Brewing a coffee culture

BEVERAGE TALK

Coffee has carved a niche for itself in India, which is primarily known as a tea drinking country.

TECHNICALLY CORRECT Participants interact with experts from the industry at the Coffee Festival held last year. It has changed from being a traditional beverage consumed mainly in South India, to a youthful and trendy beverage. This changing lifestyle has inspired the India International Coffee Festival 2012 that will be held in Delhi for the first time.

Spanning over three days, starting today and concluding on January 20, the coffee festival is aimed at boosting the consumption of the aromatic beverage in the North. The event will also pack in workshops on espresso-making and cooking with coffee. The visibility, interest and growing popularity of coffee as a beverage is mainly due to the increasing number of coffee bars and cafés. The black beans are now consumed in several forms and retail formats.

Anil Bhandari, chairman, India Coffee Trust and India International Coffee Festival 2012, supports the café culture in India. He says, “The café culture has erupted in India with the youth hanging out in several cafés. The buzz is being created around the word ‘coffee,’ in young circles which are accepting this new vocabulary. North India has become coffee conscious and it is interesting to note that there has been a 30 to 35 per cent increase in the rate of growth in coffee drinking in North as compared to the one to two per cent in regular coffee drinking South.”

The rising number of coffee lovers, has made the authorities promote coffee culture in Delhi. Anil says, “Our idea is to not only showcase coffee in North India but also to train the professional body in the industry and that is the reason why we have accommodated skill building workshops this time. Through out in-house experience, we want people to take the coffee habit back home rather than leaving it behind in cafés.” The changing lifestyle that has propelled a coffee culture beyond Southern India and the success of coffee bars in Delhi has been due to a significant shift in the demographics, increased urbanisation and greater disposable income levels.

But keeping the statistics and reasoning at bay, the coffee lovers can indulge themselves in brewing and tasting some of the finest coffee during the festival to be held at The Lalit Hotel.

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