Indian coffee is set to record the highest production in 2015-2016 thanks to adequate rainfall in the coffee growing areas and timely blossoming of the coffee bushes. The production is estimated to reach 3,55,600 tonnes as against 3,27,000 tonnes in 2014-2015. Given that, 70% of what is produced is exported, India emerges as the third largest producer and exporter of coffee from Asia. Coffee consumption in India is growing at the rate of 6% annually. The year 2014 saw 115.02 million Kgs of coffee consumed in India alone. This translates to about 16.6 cups on an annual per capita basis. So the popular and already well-established coffee chains are gaining a lot more coffee lovers by the day, maybe even weaning away ng from the tea drinking majority of India. So, what about coffee startups? Retail coffee outlets such as Café Coffee Day and Barista Lavazza didn’t start out yesterday. In fact, it took them the best part of 20 and 16 years respectively to acquire a huge coffee fan base in India. With such leaders, it was only a matter of time before other entrepreneurs took the plunge to join the coffee bandwagon.
Coffee Startups Bringing Coffee to Your Doorstep!
Coffee startups have revamped the coffee consumption quotient in India, be it the traditional cafés and lounges or E-commerce.
Coffee lovers will swear by the “kick” a perfect cup of coffee brings. The so-called gourmet coffee is in fact, an attempt to provide the best quality coffee to the consummate coffee drinkers. Keeping in mind the need for high-quality specialty coffee, several young entrepreneurs and self-professed coffee aficionados have set up shop for their caffeine-yearning brethren.
Here are the top three coffee startups in India that have changed the caffeine landscape in the country.
Blue Tokai: We Love Indian Coffee Farmers
Matt Chitharanjan and Namrata Asthana, a Chennai-based couple, started Blue Tokai as a coffee roasting hobby. This coffee startup intends to revolutionize India’s vast coffee plantations into a coffee connoisseur’s preferred source for quality coffee beans. True to Blue Tokai’s official tagline “We love Indian Coffee Farmers”, this startup has been able to build a win-win relationship with several small-scale coffee growers starting with Nachammai Estate in 2014. So why the name “Tokai”? “Tokai” is the ancient Malabar term for a peacock’s tail.
The venture started on a small scale. The promoter Matt Chitharanjan, a coffee hobbyist, decided to gauge the demand for roasted coffee and invested in a small portable roaster and tested it hands-on. After getting encouraging results from their initial trail, Blue Tokai has now partnered with retailers across India. Blue Tokai’s in-house team members are driven by a passion for seeing coffee lovers getting for knowing the source of their coffee beans, the growers.
The Flying Squirrel
The Flying Squirrel started with a vision to promote quality Indian coffee. Ashish Dabreo, the founder of The Flying Squirrel, targets uncompromising coffee drinkers of India. On receiving orders through their online store, the company dispatches freshly roasted coffee.
At present, they offer six coffee varieties. Each of these varieties are distinct from the other in the manner in which they were roasted, which gives the drinker a unique aroma and flavor.
The Flying Squirrel has their coffee plantations at Coorg, Karnataka. It took them two years to understand the market and develop their product line-up and it was only in 2013 that they shipped their first batch of coffee.
The Indian Bean
Theindianbean.com is an online platform that assures coffee lovers sip in the elemental flavors and tasting notes of the brew. The founder Kunal Ross, believes that India has the potential to grow one of the best varieties of coffee. Since 70% of the coffee produced in the country is exported, the domestic consumer is left to contend with the “dregs”. After a tie-up with coffee farmers from Kodaikanal and Coorg to supply him single plantation beans, Kunal sent out his first batch of coffee in November 2012.
Each order is processed individually one at a time to ensure that consumers have a premium coffee experience. With an excellent rapport with the farmers, Kunal and his team look forward to making his presence felt in the Indian coffee market.
What Next in This Growing Coffee Surge?
According to Rita Teaotia, Chief Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industries,
We have already requested the Chairman of the Coffee Board to focus their efforts in identifying some coffee startups who might need hand-holding. We want to make everything accessible to them. The aim is to channelize these start-ups towards the kind of policies that have already been announced and enable them to access all the benefits. We have asked the Coffee Board to make this a regular activity. Source
At present, Zizira’s food lab is excited and working on learning the best procedure for processing coffee in-house! We are learning and improving roasting methods so as to produce high-quality coffee which is sourced from the pristine hills of Meghalaya. In the process, we might convert a few members of the tea-loving regime to coffee connoisseurs?