After flying high at Aero India last week, India's hi-tech hub gets set to host an international coffee festival next week to showcase the aromatic Indian brew and position the hot beverage as the flavour of the season.
The three-day fest from February 23 will feature a wide-ranging exposition, conferences and workshops on coffee by renowned speakers and flavour of India-Fine cup competition to promote the best Indian coffees in the domestic and international markets.
Organised by the Coffee Board in association with industry stakeholders comprising growers, roasters and exporters, the fest will be attended by about 100 delegates from 15 countries and over 400 participants from across the country.
Among the countries represented by the overseas delegates are Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Britain, the US, Costa Rica, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"The India International Coffee Festival (IICF) 2007 brings global experts and opinion-makers face to face with the Indian coffee industry to share the latest developments and thinking to address the issues from farms to markets.
The international coffee community has recognised the potential of the Indian coffee market and the opportunity to capitalise on the growing consumption. With increasing disposable incomes, changing lifestyle and demand for a variety of coffees, the domestic market is set for an exponential growth," Coffee Board chairman Krishna Rau told IANS.
After a stagnant growth for over a decade, domestic consumption began increasing during the last two-three years to touch 80,000 tonnes annually from about 55,000 tonnes till 2002-03, thanks to the mushrooming of Cafe Days, Baristas, retail outlets, vending machines and wider acceptance among the youth.
One of the leading coffee producers, India exports about 70 percent of its annual production of coffee (about 290,000 tonnes), with Karnataka accounting for about 80 percent of the production as well as exports.
Being held the second time after a five-year gap, the fest has attracted major equipment manufacturers such as Probat and Mahlkonigs (Germany) and CMA (Italy), reputed roasters like Illycaffee to woo Indian companies with their state-of-the-art technology in roasting, professional and home usage coffee-making machines and grinders.
The event will also provide a platform for networking between international coffee trade and Indian growers, roasters and exporters and exploring business tie-ups in the coffee chain.
"With the Indian economy growing at eight-nine percent annually and consumer spending gathering momentum, the domestic market is set to grow rapidly for coffee roasting, grinding, commercial and domestic espresso machines, liquid coffee extraction plans and cutting-edge technology products such as coffee pots," Rau pointed out.
The conference will feature sessions covering key industry topics such as international coffee market - trends and prospects, differentiated coffees for value enhancement, opportunities for coffee retailing in the sub-continent and innovations in coffee technology.
"The world coffee expo will showcase a wide array of coffee related activities with emphasis on creating opportunities for entrepreneurs. It will also provide an ideal platform for outsourcing, collaboration and tie-ups," Coffee Board member and fest co-ordinator Anil Kumar Bhandari said.
International Coffee Organisation executive director Nestor Osorio will present a survey on the trends and prospects in the international coffee market setting the stage for deliberations covering quality, sustainability, coffee and health, market opportunity and innovations in coffee technology.
"The IICF is aimed at unlocking the potential of the Indian coffee retail industry, a window to get a closer look at the prevailing trends in the domestic market and a platform to showcase opportunities available in a competitive market," Bhandari added.