Usually people associate India with tea, but coffee has a special place here too. It’s not often that the story of a place or a country begins with a legend about smuggling, like that of tea leaves stolen from China by a Scottish botanist. But this kind of story is exactly what happened in Chikmagalur, when the pilgrim Baba Budan, returning from Mecca, carried seven coffee seeds in his tunic, burying them in the local mountains and making Chikmagalur the birthplace of Indian coffee. The culture of coffee quickly expanded around the area’s lush misty hills, turning it into a destination for coffee fans and the coffee plantations a backdrop for local selfie takers. The coffee is good and not costly, with almost every cafe or ice cream shop offering various coffees to try, alongside decadent banana boat desserts.