Is it safe to drink coffee in India?
India > India Travel Basics > India Travel > Health and Well Being in India
| Member

Is it safe to drink coffee in India?

I'm sorry if this has been posted elsewhere. I used the site's search function but was unable to find a good answer to this seemingly basic question! Oddly enough, I haven't been able to find a good answer to this question in a lot of places I've looked (other sites, guidebooks, etc).

I'm hopelessly addicted to coffee, and can't imagine not drinking it during the month I'll be in India. I'll mostly be in Mumbai, with some stops in Agra and Goa--and who knows where else?

How safe is it to drink coffee in these places? I realize that heated drinks are "safer" than cold drinks--but is the coffee in most restaurants and street vendors prepaired in such a way as to kill most the germs that are going to make me sick? I sure hope so!

If not, what options do I have?


55 Replies

| Account Closed by User's Request
Been drinking tea and coffee for years and never had a problem. If you're worried, you might want to carry around your own cup!!
Sanatana Dharma
| Member
I leave for India for the first time on Friday. I have been told to ask for boiling water. You could take your own instant coffee. This is just a suggestion from someone who has not been there yet but I have been cautioned by Indians to not drink any unboiled water. Hope this suggestion helps.
| Account Closed by User's Request
With coffee and tea the water is boiled no worries.

There are exceptions but they are rare!!
Sanatana Dharma
| Maha Infrequent Member
just to add more 'meat'
depends on where you are having it and who is making it?
I never had any problems apart from my taste buds
If Life is a on...and on..on..on.....
| Senior Member
I have never had a problem drinking coffe or chai in India.
Mumbai and Goa has lots of good coffee places. The cities have Barista and Coffee day which are the cool and hip places for the young uns to hang out.
| Member

Not only safe, but

India grows some great coffee in Coorg.

Coffee can be very good here or it can be a terrible sugary, milky instant Nescafe concotion. Unless you like coffee that taste like bad candy, order "filter coffee" and you will get fresh brewed coffee. Barista is pretty good, Coffee Day depends on the store, I have had good and bad experiences with them.

Tea is also safe here, anything where the water has been heated to boiling. Don't drink tap water. I drink bottled water and filtered water without a problem however some people only drink bottled water.
| mikeaholic (recovered)
i was taught in boy scouts that (when camping) you should boil water for a minimum of 20 minutes in order to kill amoebas/etc. but who makes coffee or tea this way?
still, i had no problem drinking lots of tea in india. i drank tea every day, probably average 8 or 10 cups a day, and i was only sick twice in 6 months. i doubt it was the tea, but you never know.
| Member

20 minutes???

Seems excessive! Here is what the US CDC says:

"Boiling Water

Boiling water is the best method for making water safe to drink. Boiling water as recommended will kill bacterial, parasitic, and viral causes of diarrhea. Adding a pinch of salt to each quart will improve the taste.

Directions for Boiling Water

Boil water vigorously for 1 minute and allow it to cool to room temperature (do not add ice).
At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (>2,000 m), boil water for 3 minutes or use chemical disinfection after water has been boiled for 1 minute. "
| Maha Guru Member
You can drink the coffee and tea without worry.
| tear down your idols
This is just a suggestion from someone who has not been there yet but I have been cautioned by Indians to not drink any unboiled water.

Bottled water is cheap, portable and fine; just make sure that the seal has not been tampered with.

Of course where coffee or tea is concerned you'll likely be boiling water anyway.

As for coffee, I recommend the roadside stands. They're a must during breaks on long bus rides.
| Finger Licking Good


It would be a shame if you visit India and not drink it's fine coffee (and tea I might add). Avoid road stands for coffee but most places (homes, restaurants etc) serve coffee boiling hot. I have had no problems but you should be aware that food in India is always a gamble. No gurantees. I have had food in 5 star places and fallen sick.

Just drink up and enjoy it!
:elee: :elee: :elee: Ayurvedic cure for an Indian headache
| Naan.tering Nabob
Well there is Coffee in India and then there is COFFEE!!!! 9/10 times out of ten when you ask for just coffee you will get Nescafe instant or the Tata-produced Indian equivalent. If you are a Coffee Connoisseur you should ask for "Filter Coffee" i.e. fresh ground bean that has been brewed/filtered in real time for you!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot
| Senior Member
I have had plenty of Nescafe in various locations in North India with no problems. My wife used to secure local Indian coffee to make at home--pretty good stuff. I hear there are now some coffee shop chains (but not Starbucks) in India which serve real coffee.

Anyone know if Starbucks will open stores in India soon? I don't like their coffee much but their bathrooms are decent.
| 10 year Visa okee dokee
I love coffee but usually switch to tea in India, just because it's easier to find good tea. BUT if you go into any South Indian Veg. restaurant they make wonderful coffee, though it usually comes with sugar & milk all mixed together, I love it, even though I don't drink it that way at home.

Safety, no problem. Even if the cups or glasses look unpleasant. Drink up, enjoy! The water is boiled first.:)
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