Most days, my mornings are very hectic. As I get up sleepy-eyed and work my way down the stairs, the potent aroma of freshly brewed coffee instantly assails my senses and lifts my spirits. The husband has hot, fresh coffee ready. God bless him!
Yes, coffee is a passion for me. My day does not go well if it does not begin with coffee. Especially good quality coffee. I have visited coffee plantations earlier on travel and marvelled at the green coffee beans that transform into a kickass brew for us. So when Nestlé India offered to host me along with some other bloggers for a tour of their Coffee Demo and Training Center in Kushalnagar, Coorg, I was game.
The NESCAFÉ Plan
The road trip from Bangalore was exciting and I was looking forward to understanding more about coffee.
It was morning when we made the trip to the Coffee Demo and Training Centre in Kushalnagar, Coorg.
The familiar red sign of NESCAFÉ that greeted me instilled a warmth that we’ve all grown up with.
Next, I got to understand more about how Nestlé actually works not only to get the finest coffee to our tables across the world but also works closely with farmers for sustainable, environment-friendly coffee growing. Nestlé also undertakes a number of community outreach initiatives.
The NESCAFÉ Plan is an initiative launched by Nestle in 2012.
It is a collaboration between Nestle and coffee farmers to help them develop agricultural practices that are sustainable, produce good quality coffee and high yields. In this endeavour, Nestlé works closely with the farmers by training them, conducting workshops and helping them obtain certification from the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C Association) which monitors and helps with maintaining consistent coffee quality.
The NESCAFÉ Plan has benefitted more than 2000 farmers in the past 4 years since its launch.
The initiatives undertaken under NESCAFÉ Plan are:
- Providing training and technical assistance to farmers on better farming practices, waste management, soil and water conservation
- Soil Testing/Recommendations
- Help with environment-friendly methods of cultivation
- Help with optimal fertilizer and pesticide use
- New and improved methods for drying of coffee beans
- Getting them competitive prices for high quality produce
- Creating value in their communities
This initiative has ensured that coffee farming stays sustainable and remains lucrative as NESCAFÉ coffee continues to grow in demand.
Apart from this, there are a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives that Nestlé has undertaken for the wellbeing of the community:
- Clean, drinking water in schools
- Free medical health checks and distribution of medicines
- Nutritional and health awareness programs
- Sanitation facilities
- Distribution of stationery to children in schools
- Scholarships to children
- Support to sports
- Nestlé India sponsors Hockey Cup every year in the coffee growing regions of India
Nestlé does go beyond the cup in nurturing the global ecosystem around coffee cultivation.
A Tour Through The Coffee Plantation
After this session followed a tour through their coffee plantation where we got to understand how coffee went from seed to our cup. Interestingly we got to see coffee in all its glory from blossoms to green cherries to the ripened red cherries. It was quite fascinating.
Green Coffee Sensory Labs
Every batch of green coffee is 100% tested for taste profile. This physical tasting of coffee is called cupping. The Green Coffee Sensory Labs were established by Nestlé Nanjangud Coffee Factory for cup tasting of the pre-shipment samples. These labs help support coffee suppliers and farmer who can ascertain cup quality, moisture and defect analysis of their coffee bean at these facilities. This helps them to better the quality of their coffee production.
We made our way to a Green Coffee Sensory Lab in Kushalnagar which is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Cup tasting is carried out by well-trained sensory experts against Nestlé’s global reference. They check for how close the samples are to the reference sample. Batches have been rejected and sent back to the farmers if they did not adhere to the stringent quality and taste standards for NESCAFÉ.
These Sensory Labs have contributed to the high quality and consistent taste of Nescafé coffee products.
We tried our hand at some coffee tasting ourselves. It was a unique experience which only told me that my palate was not as intuitive to differences in taste as I thought it would.
That was quite an informational tour. It was eye opening to see the community initiatives and the commitment to quality by Nestlé. It also showed me the blood, sweat and tears that went into that perfect cuppa.
A win-win proposition for the farmers, the suppliers as well as Nestlé while we end consumers continue to enjoy the rich taste that we’ve all been loving for years.
Hope you enjoyed this tour with me.
Do you like coffee and enjoy Nescafé?