Talking All Things Coffee With Blue Tokai| Indie Eats
With coffee taking over the city and the name Blue Tokai cropping up steadily, we decided to chat with Matt Chitharanjan and Namrata Asthana, the founders of Blue Tokai to find out more as to how began this coffee journey and what it means for our coffee culture. Apurva Ghoshal answers on the founder’s behalves.
1). Tell us a bit about how Blue Tokai started and what makes it different from the rest?
Before Matt and Namrata moved to Delhi, they lived in Chennai with easy access to tiny kiosks where coffee drinkers can get their coffees blended and ground. They also had the ability to interact with local roasters. Frustrated with and slightly confused by the lack of freshly roasted coffee in North India, they decided to indulge in their entrepreneurial spirit (and put Matt’s prior roasting experience to use) by starting a coffee roastery of their own. Their goal was to highlight Indian coffee by giving direct access to their customers from the farm, instead of their customers having to import Indian coffee that had been roasted abroad.
NEW COFFEES — Over the past couple of months, we have been working hard to update some of our favorite coffees from last year. Our Coffee Quality Team spent several weeks working at Thogarikunkal Estate during the harvest period. On selected lots of the plantation, they worked to ensure that the ripest cherries were picked pushing up the quality score for the farm's already great tasting coffee by several more points! — From Bibi Plantation in Coorg, we have selected Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold beans this year. With notes of dark chocolate, toffee and cherries, these extra large beans are full of some of our favourite flavours. — Both of these coffees are available in a medium roast profile, which is ideally suited for sweet, balanced espressos but also works well for those looking for a higher intensity manual brew. — Shop now, using the link in our bio.
2. What has been your perception of the coffee drinking culture in India?
The Indian market is still very comfortable drinking instant coffee. Although it has been difficult to tap into the instant coffee market, our customer base has been very experimental. We stress on the importance of freshly roasted coffee that is devoid of any preservatives and artificial flavour. We also introduce them to channi coffee which makes the transition from instant to freshly brewed coffee easier since the channis are easily available at any store and the process of doing so is more relatable that investing in brewing equipment.
NEW ARRIVAL | Nullore Estate's Arabica coffee is our second coffee from Coorg, Karnataka. With notes of chocolate, toffee and cherries – this low acidity, medium bitterness coffee is roasted to a medium-dark level to enhance the body. We highly recommend this coffee for espresso-based drinks and for people who like their coffee with milk. Visit www.bluetokaicoffee.com/products/nullore-estate to shop now!
3. Name your signature blends and tell us what sets them apart.
More than signature blends, we focus on profile roasting for our coffees. We sample each lot of coffee sent to us from the farmers. We then create a flavour profile for each. A profile is basically a graph that measures the temperature of the coffee beans. It’s like roasting peanuts. You can either roast them at a very high temperature in the beginning and lower the temperature at the end or vice versa – there are a million ways to roast coffee and every single way changes the flavour of the coffee. Our profiles are aimed at getting the unique flavours out of every bean because every bean has its own flavour such as fruitiness or sweetness or nuttiness.
Filter coffee lovers, have you tried our new Karadykan Estate roast? This unique lot undergoes a special fermentation process to produce an exceptionally sweet coffee with notes of almond and toffee apple. It works great in Pourovers, Drip Machines and French Presses. #bluetokai #brewbluetokai #bluetokaicoffee
4. What would be your personal suggestion as to how to drink our coffee?
I can give you a few problems faced when it comes to a good cup of coffee; the essential problem is that people buy coffee that is stale. What most people don’t realise is that coffee loses it flavour and aroma within three weeks of being roasted. Though it can still be consumed, its unique flavour and aroma will become very flat.
The second problem is that of the quality of water used.The type of water used affects the taste of your coffee. I highly recommend using bottled water and not water right out of the tap.
Most people here like their coffee “piping hot”. Very hot water leads to over extraction of flavour from the coffee grinds which can lead to a very bitter cup which is not ideal for people looking for a smooth drink. So, you need to let the water cool down for about 30 seconds off the boil before you use it to brew your coffee.
5. How could we get our own Blue Tokai coffee so that we can wake up to our personally brewed cuppa?
You could go to our website: www.bluetokaicoffee.com and pick your favourite beans. Our team’s always up for questions if you need any help choosing the coffee best suited for you.
SUBSCRIPTION UPDATE | You can now manage your own subscription and modify any information by logging into your customer account! — To celebrate this update, we are offering one additional installment on all 12 and 24 subscription orders placed before 9am on Monday, 2nd April, 2018! Head to www.bluetokaicoffee.com to place your order now! — Follow the link in our bio to learn more.
Well, for a coffee lover, we recommend you go out there and try their different brews and see which one stands out for you. They have 4 outlets available; in Mahalaxmi, Bandra, BKC and recently opened in Versova and we definitely recommend getting your caffeine fix from these beautiful blends!