India is a traditionally tropical country and the temperatures always stay on the warmer side. This however does not alter the amount of caffeine consumed by the average Indian coffee drinker! Coffee producing regions in India yield one of the largest consumers with a whopping average of 18 to 20 cups a day !
The country has seen steady rise and maintenance of coffee estates and plantations throughout the different pockets. Apart from plantations, the 21st century Cafe culture is a ground that deserves your attention.
Cafes have become one of the biggest businesses throughout the urbanized parts of the nation. Coming to brands and store products ranging from instant coffee to powdered coffee, these never sit wasted at the corner of provisional stores!
Almost any and every tea selling shop simultaneously provides coffees throughout the country.
While speaking about coffee and its availability and popularity in India we also have to take in account that this is the Post colonial India we are talking about and the Occidental colonizers took the habit of tea from us while we incorporated the entire coffee culture from them and kept it with us on the note of a positive remembrance.
introduction of coffee through
While the international origin of coffee began somewhere around Ethiopia and Yemen, the Indian context has a different locational relevance. India witnessed the introduction of coffee through the Sufi Saint Baba Budan. While travelling from Mecca, he carried seven coffee beans with himself that he brought from Yemen to Mysore, which he went on to plant on the Chandra Drona Giri or Chandra Drona Hills in the Chikkamagaluru District.
This is how Mysore, now a part of Karnataka state and Southern India in general began with the age old tradition of coffee plantation.
So which are the highest coffee producing regions in India ?
Most literally, it is hands down the South. Southern India accounts for an unbelievably high 90 to 96% of the coffee production in the country.
It is safe to say that areas like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu run the entire coffee production of the country. There are secondary plantations in Andhra Pradesh and Assam too.
Karnataka produces 71% of the coffee present in India. This is followed by Kerala with a 21%. Tamil Nadu follows with a stable 4 to 5%. The rest of country looks after the leftover 2 to 3%. It is estimated that there can be about 250,000 coffee growers throughout the country and most of these are local growers.
India alone contributes to approximately 5% of the global coffee consumption, and about 80% of Indian coffee is exported. These exports are coffees from Coorg and other famous ones.
Southern Indian Coffee producing region
If coffee producing regions in India had to be divided into sectors or regions, presently there would be three of them. The most popular and dominant Southern Indian Coffee producing region would be Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The second much smaller and stable region is around the eastern stretch of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The third region falls into the eastern hilly category of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh also known as the Seven Sister States of the nation.
The coffee grown in the dominant southern regions usually relies on the monsoon conditions for growth unlike other coffees around the world and therefore this is called the ‘Indian Monsooned Coffee’.
Coffee Arabica and Coffee Robusta
The country masters on two types of coffee beans- Coffee Arabica and Coffee Robusta. Arabica is consumed by 70% of the population while Robusta is consumed by the left 30%. Usually blends are made of the two, especially in finer qualities in regions like Coorg.
The hills of south like Kodagu, Chikmagalur, Palani Hills, Wayanad, Hassan, Malabar region, Nilgiri district, Yercaud, Kodaikanal etc. flourish in coffee plantations practiced in rich estates with top tier conditions.
Especially Coorg is completely based on coffee plantations when it comes to beverages. Locally known as Kodagu, coffee from Coorg is enriched, moist and fragrant. Most of the fine artisanal and premium coffees of India are originated from Coorg.
Coffee from Coorg is so rich in its quality because the land is blessed, it is rich and wet with fertile conditions throughout the year. Karnataka’s 71% coffee production is entirely based solely on Coorg and Chikmaglur. This shows the huge quantity of coffee the land produces.
purposes as well as heavy exportation to Europe
This coffee is used for both domestic purposes as well as heavy exportation to Europe. The woody forests and hills of soft undergrowth, sunlight forming a cover on the bushy paths of Arabica and Robusta plantations, ripe red cherries on every corner, a range of silver oak and rosewood trees all around the locality.
An overwhelmingly warm and nutty aroma of every roastery roasting their precious beans is what makes the magic of coffee from Coorg.
Coming to styles of coffee in south: filter coffee is a routine in Southern India and most of the country has learnt about filter coffee from there; caffeine rich areas like Coorg and Chikmaglur are the main points.
big in scale or quality
In the coffee producing regions in India, the rest of the country are not as big in scale or quality. Daringabadi is known as the Kashmir of Orissa, as it is a hilltop region which sees slight coffee plantations.
Assam and the other 6 states have small pockets of not so traditional coffee growths too. These areas do not focus solely on coffee because the focus goes on tea plantations.
coffee production and plantation in India
It is therefore safe to say that coming to coffee production and plantation in India, southern India has an unmatched monopoly over the rest of the country with their gorgeously aromatic and deeply loved Arabica and Robusta coffees. In the area of coffee consumption however it would be a challenge to pick a locality or state.
After all, we all know how many warm cups of our favourite coffee keep us running throughout the day, no matter from where we are !