Kodagu First

a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    September 15th, 2017adminCoffee News, World Opinion

    SINCE time immemorial, Sagada, a town famous for its hanging coffins in Mountain Province, has been a producer of coffee and is now emerging as the country’s Arabica coffee capital. But one thing that is also worth noticing in this place is their produce called “Bana’s Coffee.”

    Very recently, this Cordillera organic coffee won a medal and gained international recognition in Europe. This was during the third edition of the International Contest of Coffees Roasted in the Countries of Origin organized by the Paris-based Valorization of Agricultural Products (AVPA).

    A non-government, non-profit organization, AVPA is composed mainly of coffee industry experts and taste enthusiasts.

    “Our goal is promoting the value of agricultural products around the world and give recognition to the excellence of producers,” Philippe Juglar, AVPA president, stated.

    Bana’s Coffee was first presented to AVPA by a team of three people namely Goad Sibayan, Butch Acop and Rich Watanabe.

    Running Bana’s Coffee is Sibayan, who himself is a coffee farmer and roaster. Foreign and local tourists can find Sibayan in Sagada where he grows only Arabica coffee trees.

    Sibayan said Bana’s Coffee’s win in Paris helped boost the country’s reputation of having among the best coffee in the world.

    He said it was Juglar who gave the award to Consul Rapunzel Acop of the Philippine Embassy in Paris on behalf of the team that counts him, Acop and Watanabe, during the awarding ceremony that took place at the Embassy of Peru in Paris on June 28.

    Some 60 coffee entries from 21 countries also received various awards from AVPA.

    Watanabe said the entry of Bana’s Coffee into AVPA was a collaborative effort between the team and the Coffee Heritage Project (CHP), a non-profit private initiative dedicated to help farmers grow quality-focused coffee.

    “We hope that with this recognition, we are able to highlight Philippine coffee and the great work of Filipino coffee farmers like Goad [Sibayan], growing one of the finest coffees in the world to be the true artisans of the Philippines’ coffee industry,” Watanabe said.

    PhilMech contributions

    The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) in collaboration with farmers’ cooperative, the local government unit and the Sagada Arabica Coffee Council (SACC) have contributed a lot to the growing coffee industry in Sagada.

    In 2014, PhilMech started deploying its technology that was adopted by the Sagada Arabica Coffee Growers and Processors Organization (SACGPO), which then initially maintained at least seven units of coffee depulper.

    Assisted by PhilMech and the local government of Sagada in adopting postharvest technologies for coffee, SACGPO markets the “Sagada Gold” brand.

    According to Helen Martinez, Muñoz-based PhilMech’s supervising science research specialist, the technologies they introduced in Sagada covered collecting, pulping, hauling and sorting.

    PhilMech’s coffee depulper, which is undergoing improvement, has a capacity of 40 to 50 kilograms of coffee berries an hour and is operated by only one person.

    The technology has greatly helped coffee farmers in Sagada and has been making known the municipality for its organic Arabica coffee,” Martinez said.

    She said the technology is far better than the traditional mortar and pestle where a farmer can only depulp and dehull 40 to 50 kilograms of coffee berries in one working day.

    “Using the coffee depulper, postharvest losses are reduced to less then 6 percent from as much as 16 percent using the mortar and pestle method,” Martinez said.

    Also, she said, the quality of the processed coffee beans is greatly improved with the use of the coffee depulper, which in turn can make farmers demand better prices for their beans.

    source: http://www.manilatimes.net / The Manila Times / Home> Business> AgriBusiness / by Leander C. Domingo, TMT / September 15th, 2017

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    September 15th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Dasara Committee convinces CM to release more funds.

    The Rs 30 lakh grant released by the state government towards Madikeri Dasara was the reason of disappointment for the Dasara Committee this year. However, after pressuring the government, the committee has been successful in convincing the chief minister to release an additional grant of Rs 30 lakh.

