We want to introduce you to some coffee startups in India.
But before that, here's some good news for coffee connoisseurs in India.
Do you know that a few pockets of Meghalaya have the potential to grow high-quality coffee? 😊
Zizira is focused on Meghalaya, to unleash the unrealized agricultural and horticultural potential of our state and help farmers improve their livelihood.
Now, let us get on with the story on coffee startups in India.
India is one of the highest coffee producers in the world. It produced around 299,300 million tonnes (MT) during 2019-20P. And 70% of what is produced is exported. Adequate rainfall in the coffee growing areas and timely blossoming of the coffee bushes are important for a good crop.
India is the third largest producer and exporter of coffee from Asia. Coffee consumption in India is growing at a 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.
The popular and already well-established coffee chains are gaining a lot more coffee lovers by the day, maybe even weaning away the tea drinking majority of India.
So, what about coffee startups in India?
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 having done the hard work, it was only a matter of time before other entrepreneurs took the plunge to join the coffee bandwagon.
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.
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 that coffee lovers know the source of their coffee beans, the growers.
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 is distinct from the other in the manner in which they were roasted, which gives the drinker a unique aroma and flavour. 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.
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.
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?
We hope to put high-quality coffee on Zizira’s store shelves soon!
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