Indian coffees

With mystical beginnings in the 17th century, Indian coffees are appreciated globally - both for their unique taste characteristics and for the environment friendly practices that the country's coffee planters have persisted with over time. Intercropping with different types of spices provides interesting subtleties to these coffees that have won them widespread acclaim.

Indian coffees

With mystical beginnings in the 17th century, Indian coffees are appreciated globally - both for their unique taste characteristics and for the environment friendly practices that the country's coffee planters have persisted with over time. Intercropping with different types of spices provides interesting subtleties to these coffees that have won them widespread acclaim.

Indian Coffee Statistics

 

Commercial plantations of coffee started in India during the 18th century. Over the years, the Indian coffee industry has earned a distinct identity on the coffee map of the world. India is the only country in the world where all coffees are grown under a ‘well-defined two-tier shade canopy of evergreen leguminous trees’. India is today home to 16 unique varieties of coffees sourced from 13 distinct coffee growing regions; most of them in the southern part of the country. The different varieties of Indian coffees are well suited for cappuccinos and espressos alike and have no parallel in any other coffee growing nation globally. India’s coffee regions are one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world.

Production

Coffee production in India grew rapidly in the 1950s, increasing from 18,893 tonnes in 1950-51 to 68,169 tonnes in 1960-61. Growth in India’s coffee industry, however, has been especially robust in the post-liberalisation era, backed by the government’s decision to allow coffee planters to market their own produce, rather than selling to a central pool. Coffee production in India stood at 316,000 metric tonnes (MT) in 2017-18. Robusta variety accounted for 221,000 MT (70 per cent) of this production, while Arabica accounted for 95,000 MT (30 per cent). India has emerged as the seventh largest coffee producer globally; after Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Honduras. It accounted for 3.3 per cent of production and 5.4 per cent of global exports in 2017-18 (provisional estimates) as compared to 3.15 per cent and 3.57 per cent respectively in 1994-95.

The area under coffee plantations in India has increased by more than three times, from 120.32 thousand hectares in 1960-61 to 454.72 thousand hectares in 2017-18 (provisional). Most of this area is concentrated in the southern states of Karnataka (53.83%), Kerala (18.89%) and Tamil Nadu (7.83%). Productivity has also improved from around 567 kg/Ha in 1961 to around 765 kg/Ha during 2017-18. For the traditional areas, productivity has grown from 412 kg/Ha in 1961 to 886 kg/Ha in 2017-18. The industry is driven by the enterprise of around 280,241 coffee growers, out of which 99% are small growers, while 1% are medium to large growers. These plantations employ an average of around 659,865 people on a daily basis, as per provisional estimates for 2017-18.

Production in Major States/Districts Of India(in MTs)

State/District

Final Estimate 2017-18

Post Blossom Estimate 2017-18

 

Arabica

Robusta

Total

Arabica

Robusta

Total

Karnataka

Chikmagalur

31,600

43,275

74,875

35,900

48,110

84,010

Kodagu

19,550

97,000

116,550

20,500

113,000

133,500

Hassan

17,875

13,000

30,875

18,900

15,350

34,250

Sub total

69,025

153,275

222,300

75,300

176,460

251,760

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerala

Wayanad

0

55,525

55,525

0

58,160

58,160

Travancore

960

6,275

7,235

885

6,500

7,385

Nelliampathies

1,200

1,775

2,975

1,200

1,775

2,975

Sub total

2,160

63,575

65,735

2,085

66,435

68,520

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Tamil Nadu

Pulneys

7,170

340

7,510

7,800

340

8,140

Nilgiris

1,400

3,150

4,550

1,700

3,350

5,050

Shevroys (Salem)

3,530

50

3,580

4,100

70

4,170

Anamalais 
(Coimbatore)

1,300

500

1,800

1,300

500

1,800

Sub total

13,400

4,040

17,440

14,900

4,260

19,160

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Non Traditional Areas

Andhra Pradesh

9,580

20

9,600

10,050

50

10,100

Orissa

740

0

740

670

0

670

Sub Total

10,320

20

10,340

10,720

50

10,770

North Eastern Region

95

90

185

95

95

190

Grand Total (India)

95,000

221,000

316,000

103,100

247,300

350,400

Source: Coffee Board

Exports

India exports coffee to over 45 countries. The total coffee exports from the country stood at 395,014 MT in 2017-18 (provisional based on export permits) fetching a value of Rs 157,215/tonne. Export earnings have increased from Rs 2070.68 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 6210.23 crore in 2017-18 (provisional based on export permits for 2017-18), growing at a CAGR of 14.7% during the period. Italy was the largest export market for Indian coffee, importing 80,099 MT (20.28% of India’s total exports) in 2017-18. It was followed by Germany (39,233 MT), Russian Federation (26,418 MT), Belgium (18,126 MT) and Turkey (15,951 MT). Significantly, value added coffee exports have improved from 75654.4 MT in 2007-08 to 136628.4 MT in 2017-18.

No.of Holdings

 Name of the Region

2016-17

 

      10

       >10

       Total

Chikmagalur

20513

1338

21851

Hassan

13751

387

14138

Madikeri

21492

245

21737

Virajpet

 21204

231 

21435 

Total for Karnataka

76960

2201

79161

Kerala

77370

275

77645

Tamil Nadu

17656

350

18006

Total for Traditional Areas

171936

2826

174762

Non Traditional Areas

 167370

 26

167396 

NER Region

10477

9

10486

Grand total

349783

28614

352644

Source: Coffee Board

Export of coffee from India – Top 10 countries in 2017-18

Destination

Quantity (in MT)

Unit value in Rs/tonne

Italy

80,099

141,547

Germany

39,233

161,354

Russian Federation

26,418

171,756

Belgium

18,126

205,908

Turkey

15,951

170,688

Poland

13,709

158,771

USA

13,405

104,981

Indonesia

12,344

137,953

Jordan

11,162

175,108

Libya

10,545

144,861

Source: Coffee Board

Domestic market

While coffee in India has traditionally been an export-oriented commodity, coffee planters in India are finding significant traction in the domestic market as well. India’s domestic coffee consumption has increased steadily from around 50,000 MT in 1998 to 115,000 MT in 2011 (provisional estimates), registering a CAGR of 6.09%. This led to the setting up of a number of international and Indian coffee retail chains in the country in recent years like Lavazza, Café Coffee Day, Costa, Gloria Jean’s Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Starbucks.

Besides viewing India as a market, these chains are also recognising the fine quality and value proposition that is characteristic to India’s coffee plantations; thanks to a rich legacy that spans more than four centuries. Consequently, they are also looking to develop a deeper and sustainable sourcing relationship with Indian coffee growers. India is witnessing a dramatic evolution of the coffee consuming culture across the Indian market.

The ecosystem from the farm to the cup is evolving at a rapid pace to address this cultural shift; an evolution that is getting further catalysed by the entry of international players. Apart from this, a number of homegrown entrepreneurs are emerging to help spread the coffee culture and transform the entire coffee experience in homes through provision of freshly roasted coffee beans, a range of distinguished varieties of coffee as well as coffee brewing equipment. The impact of this is expected to be particularly visible in North India, which has not been a traditionally coffee drinking market like South India.

Domestic consumption of coffee

Calendar Year

Quantity (in MT)

2000

60,000

2001

64,000

2002

68,000

2003

70,000

2004

75,000

2005

80,200

2006

85,000

2007

90,000

2008

94,400

2009

102,000

2010

108,000

2011 (prov.)

115,000

 

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