So can you be counted as a Chai lover or Coffee lover? In the middle of work breaks, early mornings or lazy evenings are you seen with your mug of coffee or cup of Masala chai? Whatever it maybe, we understand your need for that sweet beverage kick ! It’s not a war, but here is India’s take on Chai vs. Coffee…
India is a tropically situated country and the temperatures always stay on the warmer side. It is yet one of the biggest consumers of both tea and coffee which brings an age old confusion between chai vs. coffee.
It is noteworthy to mention that neither of the drinks : tea or coffee, had their actual origins in this nation! Both tea or Chai as we call it and Coffee came from different parts of Asia, namely China and Yemen.
Tea dates back to 5000 years at 2732 B.C. in southwest China where Emperor Shen Nung was having a bowl of boiled water while tea leaves fell on it. He is said to have immediately fallen in love with the aroma it produced and consumed it.
Since then chai vs. coffee has been a tug of war of the clashing tastes and intellect of coffee and tea . India has been roughly known to be a tea consuming country, as per the statistics about a billion kilogram tea has been consumed in the year 2020. People love their morning cups of Masala Chai (spiced tea) with utmost sincerity.
However, the graphs and story have been increasingly tilting towards the ever heightening attraction of the Indian consumer towards coffee. The paradigms have had a massive push towards coffee in the last 3 decades in particular.
Whether it be the Gen-Z, the millennials or the elites, coffee seems to be the only option. And ‘winters only for coffee’ is a redundant and outdated joke now !
Statistically, a major 38 % the consumers in the country chose both tea and coffee as their preferred beverage option. About 25 to 30% people chose just coffee and the rest chose just tea. This survey was conducted for the stretch of a week in 2019.
To determine the shifting of paradigm we have to take into consideration the age groups of people drinking these beverages. Multiple surveys state that chai is only left as the beverage of the older Indian. The youth and the working census however is progressively shifting to coffee and believing in it reigning the nation.
To show some statistics, the oldest category is that of the Baby Boomers or people born in between 1946 and 1964, who are presently in their 50s to 80s.
About 71% of the people in this category still believe that tea is the primary beverage of the nation. 18% to 20 % have proceeded to state that coffee alone is the drink of India.
Coming to the Generation X, people born between late 1960s to late 1970s I.e. people in their early 40s or 50s. A decreased 65% still believe tea to be the national drink. While an increased 25% believe that coffee has simply taken over.
Articles like https://in.yougov.com/en-hi/news/2019/11/27/majority-indians-think-theirs-tea-drinking-nation/ speak about the chai vs. coffee statistics in older and younger India.
Moving on to the Millennials, people born in between 1980s and 1997, people in their twenties and thirties. A further decreased approximate of 60 to 62% relied on tea as the beverage of the nation while most others shifted to relying on coffee.
Finally coming to the Generation Z, people born from 1997 onwards, the ones in their early twenties. This generation, more than any other ever, gave a fallen 49% vote to chai as the nation’s drink.
Technically, this is lesser than even half of the percentage and if the coffee curves grow in this rate, in a decade or two, coffee will swiftly come up to become the predominant beverage of the country.
This survey, like many others, clearly points to how the older India is still holding on to their masala chai while the younger India is completely moving towards coffee.
The whole concept of coffee culture is at its peak now. Whether it be coffee quotes written on edgy graphic t-shirts or grooving to songs about coffee, India has grown to be quite the fan. Starting the day and holding up the Monday blues with a good mug of coffee. Coming back home to end the evening with some more of it is quite the average Indian routine!
Presently there are around 6000-7000 cafes in India! We can all vouch for going to a good coffee shop ! The youth, young adults are completely reliant on coffee everyday of the year. Carrying a cup of coffee with you to work, coffee flavoured desserts, perfumes, and a major industry of coffee skincare.
There are coffee creativity campaigns, coffee plantation awareness camps. These and and all other social and creative growth of coffee is making coffee culture more and more real everyday!
Cafes are one of the biggest businesses throughout the urbanized parts of the nation.
Chai is an old constant and comforting to Indians without a doubt. However coffee is like the push you need to have a better day!
India on an average is known to drink about 18 to 20 cups of coffee… this is one of the highest consumptions in the world. The coffee production business of estates and plantations are at a constant rise. More than 80% exports of the Indian coffee Arabica and Robusta. This also speaks for itself on how popular the Indian coffee has turned to become.
Now to note down the different regions of the country would be a better evaluating process. Instant coffee is the easiest available coffee which more than 50% of the Indian consumers get to drink. This is followed by filter coffees and cappuccinos with a 45% average.
This changes in the north where the cappuccinos win. In southern India,one of the largest coffee consuming areas in the country, a whopping 60% people drink filter coffee.
The business of artisanal coffee too is however at the constant rise. This is due to the average Indian consumer wanting to have the better quality things for themselves. Coming to Even brands products never sit desolate at provisional stores! Any tea shop simultaneously provides coffees throughout the country.
Especially the Southern part of the country is completely based on coffee plantations when it comes to beverages. Filter coffee is a routine in Southern India and most of the country’s coffee is supplied from there; caffeine rich areas like Coorg are famous!
It is however, a must to say that in the chai vs. coffee scenario, coffee is not a threat to the Great Indian Masala Chai. It is another increasingly popular favourite of the Indian consumer that is gaining more momentum than ever