A lot can happen over coffee! Well, a lot indeed. Perhaps, a tete-a-tete with a long-lost friend over a cup of hot kaapi, striking a business deal while sipping espresso, a couple of hours of free wi-fi along with a bit of Italian coffee, and ah, a cup of coffee and cream while whispering sweet nothings to a loved one.
And the latest of all, a coffee stamp, brought out by the Indian Postal Department and the Coffee Board!
Well, nothing could be truer than – a lot can happen over coffee - the endearing tagline from Café Coffee Day in Bangalore, the city which loves its coffee and has stuck faithfully to it despite the influx of coffee variants from across the seas. Cafe Coffee Day surely had Bangalore in mind when it came up with the ad.
Coffee has become a ritual, a truth and a cult in this bursting-at-its-seams city with its hep crowd and old-timers with their nostalgic longing for hours spent sipping the old decoction. It is a city of coffee joints where folks spent hours of unalloyed chatter, living up the new and re-living the old.
The crowds live out their hours in modern-day exotic joints like Café Coffee Day, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Barista and Coffee Bean, to pick a few. A cup of espresso in one hand, while loftily walking by, is apparently a style statement today.
Mavalli Tiffin Room or MTR, Koshy’s and Brahmins are the popular haunts of old-timers. The atmosphere is heavy with nostalgia. The old familiar faces bond over a cup of hot coffee and then amble along lost in their thoughts.
For coffee houses and vendors, it’s been a huge leap from catering to filter coffee lovers to new gen kids with their mix and match tastes. They have brought out all the aces up their sleeve to keep newbies hooked to changing coffee tastes. There are joints where coffee comes with silence for those who hate the city’s din. For the young crowd which loves to croon, jig, shake a leg or paint the walls red, it’s all there offered on a platter along with their coffee. So innovative have been Bangalore’s lessons in coffee management.
In the midst of heated discussions, birthday bashes, public meetings and what not, there’s your coffee reminding you of several things - of the day ahead, of days gone by, of times lost with the possibility of fresh beginnings opening up as the aroma of fresh beans hits your nostrils.
Karnataka has staked its claim as India’s top coffee manufacturing state. You just have to sip the coffee to make out from where it comes - Kodagu or Chikkamangalore. The Karnataka Government is very well aware of the coffee potential in tourism. The carefully-fried coffee beans and powdered coffee have immense value in markets.
In 2015-2016, India’s coffee production stood at 3,48,000 metric tonnes. Of this, 251, 520 metric tonnes came from Karnataka, with 1, 37,300 metric tonnes from Kodagu alone. Chikkamangalore stood second with 82,000 metric tonnes and Haasan with 32,220 metric tonnes.
Kerala stands next to Karnataka in coffee production. While the state produced 69, 230 metric tonnes, Tamil Nadu came third with 17, 295 metric tonnes.
Wayanad produces Kerala’s major share of coffee followed by central Kerala and Nelliyampathy Hills. New entrants, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha together produced 9800 tonnes. The North East marked its entry with 155 tonnes.
The Coffee Stamp
The world will soon get to smell the aroma of Indian coffee, thanks to the Indian Postal Department and the Coffee Board, who jointly brought out an aromatic Rs 100 coffee stamp.
One lakh coffee stamps have been released so far in the first phase. These stamps have gone on sale in the following bureaus: Bangalore GPO, Mysore, Mangalore and Belagavi.