For an intoxication as divine as the elixir we slurp down every morning as coffee, it is surprising to note that a brewing of the perfect cuppa isn’t a very ordinary affair. Coffee cultivation is a rather delicate process, that which depends heavily on climatic conditions and opportune geographical manifestations. And Indian coffee in particular is all the more definitive a drink to wake up to. In its status of harbouring the world’s best shade-grown mild coffees, this is a beverage that grows up fine in ambient shade away from direct sunlight. This lends a distinct characteristic to Indian coffee, not encountered in the cuppa anywhere else in the world. As one of the remarkable names in the production of coffee in the world, Indian coffee cultivation is a diversified business. Here’s the major coffee growing states in India that strives to refresh you everyday with steaming comfort-
While the entire southern region of India is conducive to the growing of coffee in its hill tracts, it is the state of Karnataka that which produces the majority of Indian coffee. Accounting for more than 70% of the total production in the country, Karnataka is undoubtedly the leader when it comes to the coffee business. While coffee cultivation is a characteristic feature of the agricultural scene throughout Karnataka, it is particularly the regions of Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan that produces the highest amount of the crop.
In fact, Chikmagalur has been the first place in India where coffee cultivation was introduced. Aptly known therefore as the Coffee Town of Karnataka, this prominent tourist destination flourishes along with the other hotspots of Coorg, the Coffee Capital of India and Sakleshpur as being prominent names in the coffee scene of the country. Needless to say, the beauty emanating from these lush coffee estates makes tourism all the more a mainstay of the economy of the state.
What makes Karnataka so much of a leader among all the coffee growing states of India is its favourable geography and climate. The high altitudinal location of the coffee mountains on sloppy mountains that receive adequate rainfall has favoured the flourishing production of coffee in the region. With its fine shade grown coffee cultivated under rain forest, Karnataka stands proud in its distinction of brewing some of the finest coffee anywhere in the world.
Like Karnataka, another of the southern states of India that is popular for its dominance in coffee growing is God’s own country of Kerala. With a share that stands at 21% of the total coffee produced in the country, Kerala is the second major region sprawling across expansive coffee gardens. Within the state, it is the region of Wayanad that produces the greatest share of the crop, mainly the Robusta variety, accounting for almost 80% of the state’s total production. Travancore is another of the major coffee producing regions in Kerala. But it still is the Malabar region comprising of Wayanad that is recognised as the coffee country of Kerala.
A green paradise with ample natural exuberance in tow, the Malabar region is also distinctive in producing a special variety of monsooned coffee. In being an Indian specialty coffee, that is rendered unique with its signature brewing, and also the only monsoon flavoured in the world, Kerala sure has cultivated a place of its own even in the world coffee scene with its refreshing discovery.
With a contribution of about 5% to the total amount of coffee produced in India, Tamil Nadu is another of the states that is blessed with such climatic conditions favourable to growing those sparkling robust berries of freshness. Almost half of the total produce of Tami Nadu is confined to the Nilgiri district that is a major Arabica growing region. There though exist other regions where the crop grows encompassing areas of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Salem and Coimbatore. But the most famous and also the most scenic of all the coffee hubs of Tamil Nadu has to be the hill station of Yercaud.
Cool and calming, both in its natural ambience and serene vibes, Yercaud’s coffee plantations are a different beauty altogether. Nestled in the lap of the majestic Shevaroys range of hills amidst the verdant Eastern Ghats, this hill station in Tamil Nadu makes for some of the best coffee forests in India.
A non traditional region when it comes to the growing of coffee in India is one of the south eastern states of Andhra Pradesh. But inspite of being a region not associated with coffee cultivation since the earliest, the state churns out a really well known blend of the brew. Araku coffee is a reknowned variety of coffee, that which stems from the Araku valley of Andhra Pradesh. A hill station, that which is also famous as the Ooty of Andhra, Araku produces enough superior quality coffee to place Andhra Pradesh at fourth position among the major coffee growing states of India. Apart from the Araku valley, coffee berries also color red areas of Chintapalli, Paderu and Maredumill as well as regions stretching from Visakhapatnam to East Godavari districts in the state.
Traversing to the eastern terrains of the country, the coffee bud has its place of prominence in Odisha, another of the non traditional states that has risen to be a prime coffee growing region in India. While regions like Koraput, Keonjhar, Rayagada and Kalahandi are popular coffee plantation areas of the state, it is the hill station of Daringbadi that is the most mesmerising in its trove of coffee shrubs. One of the youngest of coffee growing regions in India, this Kashmir of Odisha is abundant in majestic coffee entrails making it another of the states engaged in mass coffee production in the country.
Venturing into the paradise that the north east of India is, coffee growing areas are not a rarity in almost all of its sister states. And as one of the oldest producer of coffee in this part of the country, Tripura has been persisting in the coffee growing business for close to two decades now. The Jampui hills of the region are basically where it all started and thereafter has been flourishing on account of its suitable climatic conditions and ambient soil quality.
Another recent entry into the list of coffee growing states in India is Nagaland that has made the cut courtesy five of its districts. Zunheboto, Mon, Wokha, Khar and Boje regions of Nagaland produces specialty high-altitude coffee, grown in the natural shade of the forest that which has also received international validation. Cultivated in the high altitude forests of the mountainous state, the unique brand of organic coffee however could have rendered Nagaland a more prominent position among coffee cultivators of India had it sustained its status having been introduced wayback in the 1980s. But that phase of growing the aromatic plants died out only to be reintroduced decades later to a favourable output.
With production of some of the most distinctive high quality coffee characterising this Indian state, Meghalaya has emerged to be another of the alternative frontrunners brewing the coffee culture in the country. Covering some six districts across its hilly terrains, coffee plantations in the state have however been a matter of wild abundance. Commercial cultivation of the crop began much later with not just the Robusta variety introduced with the Arabica, but also other indigenous names like Coffea khasiana and Coffea bengalensis.
One of the major agricultural states of India, Assam might not quite hit the olfactories with its robust aroma of coffee. More prominent in being a land of exotic teas, the north eastern state however has quite a cupful to offer even in the coffee intoxication. Interestingly, coffee cultivation in the north eastern part of the country saw beginnings in the Cachar district of Assam but without commercial claims. In the present context though, Assam is a relatively fresh entrant among the states of India that are into the coffee growing business commercially. The districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao are the only regions of the state that are viable alternatives to the production of coffee.
The land of dawn lit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh also sees considerable area of its expanse come under coffee cultivation. With mainly the robusta variety of coffee
cultivated across the districts of Tirap, Changlang, Subansiri and Lohit, the coffee cultivation scene in the state is gradually on the rise.
Perhaps the only of the states on the western peninsula of India that has a coffee growing distinction among its ranks is Maharashtra. And even within the state, it is only the hill station of Chikhaldara that is popular as the exclusive coffee producing zone of the state. However, coffee beans also sprout in the district of Ratnagiri in the state that make for a uniquely delectable blend of the drink.