Coffee production has always been in the limelight in India. India is one of the biggest coffee producers, the country is also enjoying great attention in the overseas market. We’ve got a list of India’s top 5 coffee producing states.

India is the world’s leading producer of coffee and ranks among the world’s top 10 coffee producers. The coffee grown in India is one of the world’s finest qualities which is cultivated in the shade.

Coffee production is a major source of employment in India, and there are more than 2.5 Lakh coffee growers in India. The total coffee produced by India in the final financial year, i.e. 2014-15, was 3.27 Lakh Metric Tonnes. 

Commercial coffee plantations started in India during the 18th century. The Indian coffee industry has developed a distinct presence on the world’s coffee map over the years. India is the world’s only country where all coffees are grown under a ‘well-defined two-tier shade canopy of evergreen legumes.’ India is now home to 16 unique coffee varieties from 13 distinct coffee-growing areas, most of them in the country’s southern portion. Indian coffee varieties are well suited for cappuccinos and espressos alike and have no counterpart in any other coffee-growing nation worldwide.

Do you know that India exports about 80 percent of the coffee output to Spain? They use the Suez Canal to bring out transportation.

Arabica and Robusta are two coffee varieties grown in India. Robusta’s overall production in the last financial year was 2.29 Lakh Metric Tonnes, while Arabica’s output was 98,000 Metric Tonnes.

Most of the coffee produced in India is exported to other nations, more than 70 percent of the country’s total coffee output. Many of the countries to which coffee is sold are France, Germany, Turkey, Britain, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, and Australia.

Types Of Coffee Production In India

There are necessarily two most widely consumed coffee types worldwide — Arabica and Robusta — that emerge from the two main coffee plant species: Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee, respectively. While there are various coffee plant varieties, from a commercial point of view, Arabica and Robusta are the most significant.

During the 1920s, Kents – the earliest Arabica coffee variety – was selected by an English planter with the same name. Because of this particular coffee plant’s low susceptibility to rust, it remained popular with farmers until the 1940s. While currently only grown in a few places, Kents coffee is renowned for its outstanding quality of cups.

In the 1940s, it introduced the most famous Arabica coffee variety in India, S.795. The coffee plant S.795 is known for its outstanding consistency, high yields, bold beans, and excellent relative leaf rust resistance. The coffee plant S.795 was grown using the coffee plant Kents Arabica, which is known for its outstanding quality. A commonly grown variety of Arabica, it has a balanced cup with Mocha coffee’s subtle-flavor notes.

The Selection 9 coffee plant is a hybrid between Tafarikela (a range of Ethiopian Arabica) and Hibrido-de-Timor, which is robust and resistant. It boasts all of Tafarikela’s superior quality cup characteristics and received the Fine Cup Award for Best Arabica at India’s Flavour – Cupping Competition 2002 organized by India’s Coffee Board.

The Cauvery coffee plant, also known as Catimor, is a hybrid descendant of Caturra (a natural mutant of the high-quality Bourbon variety) and Hibrido-de-Timor. The Cauvery coffee plant inherited Caturra’s superior quality attributes and Hibrido-de-Timor strong resistance.

Where Is Coffee Grown In India?

Coffee is grown mainly in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha in India. Karnataka stands on top of all coffee producing states with a share of more than 70 percent of the total coffee output in India. 

This article  lists down the top coffee-growing states in India:

Karnataka: The Best Coffee Estate In India

Karnataka is one of the leading coffee growing states. The states contribute almost 71 percent of the total production. Karnataka had cumulative production of 2.33 lakh MT coffees according to statistics.

In Karnataka, coffee is planted in a wide area and accounts for more than 60 percent of India’s total area under coffee cultivation. There are over 4,500 coffee plantations in India, which is usually around 1,300 meters above sea level at high altitude.

The main coffee production regions of Karnataka are Kodagu, Chikmagalur, and Hassan. Kodagu is Karnataka’s largest coffee-producing area, with more than 50 percent of the total state-produced coffee. The other coffee production regions in the State are Mysore and Shimoga.

Kerala: Most Renowned Coffee Estate In India

Areas like Kerala’s Malabar region are notable highlights for coffee production. Arabica and Robusta are the two great types of coffee beans produced in this region. Kerala is making a contribution to India of about 21 percent. Total coffee production for Kerala is estimated at 67700 MT.

Wayanad and Travancore are Kerala’s major coffee-producing areas, accounting for over 95 percent of the state’s overall coffee production. Other coffee production regions in the state include Nelliampathies, Kozhikode, Palakkad, and Malappuram.

Like Karnataka, Kerala coffee is cultivated at a high altitude of approximately 1200 meters above sea level. Kerala also boasts a strong yield of 790 kilograms per hectare.

Tamil Nadu: Popular Coffee Estate In India

Tamil Nadu accounts for 5 percent of India’s coffee bean production. Popular regions for the same are; districts of Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, and Yercaud. We have seven more to go to clarify the top coffee-producing states in India. The records recorded coffee production for Tamil Nadu to be 17875 MT.

Arabica Coffee is the largest part of the overall state-produced coffee, and Arabica Coffee production was 13,150 metric tonnes in the last financial year. Robusta Coffee is also produced by the province, which last year had produced 4,725 Metric Tonnes.

The principal coffee-growing area in Tamil Nadu is Pulleys, Nilgiris, Salem, and Coimbatore. Pulleys are the state’s main coffee producing area with a total of over 7,600 metric tonnes.