    On Wednesday, a team comprising District In-charge Minister M R Seetharam, MLA
    M P Appacchu Ranjan, MLC Veena Acchaiah and Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy former president Biddatanda S Thammaiah met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and requested for more grants, to which the chief minister has agreed.

    There was a demand to earmark a fund of Rs 1 crore towards Madikeri Dasara. The committee members expected the government to release at least Rs 60 lakh. But, the calculations went wrong when the grants were restricted to only Rs 30 lakh by the government. The assurance by the chief minister to release additional funds has been a relief for the committee members.

    The Madikeri Dasara will be flagged-off with the Karagotsava on September 21. The last day of Dasara will be marked by the extravagant ‘Dasamantapa’ procession, the major attraction of Madikeri Dasara. This apart, there will be Dasara sports tournament, Youth Dasara, Children’s Dasara, cultural programmes, rural games, women’s Dasara and poets’ meet. Therefore, the committee members were expecting a grant of Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

    In 2015, a grant of Rs 50 lakh was released by the state government in the wake of drought situation in the state. In 2016, though Rs 75 lakh was assured, only Rs 60 lakh was released.

    The previous Madikeri Dasara was a bundle of chaos as several artists did not receive payments and some even received bounced cheques. District In-charge Minister M R Seetharam had taken the committee members to task in this connection.

    Preparations yet to begin

    Even as there is only a week left for Dasara, no preparations have begun at Gandhi Maidan, except for the makeover of the Gandhi Mantapa. The deputy commissioner has not convened any preparatory meet. The patchwork of roads too has not been taken care of. However, people said the office-bearers of Madikeri Dasara Committee have been raising funds from the public.

    The dates of Children’s Dasara, ‘Makkala Santhe’ and rural games have been finalised. But, the schedule of the cultural programmes is not out yet.

    DH News Service

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Aditya K A, Madikeri / DH News Service / September 14th, 2017

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    Indian coffee exporters are eagerly waiting for the harvest of the arabica crop which is likely to set in early because of intense rains over the last few weeks in the arabica growing regions of Karnataka, the largest producer in the country.

    Early harvest of arabica could be good for exports as the shipments of this variety have been down this year compared with robusta, which accounts for 70 per cent of the Indian coffee production.

    “Usually, the arabica harvest starts by the end of November and goes into full swing in December. This time, it could be a bit early because of rains,” said Anil Bhandari, a major coffee grower. As per Coffee Board data for the period from January 1 to September 12, 2017, shipments are up by over 5 per cent compared with same period last year at 2,80,447 tonnes.

    The increase has come from export of robusta cherry and parchment varieties.”We expected shipments to be sluggish in the second half of 2017. But improved availability of robusta has changed the calculations. We are getting a good supply of robusta from Kerala.The trend may continue for a few more weeks,” said Ramesh Rajah, president of Coffee Exporters Association of India.

    But growers are not very optimistic about the crop, particularly robusta, for the next year.Prolonged dry weather early in the year has hit the robusta crop.”We expect around 3 lakh tonnes totally ­ 90,000 tonnes of arabica and 2,10,000 tonnes of robusta. With prices of black pepper also down, we have been robbed off our extra income,” said MM Chengappa, chairman of Karnataka Planters’ Association.Indian coffee production in 201617 stood at 3,16,700 tonnes.

    source: http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com / The Economic Times / ET Home> Markets> Commodities> News / by P.K.Krishnakumar, ET Bureau / September 14th, 2017

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    September 15th, 2017adminCoffee News, World Opinion

    Coffee lovers can be any age. Local residents, young and old, crowded around to try free coffee from 12 tester thermos bottles containing Robusta coffee from various provinces across the country during the 2nd Nusantara Coffee Festival in the town square of Bondowoso, East Java, in August.

    They did not have to go all the way to Aceh to taste its world famous Gayo coffee or to Bali to sip the renowned Kintamani coffee. A diverse selection of coffee varieties were proudly displayed during the festival, which also brought together farmers, coffee farmers, coffee shop owners and trendy baristas.

