An ode to........the cup............that cheers

I was intrigued and immediately decided that I had to visit this place.  Being new to the place, I asked several passersby before reaching the museum which is almost at the end of the town’s limits. After what seemed like a rather long search, we arrived at the coffee museum.

The coffee quality evaluation and training centre is also on the same premises as the coffee museum. The building itself is nestled in greenery and a short stairway leads you to the coffee encyclopaedia.

Lined with pots on either side, don’t miss the coffee plant growing in one of the pots - the green berries are a sight you must not miss. As soon as you enter the building, the huge posters all around arrest your attention. The first poster is brightly coloured and depicts the ‘Coffees of India’ and each area is represented with a motif that signifies that region. There are other details such as the elevation, rainfall and main type of coffee grown.

There are also interesting depictions that show the coffee map of India as well as a poster showing details of specialty coffees. I also find that the traditional coffee-growing areas are Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, while Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are among the non-traditional areas. Coffee is also extensively grown in all regions of the North-East.  

After admiring the visuals, we enter  the evaluation centre where a very friendly staff member takes us on a tour explaining how the coffee beans are evaluated and graded. The process is extremely complicated and iterative and there is even a section where the final product is tasted.

Located on the lower level is the coffee museum; a board that reads ‘Coffee Yatra’ welcomes you inside. At a small fee of Rs 20 for adults, this place is a revelation. Taking you on a journey through the world of Indian coffee, this state-of-the-art thematic museum gives your coffee knowledge a boost like no other.

An initiative by the Coffee Board of India, you get a tour of the history of Indian coffee, its legends, cultural practices nurtured by tradition and enhanced by technology and various aspects related to research and development. There are interesting aspects on coffee and health as well as ecology and sustainability that are also highlighted.

There are also great tips on how to brew that perfect cup as well as a coffee lexicon. The experience is highly interactive. Simply looking at the huge pictures, you get to know that the process of pre-harvest and post-harvest of the refreshing morning drink that we relish is mind-bogglingly complex.

There is also a coffee movie that is played here where you see the process as well as get perspectives of coffee cultivation from real growers. A coffee song is also played. If you are here, this place is a must visit. The coffee museum in Chikmagalur is behind ZP Office, Kadur Road and is closed on all Saturdays, Sundays and general holidays. The timings are between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and between 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm.

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