Andhra Pradesh: Stable Coffee Estate In India

Major coffee bean production also happens in the state of Andhra Pradesh. If you’ve ever been to the Araku Valley Hill Station, you’ll be able to smell the fresh fragrance of coffee beans around as the district is the perfect area for coffee plantations in AP. The total coffee output for Andhra Pradesh is 7425 MT.

Arabica Coffee and Robusta Coffee production in the last financial year was 7,370 metric tonnes, and 550 metric tonnes, respectively. Total coffee production is forecast to pass the 9,500 Metric Tonne mark over the next financial year.

Assam: Important Coffee Estate In India

While Assam is known for its tea gardens, Assam also has regions known for coffee making. The Assam monsoons are suitable for making various varieties of coffee beans. Two more to go on the list of India’s 10 Largest coffee producing states.

Coffee Production In India

In the 1950s, coffee production in India rose exponentially, from 18,893 tons in 1950-51 to 68,169 tons in 1960-61. In the post-liberalization period, however, growth in India’s coffee industry was especially strong, driven by the government’s decision to encourage coffee planters to market their products, rather than to sell to a central pool. India’s coffee production in 2017-18 peaked at 316,000 metric tonnes (MT). The variety Robusta accounted for 221,000 MT (70%) of that volume, while Arabica accounted for 95,000 MT (30%). India has emerged as the seventh-largest producer of coffee worldwide, after Argentina, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Honduras.

Now when you know about the coffee growing states in India let’s learn a bit more about Indian coffee.

Export Of Coffee To Rest Of The World

India exports its coffee to more than 45 countries. The overall nation coffee exports stood at Rs 157,215/tonne at 395,014 MT in 2017-18 (provisional based on export permits). Export earnings rose from Rs 2070,68 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 6210,23 crore in 2017-18 (provisional based on export permits for 2017-18), increasing over the period at a CAGR of 14.7 percent. Italy became Indian coffee’s main export market, importing 80,099 MT (20.28 percent of India’s overall exports) in 2017-18. Deutschland (39,233 MT), the Russian Federation (26,418 MT), Belgium (18,126 MT), and Turkey (15,951 MT) proceeded.

Domestic Coffee Market In India

Though coffee has historically been an export-oriented product in India, coffee planters do find significant traction in the domestic market. India’s consumption of domestic coffee has gradually risen from about 50,000 MT in 1998 to 115,000 MT in 2011 (provisional estimates), with a CAGR of 6.09%. It has resulted in the establishment in recent years of several foreign and Indian coffee retail chains in the region, such as Lavazza, Café Coffee Day, Costa, Gloria Jean’s Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Starbucks.

Such chains, in addition to seeing India as a market, often understand the fine quality and value proposition characteristic of India’s coffee plantations, thanks to a rich heritage that stretches more than four centuries. As a result, they are also looking to establish a deeper and fruitful partnership with Indian coffee growers in sourcing. India is undergoing a rapid transformation of the Global coffee drinking population.

Conditions Of Coffee Farming In India

Coffee is India’s second-largest coffee crop next only to tea. It is native to Abyssinia Plateau (Ethiopia), from where it was transported to Arabia in the 11th century. In the 17th century, Baba Budan introduced his seeds from Arabia to India, and they were planted in Karnataka’s Baba Budan Hills.

The coffee plant needs a hot and humid atmosphere with temperatures ranging from 15 ° C to 28 ° C and from 150 to 250 cm of rainfall. It does not withstand frost, snowfall, over 30 ° C maximum temperature, and heavy sunlight and is usually grown under shade trees. Coffee often gets injurious during an extended drought. Dry weather is important when the berries ripen.

Stagnant water is toxic, and this crop is cultivated at altitudes from 600 to 1,600 meters above sea level on hill slopes. Because they are less vulnerable to heavy afternoon heat and south-west monsoon rains, northern and eastern parts of the slopes are favored.

The soil must be well manured to maintain and replenish fertility and maximize production. Coffee growing requires a lot of cheap and qualified labor for different operations, including sowing, transplantation, pruning, plucking, washing, grading, and coffee packing.

Trade Of Coffee In India | Planning To Invest In Coffee Estate?

Coffee has made a significant contribution to the Indian economy over the past 50 years, among the plantation crops. Even though the contribution of India is only a small percent of the overall world’s production, Indian coffee has still carved out its niche in the international market, particularly Indian Robustas, who are highly preferred for their excellent quality of blending.

On the foreign market, too, Arabic coffee is well received. In short, Indian coffee is well known for its consistency, and on the international market, it is highly in demand. Hence, India sells coffee to a vast number of countries, including the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., Russia, Australia, Iraq, and a significant number of continental European countries.

The main export ports are Bangalore, Mangalore, and Calicut. Indian coffee exports have seen significant rises in both quantity and earnings over the past few years (see Table 24.29). India exported 188,000 tons of coffee in 2003-04, representing two-thirds of total production. For that year, the overall earnings from coffee exports amounted to Rs 1,066 crore.

From the field to the cup, the environment is changing quickly to tackle this cultural shift, a change that is being further catalyzed by foreign players’ entry. Besides, a host of indigenous pioneers are emerging to expand the coffee trend further and change the whole coffee experience in homes by offering freshly ground coffee beans, a variety of respected coffee varieties, and coffee brewing equipment. The effect of this is expected to be especially noticeable in North India, which has not historically been a market for coffee drinks like South India.

So, if you are looking to invest in coffee estate in India, here is the list of best places to search for.

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