    Through the event, Bondowoso tried to popularize its adopted second name, the Republic of Coffee. In addition to coffee tasting, the city also organized coffee roasting, specialty, blending and brewing competitions as well as latte art demos and jazz music.

    The prominence of young people indicated the commodity’s rising popularity, especially within the downstream sector with the growth of coffee shops and product diversification.

    Within the upstream sector, many farmers also believe coffee production is making headway. One of them, Hadi Wijaya, 27, displayed various Arabica coffee beans from Bondowoso at his booth.

    Hadi comes from the Ijen Raung Java Coffee Cluster plot, which was developed by the local administration on the land of state-owned forestry company Perhutani.

    “Formerly, we only grew and harvested the crop before it was handed off to middlemen. Now, we can process it ourselves,” he said, adding that he was now capable of completing post-harvest handling as well as fermenting and roasting.

    Hadi’s enthusiasm may have been aroused by the success of Mat Husen, a first-generation coffee farmer who was trained and supported by the Bondowoso administration to export local coffee to other countries. Mat Husen is today becoming increasingly famous for his Mat Coffee.

    An air of optimism prevailed during a dialogue between officials, association members and coffee farmers at the festival’s Meet and Greet program. Nearly all collaborating parties joined the discussion, including the Bondowoso regent, the plantations director general, Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI), Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia, Coffee and Cacao Research Center in Jember and farmer group members.

    Bondowoso is a success story in the development of farmers’ cooperation by utilizing Perhutani’s land. Regent H. Amin Said Husni said he was very proud of the power of coffee to assemble and unite officials, farmers and businesspeople. Last year on May 22, he declared Bondowoso the Republic of Coffee during the 2016 Ijen Festival.

    The term Republic, he said, was meant to imply sovereignty.

    “Investments are allowed but they should focus on farmers’ welfare, rather than just profit making. For instance, Saudi Arabia is interested in Robusta, and has requested at least 300 hectares. I welcome the bid, on the condition the farmers’ well-being is upheld” he said.

    Bondowoso’s coffee exports account for a third of its production, leaving the rest for the domestic market.

    Bambang, the directorate general of plantations at the Ministry of Agriculture, said he supported the collaboration between Perhutani and the coffee farmers, saying it was in line with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s expectations.

    “Forest land in combination with coffee agriculture creates benefits and contributes to environmental conservation,” he said, adding that the demand for coffee on the world market continued to grow, reaching around 9 million tons and rising by 300,000 tons annually.

    Currently, the country can produce around 640,000 tons of beans. Of the total output, 96 percent is contributed by farmers, so the support of different parties is needed.

    Veronica Herlina, executive director of SCOPI, also affirmed her focus on farmers’ welfare. At the end of the festival, SCOPI provided training for 60 participants from 15 provinces who aspired to become master trainers who would possess the skills to train coffee farmers.

    The free coffee savored by locals during the festival’s opening had been entered into the specialty category contest for Robusta and Arabica coffees. The ten best entries were selected from 132 regions. The Arabica winners were Toraja, North Sulawesi; Samboga, Bandung; Prigen, Pasuruan; Kelendung, Temanggung; Kaliwining, Banjarnegara; Ijen Raung, Bondowoso; Flores Bajawa, Ngada; Bumiaji-Batu, Malang; Bowongso, Wonosobo and Bandung.

    The top ten Robusta entrants were Wonotunggul, Batang; Wewena, Southwest Sumba; Tani Maju 3, Bondowoso; Maesan, Bondowoso; Kandangan, Temanggung; Kalipucang, Tutur; Bangumudal, Pemalang; Wonotunggal, Batang; Sapuran, Wonosobo and Dampit, Malang.

    Premium coffee was not developed overnight in Bondowoso. The administration has written a book chronicling the farmers and officials’ journey, titled Bondowoso Republik Kopi.

    Bondowoso has been inseparable from the country’s coffee history since the 19th century when the regency was part of the Besuki Raya Plantation, the produce of which was known globally as Java Coffee.

