Coffee in India was introduced, as the legend says way back in the 17th century, Baba Budan, a pilgrim traveling to the holy places of Islam, brought back seven coffee seeds from Yemen. These seeds were planted in the hills of Chandragiri, situated in today's Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. For more than a century after its introduction, coffee was rated low in India, restricted in cultivation and consumption to the Malnad farmers who grew the crop for subsistence and personal consumption.
Indian coffee is the most extraordinary of beverages, offering intriguing subtlety and stimulating intensity. India is the only country that grows all of its coffee under shade. Typically mild and not too acidic, these coffees possess an exotic full-bodied taste and a fine aroma. India cultivates all of its coffee under a well-defined two-tier mixed shade canopy, comprising evergreen leguminous trees. Nearly 50 different types of shade trees are found in coffee plantations. Shade trees prevent soil erosion on a sloping terrain; they enrich the soil by recycling nutrients from deeper layers, protect the coffee plant from seasonal fluctuations in temperature, and play host to diverse flora and fauna. Coffee plantations in India are essential spice worlds too: a wide variety of spices and fruit crops like pepper and cardamom grow alongside coffee plants.
India's coffee growing regions have diverse climatic conditions, which are well suited for cultivation of different varieties of coffee. Some regions with high elevations are ideally suited for growing Arabicas of mild quality while those with warm humid conditions are best suited for Robustas.