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Why Indian Coffee?

20th May 2024

One question we get asked a fair bit here at London Grade is why Indian coffee? Asides from our decaf, which is a lovely single-origin Sumatran, all of our coffee is currently South-Indian. But why?

We think Indian coffee is vastly and criminally overlooked by most coffee producers. When it comes to places producing single-origin speciality coffee, your mind may very understandably jump to Colombia or Brazil. Or maybe even places like Kenya and Uganda. It is rare people tend to think of India. But India actually exports more coffee than places like Uganda, Kenya and even Mexico or Costa Rica. It is the world’s ninth biggest coffee exporter. If that is so, why is it so often overlooked and not talked about in the same way as say Colombian coffee?

You may think there must be a perfectly valid reason for this. Maybe the quality of the coffee just is not up to the same standards. But this could not be further from the truth. One of our exciting seasonal roasts, Gems of Araku boasts an SCA score of 88.  An Indian filter even recently came 2nd in this particular world ranking. So that argument certainly does not hold up. That being said, we like to let our coffee do the talking, so why don’t you try it for yourself and see if it holds up?

A more viable reason for the perceived overlooking of Indian coffee is that it is currently marketed as being from somewhere else. Take Italian coffee, which has a strong global reputation. But of course Italy does not and cannot actually grow coffee – it just does not have the right conditions. So lots of Italian coffee is not Italian in the sense that it was grown there. A great amount of it actually is grown in places like India. So if you think that Indian coffee isn’t that well known because it can’t be as good – that certainly is not true and it is already more popular than you know, it just all too frequently takes the name of another producer. We however, want to put India front and centre and to celebrate some of the fantastic coffee that is grown there – and not hide its origin.

So it all comes down and back to wanting to celebrate Indian coffee, as it is either far too often either overlooked or presented as being from somewhere else. Highlighting this underrepresented region is important to us. Underrepresented is not a synonym for undistinguished.

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