Bang opposite the Tribal Museum in Araku town a board atop a tribal wrought iron gate says ‘Araku Valley Coffee House’. The subtext says – Coffee Beverages, Coffee Powder, Coffee Chocolates, Coffee Accessories, Coffee time Food court and Coffee Show. Araku is a very small town, a centre of tourism in this tribal belt with the wealth of nature – ghats, waterfalls, caves and rich flora and fauna. It is also a hub for organic coffee plantations and its coffee is marketed under the brand Emerald. Still, What you do not expect is an upmarket coffee house in the midst of a tribal culture.
Araku Valley Coffee Chocolates.
We stepped in expecting to get some coffee and maybe taste some Coffee chocolates. As we entered through the beautiful gate, we saw a well-designed sit-out with tables and chairs in the same wrought iron with tribal motifs with few horses in the backdrop giving it a ranch kind of feel.
Inside the coffee house, we saw the love of Araku Valley coffee sprinkled all over with interesting quotes about coffee. A well-designed shop that had large varieties of Coffee chocolates – for tasting and for taking back home. Packaging was very basic yet modern and stylized. There were all kinds of coffee based chocolates, brownies, mousses and tarts. And of course, a full menu of coffees and coffee-based drinks. You can pick and choose what you want or take the pre-packaged packets home. There are accessories like coffee mugs and other paraphernalia like posters.
History of Coffee.
At the back of the shop, there was a coffee-making machine to demonstrate the process of coffee making to the visitors. A door from here led to the Sampoorna Coffee Gallery that is like a small museum, showcasing the birth of Coffee in Ethiopia and its journey all the way to Araku Valley. In the process covering the history of coffee drinking too, using dioramas. Coffee house staff cum guides will educate you about the different types of coffee. While most of India grows Robusta coffee, Araku valley primarily grows Arabica coffee. When we visited this center was under renovation, but the owner had a clear vision of the way he wants to have a state of art coffee art gallery.
I am neither a coffee person nor a chocolate person, but I admired the concept. And more than that the courage of owner to design and run such a beautiful coffee house in Araku. To me, it looked like dedication to the place, for producing the coffee, by creating a mini-world of all the products that the homegrown coffee ends up in.
Hope this inspires many more of its kind.
Recommend you to read following Places to visit in Araku Valley, Vizag Tour or Araku Tour.