If you’re anything like us, it takes a pretty hefty kick of caffeine each morning before you can function like a human being, and let’s be honest, nothing really gets done before that first cup of coffee. Earlier, we gave you the 7 best places in Mumbai where you can cozy up with a cup of artisanal tea, but it turns out that this is not the only essential beverage of the season. With a Starbucks popping up in every corner of our country’s bustling cities, we have certainly re-found our love for a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee. Although, the beverage has always been a popular drink, whether on a date or between office hours, we have finally accepted the bitter taste of caffeine in our daily lives and are perfecting the the art of appreciating it – even if it’s between conversations.
This paradigm shift has taken India into the third wave of coffee brewing. This new style of brewing is not just a just mere trend, but a movement that promotes the production of high quality coffee. The third wave promotes refinement of each stage of production, from harvesting to roasting the product. Gone are the days, when Indians had only to choose between a classic cappuccino or a heady espresso, this movement has cordially invited us into a sacred space, where people can finally enjoy the highest form of coffee, rather than chugging it down for a caffeine fix. The estates being set up in the South are churning out some pretty spectacular brews that you just can’t miss out on. We’ve taken on this task and sampled India’s most wonderful coffee artisans who have mastered the art of the third wave coffee roasting so you can settle down with a mug of the very best the country has to offer. Coffee is the one addiction the world embraces so grab this opportunity to get your buzz on in style.
I. Blue Tokai
“Freshly roasted coffee sourced from the best farms in the country, delivered straight to your door.”
If Blue Tokai’s handpicked selection of roasted coffee is not in your online shopping cart, we don’t know what is. That’s right this roasted coffee supplier has created an online shopping experience, which means you can have this artisanal brew delivered right to your doorstep. The premium beans they provide are roasted using a system that profiles each and every bean from start to finish. Moreover, they specialise in Arabica beans sourced from various coffee estates from all across the country. Their aim is to promote these gorgeous beans that are considered the highest quality in the world, but have been largely ignored in India.
This brewery is trying to shift India’s image as tea drinkers by providing an exquisite experience that is convenient and easily accessible. It was started by Namrata Asthana and Matt Chitharanjan after they realised that their country lacked local coffee houses that provided freshly ground coffee. With that in mind, they embarked on their own fair share of research and spent years creating a premium brand image. Their service is something special as they tailor each roast to the customer’s requirements. We didn’t think twice to hit the subscribe button, and you shouldn’t either.
HG’s brew of choice: A good place to start would undoubtedly be the Arabica beans sourced from the Attikan estate with its nutty, cherry flavour.
“Experience Italy in a cup of India’s finest”
This venture is the brainchild of two brothers, Abhijit and Advith Shetty, and their company has outdone all efforts to bring the third wave of coffee making to India that too with a special Italian twist. Started last year, this brewery was incepted with the intention of bringing India into the race of highest coffee consumers. Civil engineers by profession, these brothers are part of a family that already owned over a 2,000 acres of coffee plantation land, however, the fresh beans were exported to Europe under different brand names, and thus, the brothers realised that no one knew India was already in the race of premium coffee production.
They began exploiting their engineering skills for all the right reasons, to develop a company that would craft an exclusive experience for the Indian consumers. At the same time, they met Italian roastmaster Dante Cagliari, who not only showed them the art of coffee roasting but began working with their new label as well. With this twist of fate, the company started mixing Italian blends from Modena in their roasts, and as of today, the label has its premium roastery situated in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Although, most of them are exported abroad, they are easily available in restaurants, online and gourmet stores. Not only that, but the label is also offering barista training to their customers and offering an experience that lasts far longer than your cup of steaming, delicious coffee.
HG’s brew of choice: For those who like their coffee strong, a cup of ‘Urja’ that has an aroma of Robusta should be your perfect fix.
III. Halli Berri
“From our family to yours.”
Right next door to the Seven Beans Coffee Company (SBCC) in Chikmagalur, the coffee masters Halli Berri also stemmed out from a family business, co-owned by the three Kariappa sisters — Anusha, Tejini and Manavi. Alike SBCC, Halli Berri doesn’t only gift its customers with premium coffee beans, but it gives coffee lovers a holiday at their cottages around their high-class roastery.
If we have you curious about the third wave of coffee making, then it is about time you to rent out a cozy spot in Halli Berri cottages. Not only is this farm exceptionally beautiful, but it also allows you to relax with a cup of pure Arabica coffee, while facing the breathtaking green Baba Budan Forest. This new age resort gives you a taste of sustainable farming, while taking you through the roastery. Moreover, their coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified. Mixing up family traditions that are decades old with sustainable nurturing of the crop, Halli Berri has mastered everything this third wave of coffee making stands for. If you are looking for the perfect getaway near the mountains with your loved ones, this should be your next investment. Oh, and did we mention that your cottage may overlook the beautiful western ghats?
