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Indian coffee’s deep roots

From the July 2013 issue.

While most consumers know India for its tea, the nation also has one of the world’s oldest coffee industries. However, it has just started to gain popularity in foreign markets over the past decade.

It all started with seven coffee seeds smuggled into India from Yemen in the 17th century. From these seven seeds, one of the world’s earliest coffee industries would blossom into one of the largest coffee producing nations in the world. Despite still being better known for growing tea, India’s coffee has a rich history and it is one that continues to grow.

Jawaid AkhtarWith production growing slowly but steadily, India’s coffee output is expected to continue to climb as new regions have been added to the country’s coffee producing map in the past few years.

While exports of premium Indian coffees such as single estate, single origin and top-quality washed Robustas are picking up, so is coffee drinking at home. So much so that India’s instant and soluble industry imports between 1.2 million and 1.4 million 60-kilogram bags every year. This is to keep up with both export demand and local consumption, which is close to 2 million bags per year.

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