Whether you like a strong-boiled espresso, a cold brew, or a classic French Press, there is a perfect coffee out there for every coffee lover. But running to your favourite café and picking up a coffee every day might not be a feasible and cost-effective option. So, thanks to many coffee brands, you can now channel your inner barista and brew fresh coffee at home.
To make a good coffee at home, it all boils down to beans' quality and taste preference. So, you begin choosing the flavour that appeals to you the most – light, medium, or dark roast and the aroma that awakens your senses – nutty, sweet, or tropical. With a rich tradition of drinking and serving coffee, some best coffee brands in India offer quality brews that go past instant and filter coffee. From Blue Tokai to Seven Beans, there is a huge variety to choose from.
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Every coffee lover has a go-to brand. While some prefer time-tested grocery store available stock, others go for boutique brands and café chains that roast small batches to ensure freshness. The coffee world is vast and varied, so how do you choose a brand that will give you the perfect cup? Listed below is a breakdown of important factors to consider before investing in a coffee brand.
Using a pre-ground coffee (beans that have been ground down to powder form) saves a lot of time and mental energy if you're an on-the-go coffee drinker. It also takes away the risk of brewing a bitter or sour coffee, which is much more in making a whole bean coffee.
Just scoop coffee ground as per your preference into the filter, load your coffee maker, and it's done. Picking ground coffee is also beneficial because of the range of options available on store shelves.
Coffees come with different tags as they are roasted differently depending upon the brewing equipment. Espresso and filter coffee are two main types of coffees you'll find in the market and the one you pick depends on your preferred brewing method. Espresso has fine ground beans and is brewed with high temperature and pressurised water.
Filter coffee has coarser ground beans and is brewed for a longer time at a lower temperature. For a filter coffee, you need basic equipment, like a dripper, filter paper, and a cup whereas a full-blown espresso machine requires various tools, like naked or spouted portafilters, shower screens, portafilter baskets, etc.
This makes filter coffee a more cost-effective choice than investing in an espresso machine. However, espresso is quick to make and consume, whereas preparing a filter coffee is a time-consuming process as the water is not pushed through the coffee grounds, instead, it runs through solely because of gravity.
If you're a daily coffee drinker, you would look for smoothness and a taste with no off-flavours in a coffee brand. To get that, the beans should be neither under-roasted nor charred. Different roasters use distinct methods and the length of time the beans are roasted to determine the taste, colour, strength, and oiliness.
Light roast coffees are roasted at lowest temperature so that it retains most of the original coffee bean's characteristics. Since the beans are roasted for a shorter time, they have higher caffeine content and a strong taste. This also does not allow the oils to break through the surface of beans.
Light roast coffee is light brown, and its taste has been least affected by the roasting process. People don't generally like light roast coffee because it can taste citrus, floral, and not necessarily balanced (meaning unequal amounts of acidity, fruitiness, and body). If you like to gulp down a strong cup of coffee early in the morning so that it keeps you awake throughout the day, a light roast is for you.
Striking a perfect balance between bitterness and acidity, medium roast is the best-flavoured coffee out there. The coffee has a strong flavour while it maintains a non-oily surface. These beans also have a fair amount of their original flavour.
The medium roast beans have begun caramelisation but don't have any burnt or chocolaty darkness to them. They have a sweet caramel flavour that's most well-liked among people. You'll find a combination of perfectly balanced coffee with lots of possible flavours, including berry, fruit, sour, and citrus.
Dark roast coffee is roasted for the longest time at the highest temperature, giving it a bold, rich, and dark colour. This amount of roasting reduces the caffeine content and gives the coffee a nutty, chocolate flavour. The floral, fruity, and citrus flavour of the original coffee is overshadowed by the flavour of full caramelisation.
Dark roasts taste bitter when brewed, yet the flavour is liked by many. Since the dark roast is the least acidic among light and medium roasts, it is a good choice for those with a sensitive stomach.
Brands use terms like bold, deep, and full-bodied to describe dark roasts. In restaurants, you can also find names like High, Continental, European, Espresso, Italian, and French.
