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Indian robusta bowls over Boston roasters

Hindu Business Line

A quick look back at the Emerging Market: India feature discussion held at this year’s Specialty Coffee Association of America exposition in Boston in The Hindu BusinessLine.

BANGALORE MAY 21:

Indian robusta coffees have been received well at the Specialty Coffee Association of America meet held recently at Boston, US.

“With Boston being in close proximity to major coffee roasters in the US, the event was attended by a sizeable crowd,” Jawaid Akhtar, Chairman, Coffee Board told Business Line.

“Robustas are generally known to be harsh, but when American roasters tested our coffees, they were amazed to discover the mildness and aroma of Indian coffees,” he said.

The Coffee Board had taken up space at the specialty coffee association and visitors tasted liquid coffee, instead of coffee samples from different regions.

At the event, a session on “Emerging Markets in Specialty Coffee: India” was also held to educate the US roasters. The one-hour session mainly focused on why specialty coffee needs Indian robustas. The session was attended by about 70 roasters from the North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Sunalini Menon, CEO, Coffeelab Ltd, talked about the distinct characteristics of Indian coffee and coffee growers’ representative Nishant Gurjer, Partner, Kaapi Royale Coffee, and Chairman of Karnataka Planters’ Association (KPA), spoke about the farm practices of cultivating coffee in India. The moderator of the event was Andrew Hetzel, consultant, CafeMakers.

The Indian delegation had, besides the Coffee Board Chairman and the KPA Chairman, quality control expert Sunalini Menon, M.P. Devaiah of Allana Sons, Bharat Mandanna of BBTC, Jacob Mammen of Bhadra Group, Kurien who was representing Small Coffee Growers Association, Kerala, and US coffee trader Joseph John.

For the last three to four years, the Coffee Board has been focussing on the US market. “Roasters in US are increasingly using robustas in their blends, it is here we are focusing our attention to penetrate the most important market in the world,” said Gurjer.

Creating awareness of the Indian coffee in the US has led to gaining some ground in the market. Indian coffee exports to US are currently averaging at around 6,000 tonnes and is the 14th important market. Exports have doubled in the last five years. In 2008-09 exports stood at 2,556 tonnes.

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India’s robust step towards quality coffee

The January 2012 issue of Global Coffee Review features the article “India’s robust step towards quality coffee,” written by Nishant Gurjer. The article discusses changes in robusta farming over the years and the new and emerging specialty robusta market being spearheaded by a new generation of small farms.

The article is online now and available to GCR subscribers.

India’s emerging specialty coffee market

Roast Magazine Jan Feb 2012

The January / February 2012 issue of Roast Magazine article features the emerging specialty coffee markets of China, the Middle East, Russia and India. Be sure to read Nishant Gurjer’s quotes on the current state of India’s booming specialty coffee development and gives his outlook for the future in: The New Frontier, Specialty Coffee’s Emergence in China, India, the Middle East and Russia