Coffee in India
The movies and general pop culture depict India as a chai-consuming country. But with more than a billion inhabitants, there must be some coffee!
Coffee beverages are not the most popular drinks in India, taking a back seat to tea. But that doesn’t mean that coffee is scarce in India. On the contrary, India is the 5th biggest coffee producer and 31.7% of cultivated coffee is arabica.
British rule in the early 40’s introduced coffee culture to India and the beverage was well-consumed, but mainly by the British themselves. Once the rule ended, the coffee houses closed down, only to reopen under a slightly different name, the Indian Coffee Houses. The first Indian Coffee House opened in New Delhi in 1957. Today, the two main chains (Barista and Café Coffee Day) have over 1,500 stores across India. The consumption is increasing every year andin 2010, coffee consumption amounted 100 000 metric tons.
Indian coffee is typically produced using wet processing methods, is less acidic, and feature a heavier body than coffees produced in South America or Africa. It is said that Indian coffee makes a delightful espresso. Indian coffee can be enjoyed with various traditional Indian spices as well. Some enjoy their coffee with masala spices. The traditional Indian coffee is a dark espresso with a little cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and condensed milk. You can find a recipe here .
So do Indians drink coffee and enjoy it? Yes, they absolutely do. But they enjoy it very differently from the way we do here in Canada. Next time you get a chance, try a masala coffee!