Coffee at its best. What would that be like? An experience at Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters is what answers that well for me. I have grown up drinking coffee and have always loved it. Yes, mostly Cold Coffee. It never occurred to me to ever find out what goes behind the everyday coffee until I walked into Blue Tokai to meet a friend.
You walk in and realise that you are in a cafe and a work space. I take my place ignoring the well set-up studio that you can see through the round glass cut outs in the wall. Still recovering from a dental surgery, I was supposed to have only cold things. So I asked for the obvious and was denied my favourite cold coffee. They don’t do cold coffee, only iced blends. Chatting up I got to know it is a specialised organic coffee place and they work with the real essence of coffee. Once you know that, everything about the place, right from the interior design to the art, to the warmth of the people working there starts to make sense.
I asked them that in a place like Delhi where “Cold Coffee” is such a hit, how do you plan to maximise your sales without it. To which I was told that there are enough places who will serve corporatised coffee with milk but that is not their idea of coffee as they are committed to the culinary art and ethical practices around coffee growing and making. Beautiful isn’t it?
Note: Cold Coffee is not real Coffee.
After the first experience, my curiosity kicked in and I had to go there alone and become more familiar with what these guys were all about. Next time, I spent a good afternoon there. They have a beautiful backyard, in case one wanted to step into open air and enjoy some greenery along with organic coffee.
Mithilesh is a barista and along with everyone else he was happy to share stories about coffee at Blue Tokai. You can see him roasting in the pics. Yes the guy with green poly cap on his head.
By the time that afternoon slipped away in some great conversations, I had woken up to the culinary art of coffee making.
I learned that the corporatised coffee that I have been drinking all my life has been artificial. The flavour, the smell, everything is taken out and then re-injected back into the coffee.
That is not the real story of coffee. Our country is the fifth largest producer of Coffee beans and the best quality is all exported. In south India, coffee is definitely big as a local drink. But even the filter coffee there is not 100% coffee. It is a blend of Coffee beans and Chicory roots.
Real(organic) 100% coffee has a special aroma to it and you will know that once you enter the cafe. There are different levels of roast that you can try as generally what we drink is the dark roast. I personally loved the coconut Mocha that Rhea, who works there, offered me. The next round by her was even more refreshing with the peppermint mocha. They used chocolates by Mason and Co for both the Mochas I tried. I am yet to try out the sea salt mocha.
Blue Tokai was started by Matt. He initiated this project few years back and it has only grown better with time. It is a perfect example that green makes sense for business. This a great start for a sustainable chain of coffee supply. You can literally check the farm where you beans were grown, select your choice and if you like, even see you coffee get roasted in front of you.
Transparency is their idea and it shows through even the interior design of the cafe. While you sip your coffee, you can see the Blue tokai members doing their routine work, through the neat and wide round cut out in the operating wall. You can walk in and ask them whatever you want to know. They are an extremely warm and friendly bunch.
Matt is personally involved in every process right from the sourcing of the beans to the final cup of brewed coffee, ensuring the fair and ethical systems they have built around the precious idea of sustainability. You can see him in the pic with his team. He is sporting a yellow hoodie and a relaxed, happy air. His healthy attitude reflects top down in everyone at the cafe.
After the trials at the cafe, I got myself their sampler pack which contains three differently sourced and roasted coffee. I did not have any kind of coffee making machine as I was doing with Nescafe Gold till now. But I still can boil the coffee like tea and strain it the same way. It works just fine.
I have been loving this journey with coffee so far and see it becoming only more enjoyable. Homegrown at its best. After my sampler pack is done I am graduating to a coffee machine and deciding my favourite roast to take.
The experience has made me realise and respect the idea of sustainable trade and also how good does real coffee taste.
If this post appeals to you at all, you just make a visit to their cafe and trust me it will be more than worth your time.
Their website is http://bluetokaicoffee.com or follow them on their Instagram account @bluetokaicoffee
If you ever wanna spend a Sunday afternoon in a more relaxed and meaningful way, visit them as Sunday is a roasting day and you can see it happen all in front of you. They also stock some brilliant tasting chocolates if you want more than just some brilliant coffee.