The Indian Coffee Saga (Insaniyat Excerpts)
I’m glad you stumbled upon this article, because now we’re taking you onto a mystical coffee journey into the misty forests of Chikmagalur, a hill station, about 4 hours’ drive from the bustling city of Bangalore which consumes what is grown in the terrains of the colossal and prepossessing forests of Chikmagalur. While we undertake this informative yet artsy journey, get yourself a cup of coffee preferably sourced from the South, as you must have already started to think in the back of your mind about what coffee preparation you love the most and whom do you like to have it with?
Coffees in India have been traditionally grown in the Southern region owing to the congruence of coffee and climate in the region, but with the current climatic transposition, it’s now also growing in parts of North-East India. India has been growing coffees 200 years prior to teas and it all started with a Yemeni saint smuggling 7 coffee beans into the land and growing it in his backyard in Chikmagalur as history tells us. And now as we know it, the Baba Budan Giri range (named after the shrine of Sufi Saint Baba Budan) in the Western Ghats is home to Indian coffee. While India has occupied its position in the top 5 or 6 coffee-growing nations in the world, the consumption patterns tell us that the final product was mostly exported until a few years ago when the trends started shifting as the millennial population got into the consumption-production chain.
UNDERSTANDING TRENDS OF CHANGE
As you read this piece, many young artisanal coffee roasters are sprouting up across the country and it’s only natural that every neighborhood would have a micro-roastery that’ll cater to smaller markets and spread the word about good coffee, though not limited to Indian varietals. With this, the coffee-drinking community would grow and more people would be brewing coffee at home. How this will help is, the farmers will be able to sell their stocks at a justified cost and not incur losses due to price crunch in the export market. And also, they will get their due recognition in the Indian community. This would further help them understand their crops and motivate them for adapting to better agricultural practices.
Written By Bharat Singhal (Founder @Bili Hu Coffees)
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