Today while sipping my morning coffee I realized-i am a coffeeholic on the road to recovery. I am just kidding! Realized I need to pen down something about my coffee love. Coffee is a driving force in peoples lives – everyone loves the magical black brew or loves someone who is hopelessly addicted. Well, I do, like accepting on my OCD (obsessive coffee disorder), this feeling is reciprocal to tea lovers also I suppose.
Anyhow, I presume most of us know that coffee comes from the fruit of a coffee plant, whose botanical family name is Rubiaceae (Rooby- ea- see- ya), that includes the genus ‘Coffea’. Let’s hope I’m clear so far because there are more than 120 types of Coffea species (according to my knowledge, maybe more than that). Although I am addicted to coffee, I only know two names on this 120+ Coffea species-Coffea Arabica & Coffea Canephora. Quite disappointing, I recognize. And to add insult to injury, my Bestie Utkarsh, another OCD patient, has added less popular species to our list: Coffea Liberica and Coffea Excelsa. Why didn’t I know we had about the same coffee anyway. Well, I’m familiar with four species now, as are you.
We can dig in the product and byproduct of the species, but I prefer to jump because it’s too geeky. But will give a heads up to my favourite bean Arabica- it is a product of two mixture of species Coffea Canephora (Robusta)& Coffea Eugenides( so now we know a total of six genera out of 120 species). Robusta has a bitter flavour with a higher caffeine content, requires Eugenides to create Arabica is tasty. Although the birthplace of Robusta is unknown, some say southern Sudan, and others say Ethiopia. From a technical point of view, Arabica is nearly like a miracle, of which we are happy.
Writing about my favourite drink, I realized that it also has an extensive history. I will speak about the Indian coffee whose history dates back to about 1600 AD with the planting of seven Mocha seeds by the legendary saint Baba Budan in the courtyard of his hermitage at Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Coffee was discovered by Baba Budan in the form of Qahwa1 a dark and sweet liquid on his way to his legendary trip to Mocha, a port town in Yemen that dominates the Red Sea. He found the drink so refreshing that he secretly fetched seven coffee beans from Mocha. He attached them to his chest since the Arabs were extremely protective of their coffee industry.
These coffee plants remained a garden of curiosity before they gradually extended as garden plantings, and later to the hills of what is now known as Baba Budan Hills. Pretty fascinating! Another enthralling concept is that coffees are grown under a ‘well-defined two-tier shade canopy of evergreen leguminous trees.’ And this is done solely in India. And these coffee-growing zones are among the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world and have no parallel anywhere in the world.
However, the commercial coffee plantation started in the 18th century, when an ambitious and enterprising British manager named JH Jolly, felt that the coffee beans growing in the Chandragiri plantations had huge potential. He submitted a petition to the Mysore government for 40 acres of land to produce coffee. And the decision led to a successful business that later encouraged more people to leap into the coffee-growing business. It has led to widespread planting throughout the region. Slow but steady, a dynamic ecosystem has also begun to evolve.
Well, I always loved coffee, if you want my opinion, I don’t remember when I fell in love, but I just did. And having delved into history, I guess my love is pure. And the aroma, the taste, the flavour, everything is so healing. And I am sure, like me, you might have asked yourselves what is it that we love in coffee so much? How can anyone enjoy coffee so much? I think there’s just something so appealing about the smell of coffee that makes me feel refreshed. The taste that I truly adore; it was never something that I had to acquire, thus to speak. I love the taste of coffee without cream and sugar, to be frank.
And now since, the Indian coffee industry has developed rapidly and has also gained a distinctive identity in the world coffee card. We are home to currently 16unique coffee varieties from 13 specific coffee-producing regions, mostly in the southern part of the country, few in the northeast and eastern ghats. Indian coffees fit both cappuccinos and espressos. More famous for its subtle taste and stimulating intensity.
Some of the finest varieties of coffee beans grown in India are Arabica and Robustas coffee. One of its kind is Kents Coffee Bean. It is the first variety of Arabica coffee which was cultivated in India, named after L. P. Kent, a British planter of the Doddengudda Estate in Mysore, who chose the first plant. Although it currently grows only in some areas, the Kents coffee is known for its exceptional quality.
Another would be S.795 Coffee which is known for its superior quality, high yields, fat beans, and improved tolerance to leaf rust. It is a balanced mug with subtle notes of mocha coffee. In Robusta coffee CxR is a good option. Well, there’s more variety; I tried those out too.
In my love story with coffee, I struggled with a bothersome caffeine crash; however, it always turned out to be a modern elixir. It is added with numerous health benefits. Since rich in antioxidants, it adds beneficial nutrients that can enhance your health. Moreover, a small amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee omits a considerable amount of energy and mental stimulation, enough for us to embrace the challenges for the day.
Although coffee predominates in many cultures, hence has quickly become an accepted addiction, where we crave a hot cup of piping every day. Coffee is more a way of life now because coffee has progressively become synonymous with calm and intellectual conversations. Even if coffee is not a seasonal beverage, nothing can beat the winters. So let’s take our cup of hot coffee and try out a new flavour in this perfect season.