Coffee in India is grown under a canopy of thick natural shade in ecologically sensitive regions of the Western and Eastern Ghats. This is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world. Coffee contributes significantly to sustain the unique bio- diversity of the region and is also responsible for the socio-economic development in the remote, hilly areas.
Specialty coffees are high quality coffees that differ from normal coffee with relevance to visual quality or cup or both. Specialty coffees are broadly classified into five categories based on their unique features:
1. Decaffeinated Coffee
Coffee with caffeine removed artificially are known as decaffeinated coffees. There is a prominent segment of consumers preferring decaf coffees owing to health consciousness.
2. Organic Coffees
The coffee grown without using chemicals and pesticides are in great demand in the developed countries because of increasing awareness on health of consumers and protection of environment.
3. High Grown Coffees
The coffees grown at higher elevations i.e. 4000 ft and above are known to possess a distinct flavour and acidity in cup due to slower development of beans. The coffees are of high quality with dense beans.
4. Estate Coffee (Single Origin Coffees)
Production of good quality coffee by highlighting the special features of the estate can be classified as estate branded coffees. This may be elevation, variety, cultural practices and special processing techniques. Estate coffees are those that originate on single form with common soils and with the distinct identity in terms of flavour and aroma characteristics. Estate coffees are generally more expensive and actually define the specialty coffee market.