India is known as a tea country. Everyone wants chai-pani. Ever wondered why? Our GenX population, let alone the millennials, is a bit too young to know the reason. However, Srivatsa Krishna, Secretary, Coffee Board of India explains the history behind our love for tea. The British would distribute it on street corners for free, apparently. For free! And don’t we love free stuff? Besides, it’s only likely competitor — coffee, wasn’t too conveniently available then. Making filter coffee required patience, and instant coffee hadn’t seen the light of the day. Meanwhile, preparing tea was simple — boil the leaves, add milk and sugar, and ta-daa! The legacy lives on. Today, India produces the only shade-grown, hand-picked Arabica coffee in the world. Sadly, 98% of India’s nearly 350,000 coffee growers cultivate it on plantations under 10 hectares. The 350,000 tonne of coffee they produce is heavily dependent on subsidies of Rs.400-500 million per year. However, there’s good news.
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