|Region||Karnataka, Southwest India|
|Aroma||Pleasant toffee sweetness|
|Flavour||Soft apricot and mild spice|
|Body||Full body, syrupy|
Indian Mysore Coffee is grown in Karnataka which accounts for about 80% of Indian coffee production. Karnataka means ‘elevated land’. Its capital City is Bangalore and it contains 30 districts, it has its own High Court and a population of 61 million (2011). The official language of Karnataka is Kannada and the state has a literacy rate of 75.6%. The Mysore Nuggets are likened to ‘nuggets of
gold’ due to their large size and high quality.
Indian coffee production has a special place in the coffee world as it was where saint Bababudan planted his famous smuggled seven seeds in the Buba Budan Giri Hills. According to the article "Origins of Coffee", in 1670 ad the saint Bababudan on his pilgrimage to Mecca traveled through the seaport of Mocha, Yemen where he discovered coffee. The Yemenis protected coffee and forbade
it’s export, so in order to introduce its taste to India, he wrapped seven coffee beans around his belly and got them out of Arabia. On his return home, he planted the beans in the hills of Chikkamagaluru, which are now named Baba Budan Hills in his honor. The Arabica coffees we buy consists of three cultivars, these being Kent, Cauvery and S-795. Kent is a naturally propagated Arabica first discovered on the Doddenguda Estate in Chikmaglur and is named
after the British owner of the estate at the time. Kents cultivar is also found in Kenya and Jamaica. Sadly, the Kent cultivar is rather susceptible to leaf rust which can decimate a countries production. Many growers have replaced this coffee with other hardier cultivars and the small blocks of original
Kent bushes are often referred to as heirloom and carefully looked-after, still contribute some of the character that Indian coffee possess.
Cauvery was developed through international co-operation between India, Timor, Portugal and Indonesia and has a much greater resistance to leaf-rust. Cavuary also gives farmers the potential to yield up to 3000 kilos of beans per hectare. Finally, S-795 is the most popular cultivar used in India. It is the development of S-288, a natural hybrid of ‘coffea Arabica’ and ‘coffea Liberica‘ and was discovered in Doobla Estate in Chikmaglur. S-795 was introduced in 1945, and is a hybrid of S-288 and Kent cultivars, is resistant to leaf-rust and
has a low percentage of defective beans.
While many people know India as a producer of fine teas, it has been growing and exporting exceptional coffees for more than 150 years. Today, India is the fifth-largest producer of Arabica coffee in the world, behind Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Ethiopia.
Legend credits a Muslim pilgrim, Baba Budan, with bringing back seven coffee seeds from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He is said to have planted them near his mountain cave in Chikmahlur, Karnataka State, which is now considered the cradle of coffee in India.