India and It’s Coffee Diversity


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  • Note to the reader: This is not comprehensive, there is so much to learn!


India, renowned for its vibrant culture and wonderful culinary traditions, is also home to a wide range of coffee beans. With its unique geography, climate, and cultivation techniques, India has developed into a niche within the world of coffee production. This isn’t a comprehensive guide, but we will look into the diverse flavors, growing regions, and processing methods that make Indian coffee beans truly worth the journey to India if your not from here, or if you are just getting acquainted with the burgeoning coffee scene. 

  • Growing Regions and Climate:

India boasts several distinct coffee-growing regions, each contributing its own flavor profiles to the country's coffee production. Some of the prominent regions include:

a. Karnataka: Known as the "coffee capital" of India, Karnataka produces the majority of the country's coffee. The regions of Chikmagalur, Coorg, and Baba Budangiri are famous for their shade-grown Arabica coffee, characterized by its balanced acidity and fruity notes.

b. Kerala: The hilly regions of Wayanad and Nilgiris in Kerala are renowned for their Arabica and Robusta coffee. These beans often exhibit a delicate aroma, medium acidity, and chocolaty undertones.

c. Tamil Nadu: The Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu are home to plantations that produce high-quality Arabica coffee. These beans are known for their bright acidity, floral aroma, and complex flavors.

  • Coffee Varieties:

a. Arabica: Arabica beans thrive in the higher altitudes of India's coffee-growing regions. They are often favored for their nuanced flavors, balanced acidity, and pleasant aroma. Indian Arabica beans exhibit a range of taste profiles, from fruity and floral to nutty and chocolaty.

b. Robusta: Robusta coffee, known for its bold flavor and higher caffeine content, is predominantly grown in the lower altitudes of India. Indian Robusta beans contribute to espresso blends and instant coffee production. They often showcase earthy notes, a fuller body, and less acidity compared to Arabica.

  • Processing Methods:

Indian coffee beans are processed using different methods that impact the flavor profiles:

a. Washed Process: Also known as the "wet process," this method involves removing the coffee cherry's outer skin and pulp before fermenting and washing the beans. The washed process tends to produce cleaner and brighter coffees with more pronounced acidity.

b. Natural Process: In the natural process, the coffee cherries are dried whole, allowing the beans to absorb the fruit's sugars and imparting a distinct sweetness. This method often results in full-bodied coffees with fruity, wine-like flavors.

c. Monsooned Process: Unique to India, the monsooned process involves exposing the coffee beans to moisture-laden monsoon winds. This extended exposure to humidity causes the beans to swell, mellow, and develop a distinctive flavor profile characterized by low acidity, earthiness, and hints of spice.

  • Specialty Indian Coffees:

India is renowned for producing specialty coffees that showcase the country's unique characteristics. Some notable examples include:

a. Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold (MNEB): Grown in Karnataka, MNEB coffee beans are known for their large size, full body, and rich flavor. They often exhibit low acidity, chocolatey notes, and a smooth mouthfeel.

b. Indian Monsooned Malabar: This iconic coffee hails from the Malabar coast. The monsooned process gives it a unique flavor profile with mild acidity, earthy undertones, and a hint of spice. It is prized for its exceptional smoothness.

c. Peaberry Beans: Peaberry beans, found in many Indian coffee varieties, occur when only one seed develops within the coffee cherry, resulting in a smaller, rounder bean