    Part of the Bondowoso region, often described as a highland paradise, is a mountainous area, which sits at an altitude of 500-1000 meters above sea level, suitable for the growth of Arabica, the premium coffee variety.

    Amin said that since 2010 his administration had given serious support to farmers in the Mount Raung and Ijen zone, especially in Sumberwringin district, to develop the Arabica coffee cluster. Training and facilities were provided, including fertilizer and seedlings, with the target of boosting coffee production and developing agro-tourism.

    The regency also cooperated with the Coffee and Cacao Research Center and secured some capital aid from Bank Indonesia and Bank Jatim. In 2011, the farmers’ coffee production was assessed as export worthy. Through PT Indokom, the first export went to Switzerland, totaling 186 tons. In 2013, this cluster received a Geographic Indication certificate from the Law and Human Rights Ministry as the patent for the Java Ijen Raung Arabica Coffee Cluster brand.

    Coffee production increased to 1,500 tons in 2015. Of the total, 800 tons were exported at a sale value of around Rp 48 billion (US$3.6 million). With increasing production and the size of plantations, which reached 13,000 hectares last year, Bondowoso coffee seems to be on the right track to make a name for itself as part of the word’s coffee culture.

    source: http://www.thejakartapost.com / The Jakarta Post / Home> Food / by Luh De Suriyani, The Jakarta Post / Tuesday – September 12th, 2017

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    September 15th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    An inside view of the Golden Temple. (Below) The author.

    An inside view of the Golden Temple. (Below) The author.

    One Friday evening, I was all set with a cup of coffee to finish my leftover work when I got calls from my friends asking me to join them for a Coorg wedding. The decision wasn’t a tough one at all. So without a clear plan, we were ready for it.

    We set out 6 am the next day to avoid the heavy traffic. We had breakfast on the way. This was going to be my first time in Coorg and I couldn’t wait to see the ‘Scotland of India’.

    Soon the city slowly drifted away and greenery and tobacco farms started unveiling before us. Our first visit was to the Golden Temple, the beautiful Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe. It was about fours hours since we started our journey.

    We suddenly were amidst a sea of young Tibetan monks and tourists. The Namdroling Monastery is a world in itself, rich in history. The highly ornate temple tower is certainly worth a visit.

    Our next stop was where the Coorg wedding was happening. The wedding is called ‘Mangala’ in Kodava language and the wedding is indeed a fun-filled cultural feast. The men wore the traditional black ‘Kupya’, secured with a red ‘Chele’ on their waists and a turban, while the women wore traditional Coorg saris. Unlike the usual Hindu wedding customs, a Coorg wedding is short, simple and filled with an evening of guests letting their hair down, dancing to tribal drums and relishing the customary dishes.

    We spend that night in a hotel near Madikeri. Next morning, we woke up early and saw the hills sprawling across the stretch of settlement and streets. It was cloudy, so a hot breakfast at the nearby Shanthi Sagar restaurant was a great start to the day.

    Dawn had just broken when we set out to visit MugiluPete (Mandalapatti) on a solitary road with lush greenery and winding vales, often on both sides. The climb to the top was rough and unsafe for cars, hence we had to book a jeep. The narrow roads that take you to the top are pretty scary.

    The climb to the top brought us almost into the middle of the clouds. This fog-shrouded breathtaking mound of earth is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The Pushpagiri range made for a magnificent view. We also visited the place considered as the source of river Cauvery – the Talacauvery and the temple there. The legends were good to hear over ‘pakodas’, hot Maggi and a cup of ‘gullak’ tea served near the temple. Coorg was a great experience, perfect for travellers exploring new areas.

    (Simon can be contacted at simn.stephns@gmail.com)

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Metrolife / by Simon Ghosh / September 15th, 2017

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    September 15th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Coffee News

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    At the pinnacle of the co-operative movement, Delhi’s Indian Coffee House brims with a rich history of common tastes

    Today, coffee shop chains are the order of the day. Long before these became a fad, home-grown coffee shops established themselves as ‘by the common man, for the common man’, although there was nothing common about it. Patronised by the who’s who of Delhi, be it politicians, journalists, economists, thinkers, activists (perhaps they considered themselves as common then!), the joint was run purely on a cooperative basis and soon established itself as a hub for excellent coffee and snacks.

