Aroma of Araku coffee wafts across the globe

Araku coffee plantations are India’s largest certified biodynamic coffee plantation.

Aroma of Araku coffee wafts across the globe

ARAKU: Apart from lush green forests, pleasant weather and soft flowing streams, the Araku Valley, located 113 km North-West of Visakhapatnam, is famous for its coffee. At the heart of an entire tribal community, Araku coffee plantations are India's largest certified biodynamic coffee plantation.

The Araku coffee is a pure Arabica variety with a rare aromatic profile combining balance and flavour which lasts for over a decade. This coffee is not just famous in India but also widely popular in European regions. In fact, 11,000 metric tons of coffee is exported every year from Araku, giving the local people a livelihood and also turning the region into a beautiful tourist destination.

Coffee was introduced to the Araku valley in the early 19th century. After independence, the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department focused on scaling up the coffee plantations in Araku. In 1985, the plantations were handed to A.P. Forest Development Corporation and Girijan Cooperative Plantation Development Corporation (GCPDC) for managing the. In turn, they handed over the plantations to the tribal farmers at two acres per family. The tribal community of Araku shifted to coffee farming which expanded across the Araku valley. With time, the tribal community was contacted by many coffee corporations and tied up with them for trade. One such example is the Araku Coffee brand, which sells coffee from these plantations through online business in India as well as overseas.

With a unique social model, they are committed to delivering shared value, where the business does well while also doing good for the tribal community. Araku Coffee was created by the coming together of international coffee experts and the farmers tied to their corporation by better understanding the methods of cultivating coffee.

Araku coffee is known for having a unique taste. Similarly, the Araku chocolates, made from pure organic cocoa, have a taste which is relished by people from all over the world. The percentage of sugar in these chocolates is very low and consumers experience the taste of pure cocoa.

With the increase in the fondness for these coffee and chocolate varieties, people from all over the world visit Araku valley. Over the years, the region became a hub for coffee lovers who come here to experience the unique and rich coffee flavour directly from the farms. Set up in 2006, the Araku coffee museum is the destination for these coffee enthusiasts.

The Araku Coffee museum, just 10 mins away from the village centre, is a paradise for coffee and cocoa lovers. The museum displays 70 different types of coffee flavours and 700 types of chocolates. Its tribal theme also showcases the livelihood and culture of the Araku tribe, which cultivates the coffee. The museum does not work with a business perspective and products are sold only to foreign visitors.

Apart from the taste aspect of it, coffee and cocoa are also good for health. Medical experts say that they help prevent heart and liver ailments and also keep the mind and body active.

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