Two popular myths go around coffee's freshness – one, that it keeps fresh forever, two, that coffee goes bad after two weeks. In reality, a freshly roasted coffee retains its freshness for up to three weeks, and its peak flavour lasts between day 7 and day 14.
After 14 days, the quality and flavour intensity starts to fade, and you can tell that by the taste of your early morning brew. Coffee is a fruit, which is a carefully grown agricultural product so, it is best to have it in its fresh form. While buying beans in a supermarket/café, read the label for the roast date.
Coffee comes in different packaging– glass containers, lidded boxes, and sachets, so ensure you pick the one that suits your needs and is sized as per your household's coffee consumption. Glass jars come sealed with foil and a screw-top lid that keep the content dry and fresh. They are reusable as you can top them up with refill packets.
You can even repurpose them to store other things at home. But they are often expensive because of the manufacturing cost of glass. Lidded boxes are convenient for fuller households, or those who drink several cups of coffee a day. It is an economical option, however, make sure to get a bigger box only if you finish it before it loses its freshness.
Sachets have pre-mixed instant coffees such as cappuccinos and lattes, making them a convenient choice for those who travel a lot. They are the most portable option when you're in a hurry, or travelling for work. The disadvantage is that they are expensive than larger containers, and may not suit those who like to brew their coffee a certain way.
Arabica and Robusta are two main species of coffee grown across the world. Arabica makes up 60% of the world's production, making it the highest quality and better-tasting coffee. Robusta is a smokier, earthier, and more bitter alternate. Since Robusta is easier to cultivate and produce, it is cheaper than Arabica.
If you prefer top-tier instant coffee, then 100% Arabica with nuttier, fruity, and chocolaty flavour will be ideal for you. The blend of the two beans is also readily available in the country as it budget-friendly and softens the strong bitter taste of Robusta while maintaining its kick.
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Blue Tokai is a Delhi-based artisanal coffee brand that started roasting and brewing coffee in 2013. The founders, Matt Chitharanjan and Namrata Asthana established the brand to bring the best of freshly brewed coffee to every household in India. Their coffee is roasted twice every week to offer freshly brewed Arabica to every customer.
Their coffee comes from different estates across the country to offer you only the best in the industry. They also have their cafes set up in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.
You can conveniently place orders for grounded powders and coffee beans on their website. Thogarihunkal Estate is a medium-roast coffee with citrus, caramel, and nutty flavours that works best as an espresso.
Founded by Zino Davidoff from Switzerland, Davidoff is one of the luxury coffee brands available in India. The coffee is made using 100% Arabica beans, sourced from South America and East Africa. The Fine Aroma coffee by Davidoff is medium roasted to give it an elegant taste and delicate aroma.
The coffee has a delicious acidic after taste that makes drinking it a unique experience. Whether you prefer espresso or filter coffee, this ground one from Davidoff will be perfect for any type of preparation. Reviewers feel that the price is comparatively high for Davidoff, but it's a great tasting coffee that makes you fresh, right from the first sip.
Starbucks began its journey as a retailer and roaster of ground coffee as well as whole beans in 1971. Today, it is a world-famous coffee brand that has gained repute even in the Indian market. Right from regular coffee to medium roast and espresso, Starbucks has a wide range of flavours to offer.
Starbucks uses only the finest Arabica coffee beans, roasted with great care to offer you a quality brew. Starbucks' Blonde Espresso Roast has a special blend of beans sourced from Latin America to give your coffee a soft and balanced flavour. Reviewers say the coffee is full of flavour and has an amazing aroma. This coffee is for anyone who needs an early morning caffeine pump.
Started by a third-generation coffee farmer, Tej Thammaiah and Ashish D'Abreo, an advertising executive, Flying Squirrel is one of the finest artisan coffee brands in India. Artisan brands focus on high-quality beans to highlight India's single-origin estates and roast beans by hands in small quantities to ensure freshness.
Flying Squirrel offers up to 11 different varieties of hot and cold coffee along with brewing equipment and accessories. Clouds in My Coffee is one of Flying Squirrel's top-selling coffees that works best as a black coffee or an espresso. It has an intense, woody, and spicy flavour, giving it a characteristic of British-era. Reviewers say that this is a perfect morning espresso coffee to give you a boost for the day.
