How has Indian coffee culture taken a stride towards evolution?
Coffee Culture in India has started some 20 years ago and lately, it has taken a meteoric growth. Still, you won’t think twice if I say India is a tea drinking country and nothing matches our authentic Indian ‘Chai’. So how the coffee culture is evolving exponentially?
Well, there is an exception here we can’t overlook. The South Indian filter coffee (‘filter kaapi’, this is how it is pronounced by indigenous people) is one such exception which is actually the modern pour-over coffee.
According to IBEF, India is a sixth largest producer and a fifth largest exporter of coffee. Not to mention, India’s arabica coffee has a distinct identity on the map of the world and can compete with the top coffee producing countries. So, what’s the deal with us? Why are we still known for only our tea love?
India exports as much as 70% of the coffee produced in the country and side by side Indian cultivated tea is of supreme quality. The same peculiar taste of instant coffee we prepare at home and our love for authentic tea may be the reason why we had not accepted coffee so early.
Coffee as a media to socialize
Coffee is mere a drink inferior to tea as far as our choices for drinks are generally concerned but our perspective towards coffee is so unique and outstanding. Let’s face it: coffee is not just the stimulant pick-me-up drink for us. To be honest, it’s quite different than it for most of us. Our coffee definition and drinking pattern are quite different than the other Europe countries and the US. To us, it’s the reason we meet, gather to stand up for the same cause, curate and share ideas and a lot more. It’s our place to let our creative juice flow and to craft our masterpieces.
If you’re an avid reader like me then you must’ve been aware of how authors of modern India has depicted the coffee culture in their books. A beautiful example of this is how Savi Sharma in her book ‘Everyone Has A Story’ has expressed her meticulous views of the coffee culture in India where there was not a single thought on coffee, it was all about the journey of love, achieving life goals, and the Kabir’s cafe!
Indian youth has welcome and blend the coffee in their life in their way. Coffee Cafe Days and Baristas have become the place to meet up over coffee. Unlike in the US and other countries, we never hesitate to meet over coffee at any time of the day. Coffee bars remain open till 10 or 11 in the night, yes, this is how we are! And there is nothing unscrupulous about it.
Coffee as a magical drink for coffee aficionados
Well, this is not the only perspective and one school of people have embraced coffee in their life in a little different way. The uncompromising coffee aficionados and coffee maniacs love the freshly brewed coffee drinks modern coffee shops sell. They are happy because our home prepared coffee lacks the essence of authentic coffee; from roasting the beans to different brewing methods.
What do young entrepreneurs see in a growing culture?
And to fulfill their demands, some young entrepreneurs have sought a grand opportunity to establish their business in lack of availability of freshly roasted, ground and brewed coffee in the country. And Government of India having their back, startups like Blue Tokai, Flying Squirrel, Seven Beans, and Black Baza are likely to succeed and will grow into a giant colossal banyan tree spreading its prop roots across the country.
Some of these has also opened some real-life coffee shops where they serve freshly brewed Indian Arabica and Organic coffees in different flavors. Now that these startups have come to set their foot in the Indian market, they definitely will help us explore and blend the authentic coffee with our daily life.
What's the ultimate effect of the culture?
The fusion of coffee trend where one group of people has admired and engulfed it as a media to socialize and another group welcoming the authentic blends of coffee is making it popular. Initiatives like ‘Cuddll’ are evolving the socializing trend of coffee whereas ‘Blue Tokai’ and other startups are making their way to succeed to change the Indian trend of drinking instant coffee. This mixed trend is going to open up more opportunities for young entrepreneurs and VCs. The proud thing about we people is we take the best out of everything. And how we have bosomed coffee says everything about it!