It was during 18th century that the commercial plantations of coffee was started in India. Since then, the Indian coffee industry has made rapid strides and earned a distinct identity in the coffee map of the world. In India, coffee is grown under a canopy of thick natural shade in the ecologically sensitive regions of the Western and Eastern Ghats. This is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world. Coffee contributes significantly to sustain the unique bio- diversity of the region and is also responsible for the socio-economic development in the remote, hilly areas.

Roles and responsibilities of coffee Board

  • Research, development, extension, quality upgrade, market information, and domestic and international promotion of Indian coffee. 
  • Conducting the India International Coffee Festival, since 2002, a biennial event held in India in collaboration with other industry stakeholders.
  • The research department undertakes extensive research on coffee, covering different disciplines
  • Spreads awareness and information about technology to the growers from time to time.

Coffee Growing Regions of India

  • Traditional coffee growing regions, such as Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
  • Non-traditional or new coffee growing regions, such as Andhra Pradesh and Orissa on the Eastern Ghats
  • North-Eastern coffee growing regions, such as Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh

Advantage India

  • The third-largest producer and exporter of coffee in Asia, and the sixth-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter of coffee in the world. 
  • Over April 2016-March 2017 (provisional), coffee exports from India stood at 358,458 tonnes valued at US$ 848.60 million, registering a year-on-year growth of 12.70 per cent.
  • Of the total coffee produced in India, 70 per cent is exported and 30 per cent is consumed domestically.
  • Today, India is home to 16 unique coffee varieties.

Winning performances

  • The overall production of coffee is expected to reach 320,000 tonnes in 2016-17.
  • India exports coffee to over 45 countries. 
  • Export earnings have increased from Rs 1050.36 crore (US$ 177.26 million) in 2001-02 to Rs 4,559.42 crore (US$ 699.67 million) in 2015-16
  • Karnataka is the largest coffee production state of India with the production of 78,650 MT of Arabica coffee and 172,870 MT of Robusta coffee during 2015-16. It is followed by Kerala & Tamil Nadu. 
  • India’s share of world coffee export has increased from 3.36% in 1993-94 to 5.01% in 2015-16. 
  • Exports of speciality and value added coffees across from India have grown from 61,489.9 MT in 2005-06 to 126,145 tonnes in 2016-17. 

The premium varieties in Indian coffee

Apart from 13 varieties, the following three are the exclusive ones among Indian specialty coffees that have made their mark in international markets.

Monsooned Malabar

This is one of the most unique varieties of coffee available in India. As the coffee is a result of a process that is called Monsooned Malabar. The heavy bodied beverage has a pungent taste with a nutty and spicy flavour. Nearly all of it is exported to Europe.

Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold

This coffee is produced from washed Arabica beans of plantations in Chikamagalur, Coorg, Biligiris, Shevaroys and Baba Budan Giri. These beans are of large and uniform size with bluish-green in colour. Coffee from these beans has a very strong aroma, medium to good body and a fine flavour with nuances of spice.

Robusta Kaapi Royale

Prepared from Robusta Parchment AG that grows in Coorg, Wayanaad, Chikmagalur and Travancore. These beans have a grey to bluish-grey colour and are pointed at the edges. The coffee from these beans is identified with a full body coupled with a soft, smooth and mellow flavour.