Types of Indian Coffee

Coffee is a plant (Coffea) and the name of the drink that is made from this plant. The coffee plant is a bush or tree that can grow up to ten meters (about 32 feet) high, but is usually cut shorter. Coffee plants originally grew in Africa, and now also grow in South America, Central America and Southeast Asia. They are an important crop for the economies of many countries.

There are 2 types of Coffee plants widely cultivated in India.

Arabica and Robusta

Arabica coffees 

Arabica coffees (or Arabicas) have a delicate flavour and balanced aroma coupled with a sharp and sweet taste. They have about half the amount of caffeine compared to Robustas. Arabicas are harvested between November to January, and are typically grown on higher altitudes ranging from 600 to 2000 metres in cool, moisture-rich and subtropical weather conditions. They require nutrient-rich soil to be able to conform to the highest international coffee standards.


Four popular varieties of Arabica coffee are:

Kents Coffee

Kents – the earliest variety of Arabica coffee – was selected by an English planter with the same name during the 1920s. It remained popular with planters until the 1940s due to the lower susceptibility of this particular coffee plant to rust. Although it is currently grown in a few areas only, Kents coffee is known for its exceptional cup quality.

S.795 Coffee

The most popular variety of Arabica coffee in India, S.795 was launched in the 1940s. The S.795 coffee plant is known for its superior quality, high yields, bold beans and better relative tolerance to leaf rust. The S.795 coffee plant was developed using the Kents Arabica coffee plant, known for its top quality. A widely cultivated Arabica variety, it has a balanced cup with the subtle flavour notes of Mocha coffee.

Cauvery Coffee

Also known as Catimor, the Cauvery coffee plant is a hybrid descendent of Caturra (a natural mutant of the high quality Bourbon variety) and Hybrido-de-Timor. The Cauvery coffee plant inherited the superior quality attributes of Caturra and the tough resistance of Hybrido-de-Timor.

Sln.9 (Selection 9) Coffee

The Selection 9 coffee plant is a hybrid between Tafarikela (an Ethiopian Arabica collection) and the tough and resistant Hybrido-de-Timor. It boasts of all the superior cup quality traits of Tafarikela, and won the Fine Cup Award for best Arabica at the Flavour of India – Cupping Competition 2002 organised by Coffee Board of India.


Robusta coffees 

Robusta coffee is a strong, full-bodied coffee with a unique, earthy flavour. It has other distinct attributes – such as higher bitterness and lower acidity. Its flavours are bolder and darker, and exhibit a chocolaty note in the brew that’s greatly valued, especially in espressos. Although there are several Coffea plant species, Robusta is one of the most commonly grown coffees in the world. Robusta coffee matures more rapidly, results in higher yields, is easier to grow commercially, and contains more caffeine and antioxidants than Arabica coffee

Two popular Varities :

S.274 Coffee

This variety of Robusta coffee is a selection made from the high yielding old Robusta coffee collection that was brought to India from Sri Lanka. It’s the most commonly grown variety among India’s major Robusta coffee growing regions. The sturdy bushes of the S. 274 coffee plant are strong, and can adapt across distinct regions. Its seeds (or beans) are bold, round and greyish coloured (after wet processing).

CxR Coffee

This variety of Robusta coffee is a hybrid of Robusta coffee and Coffea congenisis. The bushes of this plant variety are more compact, with smaller and narrower leaves compared to conventional Robusta plants. Its seeds (or beans) are bold, with soft and neutral features in the cup compared to conventional Robusta coffee.



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