Most people know coffee as the regular morning drink they have to start their day. But not everyone knows about the long history of this beverage in India, a history that stretches back centuries. The centuries that coffee has been brewed in India have led to a unique and diverse coffee culture in this country, so much so that today, it has become one of the leading consumers and producers of coffee in the world. And it is only right that we familiarise ourselves with the rich history of coffee in India.
Trading Coffee For Spices
It is a well-known fact that coffee originated in Africa, and from there it made its way to the Arabian peninsula. The Yemeni became a powerhouse in growing coffee but closely guarded the secret of growing coffee from outsiders. They only sold roasted beans out of the port of Al-Makha. Ancient India was well known for trading spices, a much-desired commodity across the world, and the Arab traders who came to India in the search of these spices brought dried coffee beans along with them. It became an instant hit among the elites of the subcontinent. The desire and demand for coffee grew, but the supply was scarce.
Patron Saint Of Coffee In India
In comes, Baba Budan, a 16th-century Sufi monk who on his way back from a pilgrimage, managed to smuggle seven raw coffee beans back to India by hiding them in his beard. He planted them in the hills of Chikmaglur, but there are not many accounts of the growth of these trees in the time between then and colonialism.
The Growth, Popularity, And Downfall
Coffee plantations were taken into serious stewardship in the 18th Century by British entrepreneurs who turned the forests of Southern India into commercial plantations dedicated to coffee. By the 1800s, coffee was established as a commercial crop and was exported to Europe on a large scale via London. One of the signature blends of coffee beans from that time is the Monsoon Malabar AA - and it is available for you to try on this website.
The direct result of the popularity of the coffee beans from India can be observed in the establishment of the Indian Arabica Coffee, then known as Mysore Coffee in the market of Europe. Unfortunately, it all changed with World War II as the loss of European markets resulted in the loss of the unique branding of Mysore coffee in buyers.
Today, coffee is enjoyed by people of all ages and social backgrounds in India, and the country has become one of the world's leading producers, consumers, and exporters of coffee beans. It is also differently enjoyed in various regions. For example, in South India, the preferred brew is called filtered coffee which is typically served with milk and sugar. In addition to the different types of coffee, there are also many different ways to drink it. Some people like to drink it with milk and sugar, while others like it black or with a little bit of cream or honey. And then there are those who like to add spices such as cardamom or ginger to their coffee for a unique flavor experience.
Today, there are many cafes and restaurants that serve coffee, and people from all walks of life regularly enjoy a cup of joe. Moreover, making coffee at home has also become an established part of the everyday routine culture of the average Indian household. You can also buy coffee online from a range of high-quality beans that suit your specific taste and preferences. The beverage has also become popular at social gatherings and is often served at weddings, parties, and other celebrations. Coffee has truly come a long way in India since it was first introduced centuries ago. It is now woven into the diverse culture that is India!
If you found this article interesting, perhaps you would like to read about The Fascinating History of Coffee.