Blue Tokai Coffee, a retailer of roasted beans and operator of a cafe chain known for its brewing techniques and variety of flavours, is set to open an outlet on MG Road in Gurgaon this month, its first outside New Delhi and Mumbai.
Gurgaon was selected because it is a hub of young urban professionals along with a large population of Korean and Japanese nationals with the habit of consuming good coffee, said Rhea Sanghi, community manager at Blue Tokai.
“We already have a strong customer base in Gurgaon from our online business, so opening up a physical cafe in the city was the next logical step,” she said.
Since starting in 2012, Blue Tokai has been providing beans from coffee estates located in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It supplies coffee not just to corporate offices, but also to home brewers and cafes in Gurgaon.
“We recently conducted a brewing class in Gurgaon, which attracted people from different backgrounds,” Sanghi said.
Blue Tokai notched up Rs 5 crore of sales in the past year and invested about Rs 40 lakh in the Gurgaon café, according to Sanghi.
The company, started by Matt Chitharanjan and his wife Namrata Asthana, is trying to broaden the coffee experience for customers by introducing modern barista techniques such as weighing espresso shots, offering a variety of brewing methods and getting their baristas to engage with customers to explain what they do.
Single-estate coffees at Blue Tokai cost Rs 740 for 500 g, Rs 400 for 250 g and Rs 190 for 100 g. Cold brews start at Rs 150 and go up to Rs 300. Hot brews start at Rs 100 and go up to Rs 300.
Its cold brew coffees and iced lattes sell the most in Delhi’s summers, while customers prefer mochas and cappuccinos in the winters.
Sanghi said a wide range of customers who had embraced its brewing techniques and roasted coffee beans were the sole reason for Blue Tokai’s growth.
“We’ve served entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, designers, Bollywood stars, politicians – the only common factor is their love for coffee. We’ve had your stereotypical aunties who love their coffee, school kids who’ve come right after sports day for a celebratory cuppa, young couples, families who bring their pets and overworked millennials who’ve spent their time working out of our cafes,” said Sanghi.
Blue Tokai operates cafes in New Delhi’s Saket area, Hauz Khas and Vasant Vihar and in Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi and Bandra.
The company plans to open more outlets in Delhi and Mumbai and is looking at starting its third roasting unit in south India next year.