Fascinatingly Short Overview of Indian Coffee and its History

How’d we get here?

Coffee, the aromatic elixir that has charmed taste buds across the globe, has a captivating journey in the diverse and vibrant land of India. From its humble beginnings to its widespread popularity, coffee has seemed to weaved itself into the cultural fabric of the country. Take a quick look into a short overview of coffee's journey in India.

Centuries ago...

  • Coffee's journey in India began centuries ago when Baba Budan, a Sufi saint, smuggled seven coffee beans from Yemen and introduced coffee cultivation in the hills of Chikmagalur. This act marked the inception of coffee's presence in India and laid the foundation for the country's flourishing coffee culture.
Plantations and Varieties:
  • Over time, coffee plantations spread across various regions of India, including Coorg, Chikmagalur, Nilgiris, and Araku Valley, each with its distinct characteristics and flavor profiles. Indian coffee is known for its two primary varieties: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans offer a nuanced and flavorful experience, while Robusta beans lend a robust and bold character to the brew

 Traditional Brewing Techniques:

  • India is renowned for its traditional coffee brewing methods, which have stood the test of time. One such method is the "filter coffee" or "South Indian filter coffee"

Coffee consumption in India has been steadily increasing over the centuries, but specifically in the last decade. The coffee industry has been experiencing growth and diversification on all kinds of fronts. While tea remains the most popular beverage in India, coffee has been gaining popularity, and all signs point to a more pervasive spread of coffee drinking. Particularly among the younger population and urban dwellers, and again, as time goes on there will be more and more development of coffee consumers and connoisseurs. That’s how the city functions right? What happens in the cities eventually trickles its way into the fabric of the rest of society.

Not to be repetitive but, India has traditionally been a tea-drinking nation, with a strong tea culture and a long history of tea cultivation. However, the coffee industry has seen significant growth in recent years. Several factors have contributed to the burgeoning coffee culture in India:

  • Changing Consumer Preferences:

  • As India becomes more globalized and urbanized, consumer preferences have diversified. Coffee's rise can be attributed to the growing popularity of international coffee chains and the increasing exposure to global coffee trends through social media and travel.


  • Expanding Café Culture:

  • The rise of café culture, especially in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai, has played a crucial role in promoting coffee consumption. Cafés have become popular socializing and working spaces, attracting a younger demographic.


  • Specialty Coffee Movement:

  • The emergence of specialty coffee has also contributed to the growth of coffee in India. Specialty coffee refers to high-quality coffee produced in small quantities, often with a focus on sustainable farming practices and unique flavor profiles. Indian coffee producers and roasters have started exploring specialty coffee production, showcasing the country's diverse coffee regions and distinct flavors.


  • Increased Coffee Production:

  • India has been steadily increasing its coffee production, with both Arabica and Robusta varieties. Coffee plantations are primarily located in the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, where the climate and soil conditions are favorable for coffee cultivation. The growth in production has led to increased availability and accessibility of coffee within the country.