India is a rarer coffee origin dominated by small growers in the hills of South India. The story goes that Indian saint Baba Budan returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca smuggling seven raw Arabica beans from Yemen, at a time when its export was strictly controlled, by hiding them in his beard and planted them on the hills of the Chikkamagaluru district. While this story shows how valuable coffee is to India, its production of Arabica has been massively affected by coffee rust and sales quotas, so we’re only now seeing it emerge on the speciality coffee scene. Unusually, most Indian coffee is grown in the shade of other crops like tobacco, mango, pepper and other spice crops. This means that the soil is more nutrient dense and gives a rich and spicy flavour profile.

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