Between instant coffee powders and over processed, far-from-fresh ground varieties, coffee lovers in India have been an unhappy lot for a long time. However, the past few years have seen the rise of several high quality artisanal coffee companies. While nothing may separate Indians from their beloved chai, these six artisanal coffee brands are causing many Indians to rethink how the nation consumes its caffeine.
The Indian Bean
On a mission to promote and increase access to quality Indian coffee, the Indian Bean team has traveled from Nepal to Coorg to scout for the best beans. Their ranges of freshly roasted, fair trade coffees include heady Arabica varieties from Coorg, Kodaikanal and other farms across south India. Try the Bello blend for a rich and strong cup to kickstart your day, or the Melnad blend for a classic south Indian coffee. You can even sign up for a three to six month ‘Coffee Explorers’ subscription pack and get a different The Indian Bean coffee blend delivered to your doorstep every month.
Whether you use an espresso machine, a moka pot or a French press, Flying Squirrel is a trusted provider for high quality artisanal coffee beans ground to individual tastes. Originating from an estate in Polibetta, Coorg, Flying Squirrel offers over nine delicious coffees – including a green coffee and a cold brew blend – which you can purchase from their website or from stores around the country. If you happen to be in Bangalore, stop by their brewery in Koramangala for a rewarding coffee-tasting session.
Black Baza Coffee Co. was founded with a clear mission: to create a company that conserves forests, wildlife and water by selling coffee. They do so by supporting and creating a market for coffee that comes from biodiversity-friendly farming. This means coffee grown under the shade of lush forest trees, without chemical pesticides and with active re-forestation of wildlife-use areas on farms. Black Baza offers a range of high quality yet affordable Arabica and Robusta coffees, which you can get roasted and ground to your liking.
Coming from an all woman-owned Kambihalli estate in Chikmaglur, this 100% Arabica coffee is full bodied. Founded by a mother and her three daughters, ‘halli’ means village in the Kannada language. If you’re travelling through Chikmaglur, you can even stay at their estate or stop by their coffee shop, the Coffee Barn Café.
Bringing high quality coffee from estates around the country to your doorstep, Blue Tokai is the new best friend of coffee lovers in India. Freshly roasted and ground according to your needs, Blue Tokai’s coffee varieties come from more than ten estates across Karnataka. If you happen to be out of coffee filters or in need of a new French press, you can also purchase a variety of coffee brewing equipment from Blue Tokai’s online store.
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An Indo-Italian venture linking Indian coffee planters with Italian roasters, Seven Beans offers seven unique Arabica and Robusta blends. From the full bodied Urja to the delicate Mishta, Seven Beans has something for everyone. With a clear focus on ecological harmony via sustainable farming, Seven Beans also offers the satisfaction of contributing positively to the environment.