Relying on instant coffees such as Nescafé and Bru is a thing of the past. So are the frequent visits to Starbucks and Café Coffee Day. High quality specialty coffees have taken over our regular cup of coffee now. Credit the arrival of homegrown brands that are making artisanal coffee more accessible to coffee lovers.
For the uninitiated, artisanal or specialty coffees are nothing like your instant coffee and they are anything but ordinary. What looks like a simple blend of coffee ingredients and water, goes through a complex process of harvesting, a delicate process of roasting which eventually results in a great hot cuppa. They are specially crafted high-quality coffee seeds sourced directly from farms and brewed using different roasting techniques. The best part? To make it more easy-going, most of these are available in ground form, which can be easily brewed using a sieve, without investing in expensive coffee brewing equipment.
Check out these homegrown brands that are brewing authentic coffee with some exciting flavours.
1. Araku coffee
The Araku flavour profile is only between medium dark roast and medium roast, that holistically embodies the aromatic profile, making it a unique one. Their coffee is 100 per cent Arabica, smooth and balanced in taste. Selection from their curated list is a medium dark roast, whereas Signature, Micro Climate and Grand Reserve are medium roast. The dark roast will have a smoky or burnt taste, whereas a light/medium roast will have a hint of acidity and balance.
2. Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters
What started as a small roastery in New Delhi in 2013, has grown into multiple outlets across India serving some of the best coffee roasts. You can choose from their range of roasted and ground coffee which comes packed with fruity notes such as Hoysala estate - which is a beautiful blend of berries, plum and milk chocolate, Atikan estate - dark chocolate, figs and roasted almonds, South Indian filter blend - roasted hazelnut, toffee, Silver oak café blend - hazelnut, honey and grapes. For those who like their coffee bold and strong with bittersweet notes, go for their French roast and Vienna roast.
3. Alchemist Roastery Coffee Co.
This micro-roastery and café based in Ajmer with plantations in Baba BudanGiri Hills and Chikmagalur offers a range of filter roast and espresso roast. If you like spiced coffee with tasting notes of lemon and berry, we recommend you try their Balanoor Washed that goes best as pour-over. For those who like their coffee to be nutty, their Kalledevarapura Washed with hints of milk chocolate and almond is a must-try. Goes best when brewed in French press or moka pot. And if an espresso gives you the perfect start to your day, their Primus Victus could be your go-to drink.
4. Subko coffee roasters
Subko has a fan following of its own, and rightly so. They ventured into the art of coffee making with an aim to create a genuine Asian specialty coffee and represent it on the world coffee map. Listed under their specialty Arabica micro-lots, their Ratnagiri estate range is a must try. Especially the medium roast with hints of Nutella, roasted hazelnuts, whipped cream and cocoa. If you are looking for something sweet and citrusy, try their medium roast with notes of yuzu candy, orange gola and caramel. If you prefer Robusta over Arabica, go for their Salawara estate medium roast that goes through an oak barrel fermentation process and the end product has interesting notes of peated whiskey with a hint of orange.
5. KC Roasters by Koinonia
To change perceptions of Indian coffee in the world, KC roasters have been working closely with farmers and have adapted to international craft roasting methods to highlight and enhance the inherent flavours of the beans. From their single origin coffee range, their new medium/light Papakuchi Red Honey straight from Coorg is our absolute favourite. Sourced from Coorg, the beans go through the pulp sun-dried process and the subtle hints of peach, black forest cherries, plum and blueberry pie make for a delightful cuppa coffee. You may also try the red honey by Kelagur estate, and you will be amazed by the distinct flavours of jaggery and red apple.