The Best Small-Batch Coffees From India
Here are some of the brands that will ensure you don’t have to look for imported coffee any more
For several years, the country’s top quality coffee beans have been exported, but there’s been a recent rise in the number of independent Indian coffee makers, who are blending and brewing locally with great success. Here are some of the brands that will ensure you don’t have to look for imported coffee any more.
1. Araku Coffee
USP: Grown organically and agronomically, Araku is the product of 20 years of work of the NGO Naandi Foundation with Adivasis in the Eastern Ghats, around the Araku region in Andhra Pradesh. The business model of sharing has enabled thousands of Adivasis to come out of poverty.
What to buy: The Micro Climate variant comes highly recommended by co-founder Manoj Kumar, who suggests brewing it with a moka pot. Available at arakucoffee.in
Price: Upwards of Rs 490 for 250 gm
2. Fresh Brew Co.
USP: A selection of 12 artisanal Nespresso-compatible coffee capsules containing freshly roasted 100 per cent Arabica coffee, from some of the best coffee regions in India and across the world. The cold brew coffee — sold in 200 ml variants of Original, Hazelnut and Vanilla — has a shelf life of 21 days.
What to buy: Co-founder Karan Tibrawalla recommends the Save The Tiger variant — part of the sales proceeds go towards wildlife conservation — for its bold flavours. Available at freshbrewco.in, Amazon Price: Rs 100-125 for 200 ml ready-to-drink cold brew and Rs 350-500 for a box of 10 capsules
3. Marc’s Coffees
USP: Barcelona-born Auroville resident Marc Tormo offers a range of seven dark, light and medium roast coffees. Tormo is an organic-certified coffee roaster with over 25 years of experience in the coffee industry.
What to buy: The Kaveri Espresso Blend is a full-bodied, rich, aromatic coffee with an assortment of caramel, grapes, chocolate and hints of citrus.
Available at marcscoffees.com, auroville. com, Qtrove, Jaypore Price: Upwards of Rs 130 for 100 gm
4. KC Roasters
USP: The brand offers single-origin coffees, sourced from only medium-sized farms, in order to showcase their quality as well as to boost the income of smaller farmers.
What to buy: Founder Shannon D’Souza highly recommends the Cask Aged Coffee — a complex blend with a long, sweet finish, owing to its ageing process in whisky barrels.
Available at koinoniacoffeeroasters.com, Amazon, Swiggy, Scootsy, Zomato Price: Rs 540 for 340 gm for all blends except Cask Aged Coffee (Rs 1,000)
5. Halli Berri
USP: This women-led and-managed concern — started by Nalima Kariappa and her daughter Tejini — produces gourmet south Indian 100 per cent Arabica coffee, using beans from their family plantation in Chikmagalur’s Kambihalli Estate. The plantation serves as a natural private reserve, home to over 296 species of migratory birds.
What to buy: The 100 per cent Arabica ground coffee is versatile, tasting just as good as a black or cold coffee.
Available on amazon.com Price: Rs 299 for 200 gm
6. Flying Squirrel
USP: Ashish D’Abreo and Tej Thimmaiah’s brand sells ten variants as well as seasonal specials, while also offering barista training, coffee roasting, cupping and blending, as well as a café in Bengaluru. The range includes roasts ranging from light (Aromatique) to medium dark (Sattva) and super dark (Tall Dark Handsome).
What to buy: The brand’s most-loved coffee, Parama, or the Rohan Bopanna Masterblend, using beans grown on the tennis star’s estate.
Available at flyingsquirrel.in, placeoforigin.in, Amazon, Scootsy Price: Rs 320-450 for 250 gm
7. Country Bean
USP: Instant coffee in a variety of flavours — Hazelnut, Caramel, Cocoa Mint, Choco Orange, Merry Berry and Original — without added sugar or artificial flavours.
What to buy: Owner Aditi Satnaliwala insists that while hazelnut is a popular flavour, the caramel is “to die for.”
Available at countrybean.in, Amazon, Big Basket Price: Rs 325 for 60 gm
8. The Indian Bean
USP: Single estate and fair trade coffee that is shade grown at varied altitudes across south India. Air-roasted, as well as drum-roasted variants, are offered in medium and dark roasts.
What to buy: Founder Kunal Ross recommends the new 100 per cent Robusta coffee, as well as the best-selling Watapi coffee.
Available at indianbean.com, Amazon, Scootsy, Qtrove and Big Basket Price: Rs 270-450 for 250 gm
9. Devi Coffee
USP: The Goa-based brand offers single-estate coffees sourced directly from farmers in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as well as a small range of international coffees – all roasted daily to ensure freshness. Interesting products include whisky and rum barrel-aged coffees, as well as infusions like Malabar Vanilla and Turkish Qawah.
What to buy: Devi’s owners, the husband-wife duo of Devika Dutt and Laszlo Kadar, recommend their Monsooned Malabar, Baba Budan Giri and Wayanad coffees, among others.
Available at devicoffee.com, Amazon, placeoforigin.in, tastebells.com Price: Rs 290 for a box of 12 Devi Singles to Rs 690 for 250 gm of Mysore Nuggets
10. Blue Tokai
USP: All coffees are 100 per cent Arabica and carry information about the farm they were sourced from. Your pack of coffee carries your name on it and is freshly roasted only on order. The range includes light to very dark roasts.
What to buy: Owners Matt Chitharanjan and Namrata Asthana recommend the Microlot series; the medium roasts have several fans too. Available at bluetokaicoffee. com, Amazon and Big Basket
Price: Upwards of Rs 400 for 250 gm
11. Cohoma Coffee Company
USP: Grade AA+ single-estate Arabica beans are used to make products ranging from freshly-roasted coffees and coffee bags to on-the-go cups and bottles of cold brew. Natural flavours are created using Sri Lankan cinnamon and grade-A vanilla bean.
What to buy: Owners Kanika and Paritosh Birla recommend French Vanilla Cold Brew (poured on ice with a dash of fresh milk) and a hot Americano, made using the Original Custom Roast. Available at cohomacoffee. com
Price: Rs 99 for on-the-go Cohoma Cups to Rs 585 for 250 gm of flavoured Fresh Roasted Coffee
12. Sleepy Owl
USP: The brand sells handy cold brew packs in four variants — Original, Light Roast, Dark Roast and Cinnamon — online, and in Delhi NCR, they have a coffee-on tap-option as well. Co-founders Ashwajeet Singh, Ajai Thandi and Arman Sood are currently working on ready-to-drink bottles and shelf stable cold brew coffee, using 100 per cent Plantation Grade A Arabica beans, sourced from Chikmagulur.
What to buy: An assorted Brew Pack that will allow you to make three cups each of the four flavours on offer.
Available at sleepyowl.co/, Amazon Price: Rs 500 for five Brew Packs