When taking coffee and thinking about its history and culture, the first country you’ll think about coffee is less likely to be India. However, you’ll be surprised to know that India has a rich coffee culture. Although it’s not the top coffee producer in the world, it’s ranked among the top 10 coffee-producing countries.
India has produced coffee for decades now. Its coffee history is rich, dating back to the 1600s. Although India has been among the top coffee growers for many years, its coffee culture is relatively new, apart from the southern part of the country.
The History behind Indian Coffee
It’s believed that coffee was first introduced to the country in 1640 by an Indian saint known as Baba Budan. It’s believed that Baba Budan stopped by Mocha, a Yemeni Port, during a pilgrimage visit to Mecca, the holiest city of Islam.
During his stop at Mocha, Baba Budan bought some Mocha beans and soon loved the beverage. He smuggled out some coffee beans when leaving Mocha. He planted the smuggled coffee beans in Karnataka, his home state. It’s in his home where Indian coffee originated. His coffee plantings grew remarkably.
Afterward, coffee plantations were established in the southern part of the country, at a time when India was still a British colony. The plantations became successful and spread across India. As a result, India’s steady economy and lush ecosystem were gradually born, and they still thrive to date.
Facts on Coffee Cultivation in India
India houses at least 16 indigenous coffee varieties. It’s the only coffee-producing country that entirely grows coffee under the shade. Coffee is grown in highly elevated, damp, and humid climatic conditions.
Several coffee plantations in India also grow spices. Coffee plants are grown near spices such as cinnamon and cardamom, thereby giving Indian coffee a well-defined spicy flavor. Also, other coffee farms grow coffee near sweeter crops such as bananas, vanilla, and oranges, thereby giving Indian coffee a fruity, floral, and light taste.
Although coffee trade in India is largely successful, more locals prefer taking tea. As a result, about 80 percent of the coffee grown in India is produced for commercial reasons. Nevertheless, coffee culture in India is evolving throughout the country.
Coffee Culture in India
As noted earlier, India’s coffee culture is relatively new. It’s gradually evolving and maturing, especially due to Indian youth opting to catch up in coffee houses. Consumption is increasing at a rate of 5 percent annually.
One of the oldest coffee houses in India was established in the 1940s. It’s known as the Indian Coffee House. It opened the first-ever coffee shop in India in 1957. The coffee shop still exists today and serves loyal customers in its more than 400 outlets.
Café Coffee Day boasts of being the Indian Starbucks, with at least 1500 coffee stores spread throughout India. It’s a convenient café that offers people a welcoming place to meet over a delicious cup of coffee.
In 2013, India’s tea proponents requested the government to name tea as the official beverage in the country. However, the government turned down their request as they didn’t want to discourage the growing coffee industry that’s contributing to the growth of its economy significantly. Also, coffee is becoming a favorite beverage among more citizens.
Recipe for Making Indian Espresso
There’re several Indian coffee recipes that you can try. Among them, the Indian espresso is a great recipe to try. Here’s how to go about it.
- Large-sized coffee mug
- Fine grind Indian coffee
- Milk (1 cup)
- Water (1 teaspoon)
- Sugar (2 tablespoons or as per your taste preference)
- Cocoa powder (optional for sprinkling on top)
Step 1– Add sugar and ground coffee into a coffee mug.
Step 2– Add 1 teaspoon of water. Next, mix the contents.
Step 3– Take a spoon and beat the mixture vigorously. Incorporate air while beating the mixture. Beat it until it’s whipped and frothy.
Step 4– Heat 1 cup of milk. Pour it over the whipped mixture.
Step 5– Stir the mixture and ensure all the contents are properly incorporated.
Step 6– Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top.
Step 7– Enjoy your homemade Indian espresso.