines sprouted in every popular restaurant to start with, followed by supermarkets, movie theatres, street-side coffee bars, and Malls. Instant coffee followed consumers wherever they went.

Café Culture

It was not late before cafés became popular hang-out destinations for people across the age-group. Barista and Café Coffee day laid the perfect stage and ambiance for coffee-drinking India. Consumer lifestyle evolved with the thriving beverage-based lounges, and coffee found its rightful place across all formats. Coffee became synonymous with an aspirational meeting place to enjoy and savor.

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