Indian Coffee House PhotographyThe Indian Coffee House is a chain of restaurants managed by a series of cooperative societies. There are nearly 400 coffee houses in India from Chennai in South India to Shimla in the north.
Although coffee has been grown in India since the 16th century the concept of the coffee house only became popular in the 18th century. Native Indians were not allowed to use the coffee houses during the time of British rule.
The India Coffee House chain was originated by the Coffee Cess Committee in 1936 with the first ooutlet opening in Bombay (now Mumbai) and by 1940 there were nearly fifty coffee houses in India.
Today the coffee house chain is managed by 13 Cooperative Societies, with the societies being managed by a central committee elected from its employees.
One of the most notable coffee houses is located in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and today is known as the College Street Coffee House. Opened in 1942 it soon became the meeting place for the literate, artists and poets, the most famous being Rabindranath Tagore.