Indians have long held a love for coffee, despite their nation's tea-centric culture. Tea has traditionally been the preferred beverage for morning rejuvenation and evening relaxation. However, in recent years, coffee has been making a resurgence, with passionate enthusiasts striving to restore its reputation in India. Slowly but surely, coffee has become a newfound favourite. It's no longer merely an alternative to tea; numerous roasteries across the country are elevating coffee's status. While the numbers of ardent coffee drinkers have historically been small compared to tea lovers, the efforts of these roasteries are sparking a shift. With fresh flavours and new tastes introduced to Indian palates, coffee is experiencing a surge in popularity that some humorously refer to as India's third wave of coffee appreciation. As International Coffee Day approaches (celebrated on October 1, 2023), it's only fitting to unveil India's top coffee roasters.
Here are some of India’s best coffee roasteries to try
KCRoasters, or Koinonia Coffee Roasters, stands as both a roastery and a sought-after café in one of Mumbai's renowned neighbourhoods. Embraced by coffee enthusiasts, this establishment has garnered fame for its distinctive coffee blends that beckon visitors repeatedly. The creators of KCRoasters have meticulously crafted their brand, venturing to countries such as Italy and Thailand to master the intricate art of roasting and brewing. Renowned blends like Marvahulla and Poabs Blend shine as testaments to their dedication and expertise.
2. Blue Tokai
Blue Tokai stands as an acclaimed roastery and café, celebrated for its exquisite coffee blends. As a pioneer in the coffee roasting realm, this establishment has rightfully garnered its well-deserved acclaim and popularity. What distinguishes Blue Tokai is their unique approach – not only do they offer coffee beans for direct purchase, allowing customers to grind to their preference, but they also provide coffee beans tailored to complement various coffee equipment. For instance, their selection includes the exceptional Silver Oak for French press enthusiasts, while Vienna Roast, Bibi Plantation, and more remain their consistent best-sellers.
3. Black Baza Coffee
Black Baza Coffee emerges as an ecologically conscious coffee roastery. This establishment was born from the owner's realisation during her pursuit of a PhD, recognizing the necessity for a coffee industry transformation that aligns with environmental and local support values. In pursuit of this mission, the roastery exclusively procures coffee beans from Coorg, embodying social and environmental responsibility. Yet, this commitment does not compromise taste in the slightest. Renowned blends like Wanderoo and the distinctive South Indian filter kaapi remain standout favourites.
4. Halli Berri
Operated by four women from the Kariappa family, this roastery thrives on their Chikmagalur estate. Infused with a commitment to remarkable taste, the owners seamlessly blend their endeavours with eco-conscious and sustainable practices. Halli Berri goes beyond, inviting patrons and explorers to dwell amidst the estate, delving into the intricacies of coffee roasting. Renowned for its honey-dew essence, this family-owned coffee venture is an embodiment of distinctiveness.
5. The Flying Squirrel
A brainchild of a third-generation coffee farmer and an advertisement executive, The Flying Squirrel is known for its experimental ways. The owners synergize their distinct skills, consistently curating blends that are not only delectable but also inventive and invigorating. Paramount among them is Parama, boasting rich notes of chocolate and caramel, while Sunkissed offers a fruitier infusion. These cherished flavours underscore the establishment's popularity and innovation.
6. Ainmane Coffee
Hailing from Coorg, Ainmane is a renowned coffee roastery celebrated for producing Civet coffee, recognized as one of the world's most prized and pricey coffees. While the process of collecting and processing civet beans may not be the most appealing, Ainmane masterfully ensures that flavour takes centre stage. Embracing creative experimentation, the establishment skillfully combines contrasting notes, infusing fruity accents with robust coffee beans to offer customers an uncharted experience. Among their cherished flavours are Monsooned Malabar, Green Coffee Powder, and Café Blend, all contributing to Ainmane's distinguished reputation.
7. The Indian Bean Co
Emerging from Bhopal, The Indian Co is a distinguished coffee roastery that procures its beans from select single-estate grounds in the lush terrains of Chikmagalur and Kodaikanal. Committed to delivering unwavering quality, the roastery consistently ensures a premium coffee experience for its patrons. By skillfully infusing classic flavours that elevate the bean's essence, The Indian Co has risen as a prominent name in India's coffee scene. Among their standout offerings are the fruity Frowner's, Watapi, boasting delightful hints of cinnamon, and the ever-popular Bullet, adorned with timeless vanilla undertones.