Shopping for India's Other Caffeine in Kerala
Although India is justifiably famous for its tea, Karnataka and Kerala are also renowned worldwide for the distinctive spicy coffee produced in the Western Ghats. Indians prefer to export this treasure to the world's enthusiasts, rather than drinking it themselves. But if you are prepared to hunt for the perfect present to take home, you'll find the beans in the commercial district of Ernakulam in Kochi. An unremarkable single-story building on Chittoor Road is home to Leela Coffee, where the thick chocolaty scent of roasted beans will draw you to the shop long before you see it. A counter stretches the width of the interior, and behind it looms an enormous grinder. They sell the beans by the kilo, or you can choose a vacuum-packed bag of ground deliciousness for 240 INR. However many bags you buy, you'll wish you bought more when you arrive home.