The Indian Coffee Saga

Updated: Apr 7

The journey of Indian Coffee started with the Muslim Saint Baba Budan while traveling back from Mecca to Mysore, who smuggled seven coffee beans by hiding them in his beard. He planted them at the courtyard of his hermitage on Chandragiri Hills (Baba Budan Giri) in Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka. Taking green coffee seed out of Arabia was considered illegal. It is considered a religious act as number seven is considered a sacrosanct number in the Islamic religion. The plants remained as a garden curiosity for a considerable period and slowly to the backyards.

This marked the beginning of the coffee industry in India, particularly in the state of Mysore, now a part of Karnataka. It was considered bravery as Arabs imposed strict restrictions over the export of coffee beans to other countries by not permitting coffee beans to be exported if not roasted or boiled. It was during the 18th century that the commercial plantations of coffee were started, thanks to the success of British entrepreneurs in conquering the hostile forest terrain in south India. Thus the Indian Coffee Industry took its place in the coffee map of the world.

Coffee in India is grown under a canopy of thick natural shade in ecologically sensitive regions of the Western and Eastern Ghats. This is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world. Coffee contributes significantly to sustain the unique biodiversity of the region and is also responsible for the socio-economic development in the remote, hilly areas. In India, coffee is traditionally grown in the Western Ghats spread over Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Coffee cultivation is also being expanding rapidly in the non-traditional areas of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as well as in the North-East states.

In 2020 coffee had become a part of every Indian's life. It can be spotted at your bedroom in the morning, at the table in your workspace, when you chit chat with your friends at the coffee shop in the evening, during the evening talks with your family, in your costly cosmetics, and most importantly, as the only mate at your overnight works. We as designers, could not live without it as it is the best friend that keeps you awake on those sleepless nights. So Studio Coffee House is named so, as it will stand by every designer and artist throughout their journey. We hope to start functioning out of the internet soon.

Thank you for reading!

About the Author

Kalidas Muraleedharan, a Bachelor of Architecture student at Marian College of Architecture Trivandrum, is one of the founders of Studio Coffee House and the brain behind the concept of it. He is also a self-taught photographer, designer, artist, and PC builder. He loves to watch movies, travel, and music.

Instagram: @the_pho_tog_rap_her


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