Everyone knew how to make coffee so why is espresso a landmark at all. A few points here
Drip method took time to brew and slowly time was becoming less for the mankind.
It gave them convenience
Industrial revolution ignited general interest in anything machine :P and most importantly
Espresso gave people the freedom to do many things with coffee
With coffee in a concentrated 30ml shot and not in the usual watery form many other ingredients could be added to make up a different, thicker, creamier etc. beverage.
Till about coffee was a private affair in South India where everyone had their own ritualistic home blend, personal roaster and grinder and a home grown procedure of making it. It was not a serious affair in north India where Nescafe was the only form of coffee majority knew and was blissfully ignorant of the bean, roasting and grinding.
The first coffee house in India came up in Calcutta in 1780, of course to serve the British. Another came up in madras. Slowly as the British spread to hill stations and to rest of India coffee went along with them.
In 1996 the first Cafe coffee day started off in Bangalore. It catered to the youth as a place to hang out and not really as a coffee connoisseur palace.
As Pavlov’s Dog theory says - ring the bell + give food would soon make bell = food. Place for hanging out + coffee slowly became equivalent. So not really a coffee culture growing but a culture growing with coffee fuelling it.
CCD sparked off the trend and Barista, Costa and recently Starbucks followed suit.
That is a brief of how and what happened to coffee in India.
About the writer:
15+ years as avid coffee drinker, Nutan has had a chance to enjoy diverse coffee experiences -
tasting coffee beans, visiting plantations, roasteries and coffee shops, trying out coffees makers, making practices & recipes. The blog is an attempt to distill & consolidate all the wonder in the coffee world, with special attention on Indian traditional versions