Coffee has been commercially cultivated in India since the 19th century and it is one of the most eco-friendly and major plantation crops in Southern-India. Coffee consumption in India is still a growing phenomenon. Coffee farmers have traditionally employed cultivation practices which are very unique.
India is one of the few countries which grow the coffee crops under shade trees. The way India grows coffee is unique – often planted near spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and pepper which gives the coffee a different spicy flavor. Some coffee is grown alongside sweeter crops like oranges, vanilla, and bananas which gives the coffee a gentle, fruity or floral taste.
The first coffee plantations were established around the 1840’s in the hills surrounding Chikmagalur, Wayanad, the Shevaroys, and Nilgiris. Arabica and Robusta are the two well-known varieties of coffee grown in India.
As we know today Coffee plantations are a result of hard work and efforts put in by legendary planters of the 19th and early 20th century. After independence, the ownership gradually changed to Indian owners who continued in the tradition of maintaining well-managed plantations.