Originally an Italian brand, Lavazza has managed to serve its coffee in more than 90 countries. India being the most prominent one among the lot, gets all the innovative and quality coffee blends to cater to different customers. Lavazza Club is a medium roast ground coffee that has notes of dried fruits. The coffee comes in a lidded box that can be reused later to store other household things.
The beans are expertly selected from South America and are then roasted and ground to perfection to match the brand's quality standard. The process of slow roasting, combined with Lavazza expertise makes Lavazza Club an exceptional coffee. Reviewers write highly of the rich aroma and texture of the coffee. They say that this particular blend is best suited for an espresso machine.
Start your mornings on a happy note with the IndianBean.Co's fresh coffee range. The brand is on a mission to promote good quality Indian coffee across the country. They work with family-owned small estates across South India and Nepal. To ensure the quality of beans, the owners make sure every bean is handpicked in these estates.
The Baarbara Estate Aa is an almond and orange flavoured coffee that is roasted fresh every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. All the beans are roasted traditionally in Mysore and Mumbai to enhance the flavour of the coffee. This particular coffee is available in the different grind – coarse, extra coarse, fine, roasted beans, and medium type.
Nescafe is one of the favourite coffee brands in India. It was launched in the year 1938 and, ever since, has been winning the hearts of coffee lovers around the world. The Robusta beans grown in South India are handpicked and slow-roasted to offer the signature aroma of coffee by the brans.
Nescafe has a ton of variety to offer to the customers, but Nescafe Classic is an all-time favourite one. The coffee is smooth and flavourful, filled with notes of freshness. Reviewers say that the coffee brews and dissolves fast in water and milk, thus saving preparation time. This coffee is ideal for everyday drinkers as it is neither too strong nor too light in caffeine.
Bru is another popular Indian coffee brand that was introduced by Hindustan Unilever in 1969. Bru Gold is made up of 100% pure Robusta beans, offering an authentic taste of coffee. All the beans are sourced from the plantations in South India before being finely sorted and roasted to perfection.
Bru Gold is a finely powdered coffee that mixes effortlessly with water and milk, in both hot and cold form. If you like a strong cup of coffee in the mornings, then this brand will keep you company. Reviewers love the taste and aroma of Bru Gold, however, they suggest not to have it at night else it'll mess up with your sleep schedule.
Café Coffee Day, aka CCD, was founded in 1996 by the late entrepreneur V.G. Siddhartha. This was the first coffee chain in India that started the concept of hanging out with friends and having conversations over coffee. But today, the brand is no longer limited to India. CCD has outlets in Czech Republic, Austria, and Malaysia.
The brand offers over 25 unique blends of coffee powder and beans, and you can shop their products on Amazon or their website. The Roasted Coffee Beans by CCD are medium roasted and are a mix of peaberry, Robusta, and Arabica, which gives them a unique, exotic aroma. Reviewers love the sensual aroma of the coffee that gives them the feel of sipping it at a café.
Seven Beans is an Indian-Italian venture that offers seven unique blends of Arabica and Robusta beans. This 'crop-to-cup' venture has Indian coffee planters and Italian roasters to offer you the best coffee. Their coffee is handpicked, roasted and packaged in Chikmagalur.
Urubage South Indian Filter Coffee Powder is one of Seven Beans' top-selling coffees that is a coarsely ground roasted coffee. It is freshly roasted, ground, and packed to maintain exceptional quality. The coffee powder is mixed with chicory (an additive to improve the flavour of coffee) to give it a delicious aroma and taste. If you prefer dark coffee, Urubage is available in a dark roast too.
From bean to cup, coffee has an interesting journey to cover. And every sip you take has a beautiful story to tell. To make this story even more interesting, you can explore some more coffee-related products that we've listed down in our following articles:
Whether you're a daily coffee lover or an occasional drinker, you want that first cup of morning coffee to be an ideal one. To make your coffee experience pleasant every single time, you need to spend in a quality coffee brand, after considering all your preferences. We hope this article helped you understand your preferences better.
Author: Srishti Sikka
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