    That’s the legacy of the Indian Coffee House in Delhi — the country’s first home-grown chain of coffee houses that turns 60 this year.

    The outlets served no lunch or breakfast routines, but served tiffin or snacks throughout the day. There was excellent South Indian coffee with a couple of variations, as well as idli, dosa, vada, sandwiches and toast. The word spread and it soon became a popular ‘adda’ for anyone and everyone. The hallmark of cooperative movement, there were no workers or managers — everyone worked shoulder to shoulder.

    How it all began

    The year was 1957. The place — 10, UB Bungalow Road, Jawahar Nagar. Following its success, a branch was opened at Janpath in 1964. Soon, it was allotted space by NDMC at the Central Portion, where Palika Bazaar stands today. Here it soared, given the ideal location.

    In Delhi, the Indian Coffee Houses tasted success and started operating canteens in various Government offices. It also opened branches across North India, and currently has around 10 outlets in the North. The canteen was frequented by Raj Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia among others.

    There are stories of how in the early 70s before Emergency, a van from Indira Gandhi’s residence would come to pick up idli, vada, sambar and coffee for visitors and functions regularly. Then for a rupee, one could get vadas, idlis and coffee to boot!

    Turn of events

    When the Connaught Place outlet was demolished without advance notice, it was forced to shift the entire operation to its current place, Mohan Singh Place, where it has been in operation since 1969. Most regulars swear that after this, it could never regain its erstwhile glory. A little sign on the outside of Mohan Singh Place proclaims, Indian Coffee House. Mohan Singh Place is known for its excellent economical denim jeans made within a few hours. The Indian Coffee House is located on the top floor of the building with a lift. The space is clean and quite nice, almost like a canteen.

    Joining hands

    So what started this cooperative chain of coffee houses? One can go back to the heady days of the cooperative movement, when this venture was thought of as a measure for retrenched workers to find employment.

    As Narayanan Kutty, an old member of the Indian Coffee Workers Cooperative, says, “In the year 1957, the Coffee Board decided to close down its propaganda department and down the shutters on its Coffee Houses as well. The Communist leader AK Gopalan, leader of the Coffee Board Labour Union, Subhadra Joshi, MP, and Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India — advised the retrenched employees of the Coffee Board to form their own co-operative societies. The employees welcomed this idea and formed their own cooperative societies, known as Indian Coffee Workers Cooperative Society. The first was formed in Delhi.”

    PD Pradeep, Manager, who has climbed up the ranks, says, “Anyone who joins the establishment as a worker has to go through the rank and file, starting from the lowest. This ensures no one is a boss, but everyone is a worker. So when there is a shortage of hands, it is not uncommon to see managers chip in, shoulder-to-shoulder.”

    The liveried bearers remind one of railway dining halls. Pradeep says, “Everything is made fresh. We do not buy off-the-shelf masalas. We make everything from scratch.” The coffee powder is procured from the neighbouring India Coffee Board.

    In other parts though, the chain procures beans from Wayanad. This is roasted and powdered in-house for use. Filter coffee decoction is brewed in a huge steel coffee filter. For sambar, the spices are roasted and ground and no sambar powder is used. Coconut chutney is made using fresh grated coconut with roasted chana dal, ginger and green chilli. As Pradeep speaks, there is a sense of pride in being a part of such a cooperative-spirited venture.

    Recipe for success

    Pradeep says an interesting formula has been worked out by the establishment. “One kilo of rice and 250 grams of urad dal without husk gives 35 dosas. Similarly, one kilogram of potato with half a kilogram of onion gives masala for 18 dosas. One kilogram of rice and half a kilogram of urad dal makes 50 idlis, and one kilogram of urad dal gives around 50 to 55 vadas.” Any variation and the cook is taken to task. The reason — if it is more, that means the quantity is wasted; if lower, then the customer is short-changed.” Amul butter is used for butter dosa and Amul cheese for the sandwich. The prices are still common man-like.

