In an effort to make coffee available and more popular across the country, especially in tea dominated northern India, the Indian Coffee Board is set to launch a program to train people around the country to be coffee makers or baristas. The ‘Barista training program’ of the Indian Coffee Board, involving a specially crafted syllabus will guide aspirants interested in coffee on the various aspects of coffee making, and will be launched in July according to the chairman of the Coffee Board Jawaid Akhtar.
Trainees will study the different types of coffee seeds, the right temperatures for roasting them, the best ways of grinding, and the right chemistry for a good coffee, says Akhtar who is also Chairman of the International Coffee Council. Trainees will be taken on a study tour to research centers of the coffee board, its coffee estates and will be given an internship opening at coffee chains. When they graduate from the program the coffee board with certify its trainees as qualified coffee makers, the Coffee Board chief said.
“Youngsters, especially those who have stayed abroad and have imbibed the global work culture are drawn to coffee in a significant way. Many see coffee making as a trendy thing to do. With coffee being affordable we want to create more interest in coffee making at home,” Akhtar said. In offering coffee courses for amateurs the coffee board is following in the footsteps of similar initiatives seen in emerging markets like China, Brazil, Russia and South Korea where coffee drinking has received huge impetus in recent times including home brewing.
The Indian Coffee Board’s Barista training program will allow aspiring coffee makers to train at its headquarters in Bangalore or the coffee board will depute its staff to conduct group classes in any part of the country, the head of quality control at the coffee board K Basavaraj said.
While the fee for the four-week training program has not been fixed the coffee board claims that it will run the program on a not-for-profit basis aimed purely at skill development and employment generation. “A similar program in a private institution will cost nothing less than a lakh,” a member of the coffee board faculty for the program said.
“Indian coffee beans like Robusta and Arabica have earned fame the world over but very little is known about it in the Indian market. Consumers in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and other parts consume soluble or instant coffee and presume it to be the real drink,” the coffee board’s chairman said.
Ten years ago the coffee market in India was primarily in the southern states and growth was stuck at around two percent. In recent years the local coffee market has been growing at a rate of five percent as newer regions in the country, and especially the youth, have taken to coffee consumption. According to a study conducted by the coffee board the increase in coffee consumption is attributed to a change in lifestyle and the availability of disposable incomes. The coffee board’s research indicates that tea still holds the lions share of the beverage market in India but the ICB is hoping that it will be able to increase its share by offering high quality products.
“Domestic markets are much more stable than international ones. If our producers have a sustainable coffee consuming population it will be a value addition to the economy as , employment opportunities will grown in the coffee growing, producing, making and marketing industry,” the coffee board’s chairman said.