If you drink specialty coffee in India or managed to muster the strength to buy it for yourself, then you know what “250@₹450” means. For those who want to buy Indian coffee from Indian roasters, most roasters sell 250 grams for ₹450.
beandeck - coffee aggregator, 2/3rd options are below ₹450.
total.coffee - coffee aggregator, 2/3rd options are below ₹450.
Obviously, not all of them have all the above. Few do, some don’t but all of them stick to 250@₹450. If someone has all the above and roasts great coffee, which is subjective, outside of India we would easily pay ₹1,200 for 100 grams. And a lot of the Indian specialty drinkers regularly shell out for European or Dubai coffee subscriptions.
Then why not buy Indian coffee for a respectable price?
- To start with, lack of information and media….or fear of bad media
Any dedicated professional is sadden by negative customer reviews. It is inevitable. Roasters, in general, fight an uphill battle. We can sell coffee, but how you make it is up to the customer. You can put in printouts, videos, or even support via chat. In the end, most Indian brewers will end up checking online media like YouTube to brew.
The media is constantly getting complex and difficult to understand. The parameters are tougher, the simple task of brew coffee looks like a rocket launch. Each failure gets blamed on parameters or roasters, success is “achieved by dialing in”.
There are more than 50 roasters in India, Coffee Board of India (CBI) supposedly invested in 30 of them. he Specialty Coffee Association of India (SCAI), is a captive entity of CBI. No information, no way to get in. So that big medium of education is dead.
Our solution for the customer, start with a French Press. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and easy to maintain. Buy pre-ground coffee at coarse grind size. That and hot water is all you need. You cannot fail unless you try. Almost all french press “recipes” are achievable. Stick with it, and try new roasters. Don’t hoard. Enjoy.
- Who is good and who is bad? which roaster should I buy?
There are good roasters, and then there are roasters who are getting good. At kafeido, we believe 70% of hard work is growing/processing the coffee beans. We as roasters, are suppose to bring that up to 90% and above. The last bit is the customer/brewers pie.
Now we can do a really bad job and bring that 70% down to 50%, but that’s rare. Please let your roaster know about it.
So who is a good roaster? Well, if the below information is available, you are in good hands
On the package…
- Roasting Date, day of the month should be mentioned
- Packing Date, day of the month should be mentioned
- Roast level or roast profile, either in Light/Medium/Dark or High City/City/French format
- Grams packed, how many grams are inside the back
- Batch number, so you can ask them about your purchase
- Basic Flavour notes, the inner circle of the coffee flavor wheel
- FSSAI information, that means they registered themselves for work
On the marketing material…
- Name of the estate, if it belongs to an estate
- Name of the region
- Name of the coffee varietal
- Elevation of your coffee, processing information, and Date of harvest
which roaster should I buy? That’s easy, your nearest roaster. They can help you the most, their palette matches yours. They can speak your language. They can understand you better. You can visit them too if they have a shop.
- Everyone is selling the same, I am tired… I want to try new, International Coffees… so why not buy “trusted” brands from outside?
Yep, that’s called marketing. Trusted. A roaster is a roaster, roasters in India are equally professional in the approach to the process and quality as any country. In reality, heavy coffee drinkers in India know this.
—— Every customer ever
What can be done?
Let the market have more trainers, training institutes, and more certified professionals. Let the market develop in its own structure. India is the 5th largest producer of coffee in the world, and that gives us a unique opportunity. We have the source of coffee right at our feet. Most roasters have to fight to get the freshest beans.
Let there be “associated media” for Indian coffee, where leading farmers, roasters, and the barista can share their voices.
If this SCAI association wants to be effective, it needs to spread the word. “Trusted”, remember. Although, rather than individually marketing to the same crowd, it would be in the best interest of the Indian specialty community to “spread the word” together. When all of the parties come together and bring out an idea, it will be “trusted”. Then we will have a “trusted” brand in India.
Share coffee, make experiences.
A lot of us nowadays are brewing at home. That’s great. Once the pandemic is over, share your brews with friends. Make experiences, at home and work. Make it acceptable for others and you to brew coffee.