    The Indian Coffee House reflects another era, where the unity of the people under the cooperative banner to build businesses and the country was paramount. They are still relevant in today’s world, where Amul gives the best of MNCs a run for their money. A little more effort, a little more care, more vision and the Indian Coffee House could be pioneering coffee chains not only in India but even abroad!

    In this weekly column, we take a peek at some of the most iconic restaurants

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style> Food / by Chitra Balasubramaniam / September 14th, 2017

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    Mumbai :

    Sun TV Network founder-promoter Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kavery have taken home a combined remuneration of Rs 155.86 crore in FY17, making them one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the country.

    The Marans were paid Rs 77.93 crore each as salary plus bonus in FY17, an increase of 9.04% from the earlier year. In FY16, each enjoyed a remuneration of Rs 71.47 crore.
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    While the salary remained the same, the increase in remuneration was mainly due to an increase in ex-gratia/bonus. The bonus component rose by over 11%.

    Sun TV Network founder and executive chairman Kalanithi and his wife Kavery, who is an executive director, received Rs 13.14 crore each as salary, the same as in the year-ago period. However, the ex-gratia/bonus income rose to Rs 64.79 crore each from Rs 58.33 crore a year ago.

    Maran received a dividend of Rs 295.56 crore in FY17 compared to Rs 458.12 crore in the prior year.

    Meanwhile, Sun TV MD and CEO K Vijay Kumar drew a salary plus bonus of Rs 1.17 crore in FY17 compared to Rs 1.08 crore in the earlier year. Vijay Kumar’s salary grew to Rs 97 lakh from Rs 82 lakh in FY16.

    Sun TV Network’s total income for the year ended 31 March 2017 was up 8.03% at Rs 2,703.80 crore, as against Rs 2, 502.75 crore a year ago. Profit before tax stood at Rs 1,490.35 crore against Rs 1,334.24 crore a year ago.

    Profit after tax was Rs 979.41 crore as against Rs 869.69 crore in the previous year.

    source: http://www.televisionpost.com / Television Post / Home> Television / by Television Post Team / September 04th, 2017

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    September 7th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Coffee News, World Opinion

    With coffee gaining widespread acceptance across India, Classic Group is experimenting to create offerings that appeal to the Indian palate.

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    Legend has it that centuries ago, a Sufi Saint – Baba Budan – planted seven coffee beans in the hills of Chikmagalur, introducing coffee to India.

    Now called Baba Budan Giri Hills, the birthplace of Indian coffee is where 150-year-old Classic Group grows its coffee brand. Apart from coffee, the group also has dealings in real estate, hospitality, retail and distribution. But they want the world to wake up and smell the coffee!

    For about 25 years now, the Classic Group has been exporting coffee beans around the world to micro roasteries, bigger roasteries and cafes, roasting them according to their clients’ needs. Over the last few months, the group’s horizons have widened.

    India may still be a nation of tea lovers, but the popularity enjoyed by Gloria Jean’s and Starbucks shows that at least the younger generation is warming up to the bitter sweetness of coffee. In a tête-à-tête with YourStory, Tapaswini Purnesh, 30, a fifth-generation entrepreneur from the Classic family, speaks about how she combines culinary knowledge and understanding of flavour patterns with her expertise in brewing techniques to craft coffee that appeals to the Indian palate.

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    A mechanical engineer and diploma holder from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, the most prestigious culinary school in the world, Tapaswini is now Director of Marketing and Promotions at Classic Coffees.

    Changing consumer behaviour

    Europeans end every meal with coffee, but in India, coffee is yet to gain that scale of popularity. In South India, coffee still refers to filter coffee. Chains like Café Coffee Day have succeeded in popularising Western tastes like Cappuccino and Espresso. Yet, there was no deep knowledge on pure coffee; chicory coffee was the norm and most youngsters didn’t drink a lot of coffee.

