New Issue: India brews up coffee-scented postage

Coffee’s uplifting aroma can now be enjoyed while going through one’s mail after the release of a coffee-scented postage stamp.

On April 23, India Post and the Coffee Board of India launched the coffee-scented stamp in Bengaluru, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. The Rs100 ($2.12 Cdn.) stamps depict coffee beans alongside a cup of coffee as well as the word “COFFEE”. The stamp was unveiled by India Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha and Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman at the General Post Office.

SCENTED STAMPS

According to India’s postal department, the scented stamps are produced in a three-step process.

The first stage includes the printing of the stamp’s design while the second stage adds fragrance using a fragrance-based ink, which is applied to heavy cylinders before being transferred onto the sheet. Finally, the stamps are dried, and microcapsules of fragrant ink are injected into the paper.

When the stamp is touched, these microcapsules are broken and the smell of coffee will linger in the air. The fragrance has a lifespan of about five years.

In 1973, Bhutan became the first country to issue scented stamps. This was followed by issues from New Zealand, Thailand, Switzerland and most recently India, which unveiled its first aromatic stamp in 2006.

Earlier this year, India also released rose- and sandalwood-scented stamps for Valentine’s Day.

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