Developing countries that sell about 90 per cent of coffee beans to the MNCs in developed countries suffer from low beans prices in the absence of domestic processing or value addition. Perhaps, the dismantling of coffee boards that used to assure minimum prices for the beans in many developing countries is an inevitable consequence of the clout of MNCs in blocking coffee to developed markets. Even the Coffee Board in India and the Coffee Futures Exchange of India have had limited success in stabilising coffee prices. Falling coffee prices have fetched lower forex earnings of Rs 700 crore in 2002-03 from Rs 1,901 crore in 1999-00. At home, there is no alternative to modern farm practices to step up output at competitive costs and spreading the coffee culture through sustained campaigns. There is also a need to beef up marketing skills to prevent the middlemen from emerging as price setters. Though much of the good that has happened in recent times to Indian coffee owes to the shift from pooling to open market, there is a greater need to look at coffee as a cultural commodity and spread its consumption in metros and towns. Coffee has played a significant role in the emergence of Paris as an intellectual and artistic city over the years. Nearer home, Kolkatas coffee addas too have their distinct flavour.