    Around 2010, Tapaswini had started a café next to Orion Mall, in Bengaluru, as a micro roastery.

    “We were roasting coffee and selling it fresh. But it was too early for the concept. The coffee culture was yet to grow here,” she recollects.

    Things, she says, have changed in the last eight years.

    “Now a lot more micro roasteries are opening up. Youngsters who travel abroad for work or study are familiar with pour-over coffee and nitro coffee. Coffee is super cool and hip. We are targeting that audience,” she tells YourStory. She adds that although Classic Coffee’s target is the 30-45 age group, people who are 60 years old and above are also open to experiments in coffee these days.


    Creating excitement around coffee

    India is the sixth largest producer and fifth largest exporter of coffee in the world. In fact, according to IBEF data, about 70 percent of coffee produced in the country is exported. Varieties like Bru’s different African flavours and Nestle’s instant cappuccino mixes have reached the masses in India over the last few years.On the branded side, as opposed to the traditional one, Cafe Coffee Day and Starbucks have made a mark too. But Classic Coffees aims to get people to drink more coffee every day, and “in a more exciting fashion”.

    About eight years ago, India’s most famous coffee connoisseur Sunalini Menon did two coffee blends for Classic Coffees. It started off as a pet project as Tapaswini wanted Indian coffee lovers to enjoy coffee of export quality. Her next strategy was to come up with coffee for different times of the day. In May 2017, Classic Coffees launched four new blends with pure Arabica beans. Interestingly, they were named after the times of the day they were meant to be consumed – Blaze in the morning, Matinee for afternoons, Sundowner in the evening, and Afterhours after dinner. Each 250gm packet was priced at Rs 300.

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    But do Indians drink coffee late night? Tapaswini says this is where she found a surprising change in consumer behaviour.

    “AfterHours is not decaf, it is not mixed with any flavours. While the others are extremely smooth and fruity, this is more like a dessert. It has maximum movement as people are intrigued by the concept,” she says, adding that north Indians warmed up to them more easily as they don’t have any preconceived notions of coffee.

    Science behind the coffee

    The Classic Coffees comes from an ancestral estate in Sakleshpur, where they also grow Robusta. In Baba Budan Giri, the altitude and weather conditions are just right for Arabica.

    The wisdom behind each kind of coffee is deep. For instance, instant coffee comprises broken bean (all neighbourhood roasters use it), but Classic offers only filter coffee.

    Tapaswini believes that the same coffee brewed in different equipment will have different flavours.

    She says, “We have Indian filter, French press, aero press etc. For the four blends, we recommend the best equipment for each on the cover itself. We also mention the flavour, and whether it is best had with milk or not.”

    Tapaswini conducts coffee-tasting sessions with accompaniments such as lemon tarts, cheese, apple slices and other goodies to ensure coffee drinkers derive complete enjoyment of the flavour.

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    Taking the name overseas

    Synergy coffee is exported – but not in packaged form – to the US, Europe, Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand among other countries.

    Tapaswini travels a lot for festivals of international bodies like Specialty Coffee Association, and attends events by coffee associations in the US and Europe. Micro roasteries and equipment manufacturers from across the world participate in these events.

    “We are not just a brand like you see in stores. We are one of the few who do seed-to-cart. We grow it from sapling, pick and pack. Except the roasting bit, which we outsource, we do everything including processing after plucking. We do small batches for sellers if they want it customised, say fermented in milk. But it will all be sold under our name,” Tapaswini says.

    Classic Coffees also has international blends such as Kenyan and Ethiopian through partners in those countries.

    Currently, Classic Coffees is sold on online platforms such as BigBasket, and offline stores, including Westside Gourmet, Namdhari, and Nature’s Basket, and at airports in Delhi and Bengaluru. The company gets monthly orders of about one tonne now, and is targeting 8-10 tonnes by March 2018.

