Under a canopy of green, these plantations stretch for miles with coffee beans hanging like bright baubles, ready to be picked, dried and roasted into a perfect cup of steaming java. A scenario like this isn’t so far removed from reality and there are plenty of coffee plantations in India where visitors can be a part of the process, indulge in tastings and get a much-craved caffeine rush.
India’s prime coffee district, Coorg, is covered in lush plantations that blanket the hill town in green. These plantations mainly grow Arabica and Robusta varieties. They are surrounded by quaint homestays and properties which overlook the scenic plantations dotted with lakes and rolling green hills. A visit during the berry picking season in November is ideal.
The town where coffee was first introduced, Chikmagalur in Karnataka is located at the foothills of Mullayanagiri range. The plantations roll into the hills, with a peacock or two peeking from the bushes. Not only is it one of the largest producers of coffee in the country, but Chikmagalur is also extremely popular for its hiking trails.
Located in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is home to the first-ever, Indian-owned coffee plantation, MPS Coffee. This small hill station gets its name from the lake nestled in the forest that covers the Shevaroy Hills. Yercaud’s Japanese garden (with bonsai plants) and the watchtower are popular tourist spots. For a wholesome coffee experience, we suggest staying at Glenrock Estates with cabins overlooking the plantation.
Though pepper and rubber make for the majority of Araku's crops, coffee plantations are just as important for it is the tribals in the area who are integral to the cultivation. In fact, they have also introduced an organic coffee brand. A visit to Araku is incomplete without a hot air balloon ride, treks and a trip to the Borra Caves.
One of the only coffee plantations in Maharashtra, Chikhaldara is about 600kms from Pune. Pretty lakes, waterfalls and the hilly terrains of Amravati. It is a bird watcher’s paradise with plenty of old forts to keep the history nerds occupied.