HG’s brew of choice: The farm is 100% Arabica and you won’t need anything more after trying this.
IV. Kaffa Cerrado
“Fresh ground, speciality coffee.”
Kaffa Cerrado’s story goes back to the time when Krittivas Dalmia graduated from NYU and came back to India with a dream of bringing back the coffee-drinking culture constantly booming in the States. With that he created a label that aims to provide quality, single origin coffee beans sourced from the exquisite organic plantations of countries like Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Indonesia.
With the diverse packets of coffee beans sourced from 12 different countries, Kaffa Cerrado’s consumers avail the opportunity to spoil themselves in flavours and fragrances that are entirely distinct. From sweet toffee caramel notes to mild lemon aftertastes, Kaffa Cerrado’s selection will leave you asking for more.
HG’s Brew Of Choice: With a pinch of salted caramel sweetness, Nicaragua SHG of Central America is a full bodied coffee that gives a balance of chocolate and the fruity flavours of cherry, orange and plum — the amalgamation of flavours will leave you spellbound.
“Explore India with our coffee.”
With a mix of rich and complex flavours, The Indian Bean was born to create a market of coffee lovers that would enjoy the exploration of coffee sourced from individual states across the country. To make all of this happen, Kunal Ross quit his agency life and decided to create The Indian Bean as a virtual reality. As of October 2013, the company has been brewing an online platform that delivers fresh coffee beans to your doorstep. These beans are not brought together by any ordinary plantation, Ross and his team spent months of research exploring Nepal and the hidden hills of Kodagu and Kodi. With that, they currently curate brews of various flavours – Appa’s, Frowners, Watapi, Monkey Bittin and Malnad being the popular favourites.
HG’s brew of choice: A great start to fill your shopping cart would be a 250 grams packet of Watapi beans. Sourced from the B.R. Hills of Karnataka, these beans are known for its aromatic fragrance. Moreover, it is clean and sweet with a slight acidic aftertaste with fruity notes.
By now you may have guessed that the best of the best coffee artisans are brewing their experience in Southern India — Flying Squirrel is no exception. Growing, roasting, grinding and delivering coffee in an artisanal format is the true motto of this brewing company. What stemmed out of a long conversation between Ashish and his college friend Tej Themmiah, Flying Squirrel became a grand estate in Coorg filled with freshly roasted whole beans.
These beans have the third wave premium quality as they are grown between the citrus and spice patches and also in amidst breathtaking vanilla plantations. What heavily influences the quality of the product is also the time spent on the plant before harvest. Catering straight to its consumers, one gets to avail the opportunity to decide the amount of ripeness they would like in their cherries. Whether pulped, semi-pulped, mildly fermented, sun-dried on brick yards, either whole or washed — all orders are tailored to your wishes.
HG’s brew of choice: There is probably nothing better than a party pack, and Flying Squirrel’s six flavour packs offer the same kind of goodness. The 6-pack taster includes Parama, Sunkissed, Sattva, Deep Bliss, Aromatique, Café Chic for Rs 540.
Can anything be better than spending your holidays sipping a hot cup of filter coffee in a 80 acre estate situated along a glistering riverside? We think not. Riverside Coffee Resort will soon be crafting the ultimate coffee experience along the likes of Halli Berri cottages. Once again, this experience will be housed between the hills of Coorg along the Cauvery river belt. In the meantime, one can make the most by grabbing a spot in one of the 4 rooms of their boutique resort.
Unlike the other farms so far, the inspiration for this experience doesn’t lie in bringing the third wave of coffee making to India. Interestingly, Rishwin Devaya was inspired by working in a wine company, when he decided to go back to his roots in Coorg and start a coffee brewing business. A story that is once again about chasing family history, Devaya’s roots go back as far as 1898 when his family sold coffee beans to large-scale producers from the very same land where the luxurious resort stands today. To give it a modern twist, he used his past experience from cultivating grapes for wine to further create a plantation that could rekindle the romance of growing coffee like Arabica and Robusta on his family estate.
HG’s brew of choice: As of April, the resort received a virtual makeover, where consumers could indulge in online shopping. The three primary flavours are 100% Arabica, Arabica Robust, and the classic Filter Coffee. We suggest trying a bit of each as it definitely looks like an investment worth making.
HG Special Mention
VIII. Estatecraft coffee
Amongst all the coffee estates that are planting and brewing their own exquisite coffee, Estatecraft coffee is purely a one man show. Brainchild of Sanjoy Gupta, this virtual estate once again allows you to shop for high quality coffee sourced from different kinds of plantations across the country.
Research: Tanya Masheshwari
Words: Karan Kaul