    Classic Coffees has more surprises coming up for coffee lovers – a combination of alcohol and coffee is one of them. And the coffee and tea market, estimated to be worth Rs 41,800 crore, has plenty of space for more flavours and more players.

    In fact, while FMCG brands and coffee market leaders like Nescafe have shown no keenness to promote premium coffee in the country, quite a few startups have exploited the opportunity – Bonhomia, which sells capsules for coffee machines, and Blue Tokai, which has branded itself through premium restaurants and cafes.

    Another prominent player, Flying Squirrel, which aims to transform coffee into an artisinal food item, offers seven variants, but does not sell offline as they want to deliver coffee beans that are freshly roasted after an order is placed. Indian Bean and Seven Beans are also competing in the same space.

    It looks like coffee lovers have found their cup of paradise on earth, thanks to a new generation of entrepreneurs who think outside the box.

    source: http://www.yourstory.com / Your Story / Home> Stories / by Athira A Nair

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    Bengaluru :

    The Western Ghats has been plundered over the years, resulting also in progressively hotter summers in Bengaluru. While afforestation efforts to save the Ghats have been on for years, a team of passionate and dedicated Bengalureans is trying a different approach to save the many tree species. They are planting acres-wide groves in private and public lands that fall in the range, for now focussing on Coorg and Wayanad.

    Meera, Rajesh, Sheshadri Ramaswamy, Uma, Anil Panolil Chirikandoth and Dhandapany collectively form Forest First Samithi (FFS) – a society that aims to engage and empower local communities in ecological conservation by educating them about endangered and endemic plant species. What started off as a team of four has today grown into a family with ten permanent members and over 30 volunteers.”FFS is trying to conserve endangered tree species by creating an eco-system where birds, small mammals and insects can also thrive,” says Meera, one of the founders of FFS, adding that the organization was started in 2008, and that most of their early years were spent on learning.

    FFS’ vision for degraded lands in Kodagu started this May, and they have already spoken to local organizations and communities to get them on board. “Since we started work in Kodagu, we have already managed to add 35 species of endangered plants into the groves we worked on, and plan to touch 100 species,” she says, adding that the lands they are focusing on are public spaces ranging between 5 acres and 30 acres.

    Workers in Wayanad grove  Pics courtesy: Meera Rajesh

    Workers in Wayanad grove  Pics courtesy: Meera Rajesh

    How it all started

    FFS started work in the biological hotspot that is Wayanad, where a lot of native tree species have been chopped to give way to silver oak, coffee and teak plantations. Meera says that unless one ventures deep into the forest, it is unlikely you’ll come across any traditional species. “During the summer months, we noticed how trees in Wayanad were being chopped at an alarming rate for timber. That’s when we decided to do something about it. We got involved in a lot of discussions with research organizations and experts on how to go about it, and also spoke to locals to get them involved,” she says.

    Years of hard work and research resulted in the complete transformation of a private farm land in Wayanad, where a section of it was partitioned to create what is called a ‘farm grove’. This grove comprises endemic, endangered tree species, while the rest of the land can be used for economic purposes. By getting farmers and land owners involved in understanding how these endangered species will actually better their crops in terms of soil quality, water retention and pollination, FFS has managed to conserve 100 species of trees in Wayanad.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by M Shriya Sharma / Express News Service / September 06th, 2017

  • scissors
    September 5th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    SIIMAawardsKF05sept2017

    The awards ceremony of the sixth edition of South Indian International Movie Awards, which was held at Dubai, will go on air on Sunday on Udaya tv at 6pm.

    Sandalwood actresses Shubra Aiyappa and Shraddha Srinath, have performed in the glittering ceremony.

    Actors Shivarajkumar, Rakshit Shetty, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Chandan Achar, Radhika Chetan. Vasishta Simha, Rashmika Mandanna and Samyukth Hornad have graced the occasion.

    The awards are given in different categories like best actor, best director, best singer, best debutant actor, best supporting actor and in several other category.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> TV> News> Kannada / TNN / September 01st, 2017

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