There are perhaps two kinds of people in this world –– those who swear by coffee and possibly refuse to go a day without it and those that will choose almost any other beverage over coffee. I proudly belong to the former and am always looking for a chance to sip on some more caffeine.
Is it the healthiest to drink at least two cups each day? Probably not. But is it addictive, and am I going to continue to drink it? Absolutely, yes. For the longest time, my coffee choices were limited to large scale international brands or only a couple of legacy Indian brands. While neither of these truly fulfilled my love for coffee, the advent of new homegrown coffee brands excited me.
Similar to the gin revolution in India, there seems to be a coffee revolution brewing. With an extensive list of homegrown coffee brands on my must-try list, it is only fair to share it with you, too. A definite guide to homegrown coffee brands; coming right up!
What we love about Araku goes beyond their bold, fragrant, and smooth variants of available coffee. Undoubtedly, Araku remains a coffee brand that gives us some of our favourite picks, but their story and motivations are just as important. With a farm-to-cup process, the coffee is 100 per cent organic single-origin.
In the Araku Valley in the Eastern Ghats, farmers with shared values bring the rest of India some of the best coffee it has experienced in years.
Find Araku here.
II. Alchemist Roastery Coffee Co.
A micro-roastery and speciality cafe in Ajmer, Alchemist ships their wonderful coffee across India if ordered online. It is roasted every Monday, and shipped fresh off the press on Tuesday.
With plantations in Kalledevarapura Estate in the Baba Budan Giri Hills and Balanoor near Chikmagalur, Alchemist offers a range of coffees, and also an option of the type of grind you wish for –– fit for espresso, Moka pots, South Indian filters, AeroPress, French press, and more.
#HGLoves their Kalledevarapura Washed.
Find Alchemist Roastery Coffee Co. here.
III. Bili Hu
In Kannada, Bili Hu refers to a white flower symbolic of the coffee plant, which when blossoms, signifies the yield for the coffee harvest season. With an aim to make expert-level coffee available to Indian homes, Bili Hu provides you with a range of coffee, as well as coffee-making equipment including Moka pots, French press, filter paper, and more.
They offer a range of coffees from different estates, and also different kinds of blends. If you are keen to try several types, they have plenty of combo options available.
Find Bili Hu here.
IV. Black Baza Coffee
Black Baza, as they say themselves, was born from the idea of ‘creating a local, participatory and meaningful movement for coffee’. With their aim to lend equal importance to producers and nature, Black Baza critiqued the coffee value chains and honed in on what needed to be fixed.
They roast their coffee in small batches and keep each type’s integrity alive. Their contemporary and young packaging, too, makes us want to get our hands on it yesterday. As they say aptly –– chatter sans coffee is always the least preferred option!
Find Black Baza Coffee here.
V. Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters
Blue Tokai’s aim has always been constant - to introduce coffee lovers to the estates the coffee comes from. With estates in the double digits, Blue Tokai’s coffee is picked and brewed to perfection. Additionally, their welcoming and informed baristas across their cafes will only enrich your experience there.
#HGLoves their Easy Pour range. Available in various roasts and from different estates, these may quick morning coffees that extra bit more special.
Find Blue Tokai here.
VI. Country Bean
Promising to give you cafe-like coffee at home, Country Bean may be a brand that rings a bell. Founder Aditi, too, as a fan of coffee set out to find her perfect cup. She wanted something easy, delicious and without sugar, so she made her own.
Their instant coffee comes in various flavours, and you can also try combos to taste them all. Their filter coffee decoctions, too, come in multiple flavours (we still love the original). They now also give you a chance to try some hot chocolate mixes.
Find Country Bean here.
VII. Curious Life Coffee
This coffee roastery and bar is what homebrewers should turn to for high-quality roasts. Carefully curated small batches of coffee are roasted on the first and third Tuesday of each month and shipped the next day. They suggest that the coffee’s top form is achieved about a week from the roast date.
Their shop will guide you through the types of coffee on offer, and may also inform you of your personal type.
Find Curious Life Coffee here.
VIII. Dope Coffee Roasters
A youth forward homegrown coffee brand, Dope was simply born out of genuine, sheer love for coffee. They are transparent about giving back to the farmers that put in the work for our coffee and even display their names on their menu.
Take your pick from Single Estate & Origin blends, Indian Specialty, and Limited Edition Coffee. If you’re new to the world of coffee, they even provide starter kits.
Find Dope Coffee Roasters here.
IX. Halli Berri
This brand functions on the ethos of ‘conscious coffee’ and ‘responsible caffeinating’. With utmost transparency in their processes, Halli Berri’s focus is on sustainability, women empowerment, and wholesale practices.
Their roasted coffee can be purchased as a stand-alone product or you may even pick from several other conscious products to accompany it.
#HGLoves their Heirloom Brew-tiful Classic Blend.
Find Halli Berri here.
X. Kaffa Cerado
The brainchild of three siblings, Kaffa Cerado is a family-run business, although it functions in the capacity of something more than one. They explore a diverse range of coffees across India, as well as the world, and bring to us some of their top picks. In several ways, they reduce the negative impact on the environment –– using a ‘green roaster’, using by-products such as manure and more.
#HGLoves their House Blend.
Find Kaffa Cerado here.
XI. KC Roasters by Koinonia
KC Roasters, more than a brand, is a culture - one which is ‘united in its pursuit of great Indian coffee’, as they say. Paying attention to any and all details of the processes involved, this brand keeps in mind the various flavour profiles and their minute differences.
Each batch is hand-selected speciality coffee, which is craft roasted to bring out all those subtle tones that make their coffee great.
Find KC Roasters by Koinonia here.
XII. Sleepy Owl Coffee
Real good coffee - this was Sleepy Owl’s mantra at the time of the brand’s inception. Now, they give us several options to choose from –– all of them high quality and as instant as instant gets. Cold brews, 5-minute bags, Arabica beans, and more make up the brand’s arsenal.
Having been a returning customer, I urge you to try their Hazelnut Hot Brew, and maybe throw in the Mocha one (I am yet to!).
Find Sleepy Owl Coffee here.
For quite some time, Subko has remained a favourite owing to its quality blends and products that highlight the care they received. They aim to create a coffee movement that begins in India but is capable of representing itself on a global platform. A contemporary and novel coffee brand, Subko is a must-try.
#HGLoves their Ratnagiri Estate coffee.
Find Subko here.
XIV. The Flying Squirrel
Solving the problem of there being next to no avenues for home brewers to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, and a truly fresh one at that, The Flying Squirrel offers coffee from their estates in Coorg –– where the most commonly spotted animal is, in fact, the flying squirrel.
Founder Tej Thammaiah is present at each step of the beans’ journey, almost like a proud father, and makes it possible for us to enjoy the exceptional batches of the beverage.
Find The Flying Squirrel here.
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