Forget Biryani Vs Pulao, The Real Battle Is Between Coffee And Tea

Forget Biryani Vs Pulao, The Real Battle Is Between Coffee And Tea
This is a long read. Get in your bed, pull up the quilt and sip your coffee. Chances are, by your next sip, your taste buds may have developed a completely different set of expectations regarding what your coffee should taste like.

According to one tale, the origin of coffee can be traced back to the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia where a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his goats became energetic and couldn't sleep after eating the cherries from a certain plant. Kaldi, curious about the effects of these cherries, tried them himself and felt similarly invigorated. He shared his discovery with the local monastery and the monks began to use the cherries to stay awake during long hours of prayer. Word of the energising effects of these cherries spread, and soon coffee became a popular drink throughout the world, known for its ability to provide a boost of energy and clarity of mind. Today, coffee is grown in many countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, and is one of the most widely consumed beverages globally.

In Pakistan, instant coffee is often considered as the standard form of coffee. However, this is a misconception as instant coffee is made from sub-par coffee beans rather than from actual high quality coffee beans. It does not have the same flavor, aroma, or quality as freshly brewed coffee, and is often seen as a lower-quality alternative. To truly experience the richness and complexity of coffee, it is important to seek out high-quality, freshly brewed coffee from reputable & socially responsible sources.

Coffee is much more than just cappuccino or mocha. These various drinks are simply made by combining a shot or two of espresso with different ratios of milk, milk foam, and other flavors. Coffee is a diverse beverage that can come in many forms, including espresso, and can be prepared using a variety of methods including pour over, French press, and more. Each brewing method brings out different flavors and aromas, and allows for a wide range of customization and experimentation. To truly appreciate the complexity and variety of coffee, it is important to explore different brewing methods and discover your personal preferences.

The coffee industry is a significant contributor to the global economy, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year. The demand for coffee has been steadily increasing over the years, with many people relying on coffee as a staple drink in their daily routines. The coffee industry involves a complex supply chain that includes the growing, harvesting, roasting, and distributing coffee beans. The coffee industry is dominated by a few large corporations, but there are also many small, independent coffee shops and roasters that play an important role in the market. The industry is influenced by various factors, including changes in consumer preferences, fluctuations in coffee prices, and shifts in global economic conditions.

Despite its size and significance, the coffee industry also faces various challenges, such as sustainability concerns, competition from other beverage industries, and changing consumer preferences. Nevertheless, the coffee industry continues to thrive, providing livelihoods for millions of people around the world and generating billions of dollars in economic activity each year.

In Pakistan, coffee has become a luxury item, with many foreign coffee brands setting high prices based on their royalties and branding. However, these brands often compromise on quality in terms of the freshness of their beans, leading consumers to seek out alternative options. In response, new independent coffee shops have emerged, offering better quality coffee. However, these shops often lack the customer service and friendliness of the big brands, and yet charge almost as much or sometimes even more than the foreign brands. This presents a challenge for consumers who are looking for a balance between quality and affordability. As the coffee industry continues to evolve in Pakistan, it will be interesting to see how new entrants will navigate these challenges and find ways to provide a better experience for customers. Ultimately, success in the coffee industry will depend on finding the right balance between quality, price, and customer service, and meeting the needs and preferences of consumers.

In Pakistan, coffee has become a luxury beverage that is only accessible to the elites. This is a contrast to the coffee culture in the United States, where Starbucks was originally established as a "third place" for people to gather and socialize. However, this concept has not taken hold in Pakistan, and as a result, the coffee market has limited its potential. An espresso machine can cost between Rs. 400,000-2,000,000, while a good quality grinder may cost between Rs. 100,000-1,100,000 add to that the prices of setting up the furniture, branding, a small working kitchenette, chillers and ACs (not to mention the sky high rents), it makes it really difficult for anyone really to set up a coffee shop with such massive upfront fixed costs and offer economical coffee while also trying to turn it into a viable investment opportunity.

High prices and the perception of coffee as a luxury item have made it difficult for coffee shops to become social hubs for the general public. The cost of setting up also makes it difficult for independent coffee shops to establish themselves and compete with the larger, established brands with an abundance of financial stability. As a result, the coffee market in Pakistan remains small and fragmented, with only a limited number of customers who are able to afford the high prices. In order to reach its full potential, the coffee industry in Pakistan needs to find ways to make coffee more accessible and affordable to a wider range of consumers, while also improving the quality and variety of coffee offerings.

On the other hand, tea, or chaaye, is much more affordable and culturally relevant in Pakistan. In recent years, there has been a rise in popularity of "Chaye Dhabas" or tea cafes, which offer a comfortable place to sit with friends and colleagues while enjoying an economical and delicious cup of chaaye. These dhabas have become popular gathering places, where people can socialize and relax over chaaye. As a result, they have become an important part of the local culture and provide an alternative to the more expensive coffee shops. In essence, they replicate the “third place” Starbucks inculcated in the American coffee culture which in turn was inspired by the Italian coffee culture. The tea culture in Pakistan is an important aspect of daily life and provides a sense of community and tradition. The success of these dhabas is a testament to the continued importance of chaaye in Pakistan and the role it plays in bringing people together.

So as far as the author sees it, the chaaye and its culture will continue to rule over the Pakistani beverage industry.

Adnan Moiz tweets at @Nnormanbates