India has always been a land of diverse cultures, and the same holds true for its coffee culture. With an array of unique flavors and regional specialties, coffee enthusiasts across the country are spoilt for choice. Here are five of the most trending Indian coffee variants, each with its distinct taste and benefits.
Coffee was discovered in the 9th century in the region of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where it is believed that a shepherd named Kaldi noticed his goats becoming unusually energetic after eating the berries from a particular tree. Intrigued by the effects, he shared his findings with a local monastery. The monks quickly realized the potential of these berries to keep them awake during long hours of prayers and began to use them in their daily routines. From there, the popularity of coffee began to spread across the Arabian Peninsula.
India's introduction to coffee can be traced back to the 16th century. Legend has it that an Indian Sufi saint, Baba Budan, smuggled seven coffee beans from the port of Mocha in Yemen and planted them in the courtyard of his hermitage on the slopes of the Chandragiri Hills in Karnataka. This area is now known as Bababudangiri. As the plants grew, their beans were cultivated and distributed to other regions in southern India.
The Dutch East India Company played a significant role in the popularization of coffee in India in the 17th century. They brought coffee from their plantations in Java and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to the Malabar Coast, where the climate was suitable for coffee cultivation. The British East India Company also contributed to the spread of coffee cultivation in India during the colonial era, establishing several plantations in the southern regions of the country.
Indian coffee gained international recognition in the 18th and 19th centuries when the British began exporting it to Europe. By the 20th century, coffee had become a popular beverage in urban areas of India, and the establishment of the Coffee Board of India in 1942 further accelerated the industry's growth.
In the past few decades, the coffee culture in India has continued to evolve, with the rise of specialty coffee shops, the popularization of various brewing methods, and increased awareness of coffee's diverse flavors and origins. The expanding domestic market and the demand for high-quality Indian coffee worldwide have solidified India's position as an important player in the global coffee industry.
- Coorg Coffee - Karnataka's Pride
Also known as 'Kodagu Coffee,' Coorg Coffee hails from the verdant hills of Coorg in Karnataka. This Arabica coffee variety is known for its rich, bold flavor, often described as 'Kodagu's Caramel.' The coffee beans have a sweet and earthy taste with hints of caramel, making them perfect for a revitalizing morning brew. Rich in antioxidants, Coorg Coffee has been linked to improved heart health and brain function.
- Araku Valley Coffee - Andhra Pradesh's Gem
Araku Valley Coffee originates from the picturesque Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh. This high-quality Arabica coffee, known as 'Araku's Aroma,' boasts a smooth, fruity flavor with a touch of spice. The medium-bodied coffee is low in acidity and has a chocolatey aftertaste. Araku Valley Coffee is known for its stress-relieving properties and can also help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Monsooned Malabar - A Taste of the Monsoons
Monsooned Malabar coffee comes from the Malabar coast of Kerala. The beans are exposed to the monsoon rains, giving this coffee its unique name and flavor. Known as 'Malabar Monsoon Magic,' this robusta coffee has a distinctive pungent taste, low acidity, and a creamy, full-bodied texture. Monsooned Malabar is believed to boost metabolism and help with weight loss.
- Mysore Nuggets - The Royal Brew
Mysore Nuggets, or 'Mysuru's Royal Gold,' is an exquisite Arabica coffee variety from the royal city of Mysore in Karnataka. This coffee is known for its mild acidity, medium body, and enticing aroma. With hints of chocolate, vanilla, and citrus, Mysore Nuggets is a delightful sensory experience. The health benefits of this coffee include improved digestion and a reduced risk of certain cancers.
- Kodaikanal's Koffee - Tamil Nadu's Treasure
Kodaikanal's Koffee, or 'Kodai's Enchanting Elixir,' comes from the beautiful hills of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. This Arabica coffee blend has a bright, fruity acidity and a floral aroma. Its delicate flavor profile features notes of red berries and tropical fruit. Rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients, Kodaikanal's Koffee has been linked to increased longevity and better cognitive function.
India's coffee culture is vast and vibrant, offering something for every palate. These trending Indian coffee variants not only promise an unparalleled taste experience but also come with a host of health benefits. So, go ahead and explore the diverse flavors of India's coffee scene.
- Bababudangiri Coffee - Karnataka's Historical Blend
Bababudangiri Coffee, also known as 'Baba's Mystic Brew,' originates from the Bababudangiri hills in Karnataka, where the first coffee seeds were sown in India. This Arabica coffee variety has a well-balanced flavor profile, medium acidity, and a hint of spice. The beans possess a slight sweetness, making them ideal for those who prefer a milder coffee. Bababudangiri Coffee is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to improved mental health.
- Wayanad Robusta - Kerala's Robust Delight
Wayanad Robusta, or 'Wayanad's Wild Wonder,' hails from the lush green hills of Wayanad in Kerala. This Robusta coffee variety is known for its bold, strong flavor, full body, and low acidity. The beans have a nutty, chocolatey taste that lingers on the palate, making Wayanad Robusta a popular choice among espresso lovers. Rich in antioxidants, this coffee may help enhance athletic performance and support liver health.
- Nilgiri Blue Mountain - Tamil Nadu's Exotic Brew
Nilgiri Blue Mountain coffee, also known as 'Nilgiri's Azure Ambrosia,' comes from the Blue Mountains (Nilgiris) of Tamil Nadu. This Arabica coffee blend offers a unique flavor, with a bright acidity, fruity notes, and a floral aroma. The medium-bodied coffee has a clean finish and a subtle sweetness. Nilgiri Blue Mountain coffee is believed to aid in weight management, promote healthy skin, and reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease.
- Sikkim Temi Coffee - The Eastern Sensation
Sikkim Temi Coffee, or 'Temi's Himalayan Harmony,' is a premium Arabica coffee grown in the Temi Tea Garden in the northeastern state of Sikkim. This coffee has a distinct flavor, featuring a mild acidity, medium body, and a delightful fruity aroma. The beans exhibit notes of peach, apricot, and honey, offering a refreshing and invigorating taste. Sikkim Temi Coffee is known for its potential to reduce anxiety, combat free radicals, and support heart health.
India's coffee landscape is vast and varied, with each region offering a distinct flavor and unique benefits. As you explore the multitude of Indian coffee varieties, you'll not only discover exceptional tastes but also experience the diverse culture and history that each bean embodies. So, take a sip and embark on a flavorful journey across India's coffee trail.