From café to home: These 5 D2C coffee startups are breaking the monotony

Here are five Indian startups meeting the evolving coffee requirements of customers.
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“What goes best with a cup of coffee? Another cup.” - Henry Rollins

India has always been a tea-drinking nation, but with coffee shops and cafes such as Barista Café, Starbucks coffee, Café Coffee Day, Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, and others gaining popularity, coffee has emerged as a popular drink. A cup of coffee never fails to wake people up and give their day an energetic start.

The global coffee market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 4.28 percent between 2022 and 2027. The Indian coffee market is valued at $1 billion and is expected to reach $2.03 billion by 2025.

India has seen significant growth in demand for innovative and premium coffee products. Many new-age players have entered the market to meet the rising demand and to provide a premium and gourmet experience to their customers by offering unique flavours and aromas, often wrapped with health perks.

YourStory brings a list of startups that are serving premium, rich and handcrafted coffee experiences to customers at home.

Blue Tokai

Founded in 2013 by Matt Chitharanjan, Shivam Shahi, and Namrata Asthana, Delhi-based speciality coffee startup Blue Tokai Coffee offers coffee sourced directly from plantations, and roasts beans to sell high-quality coffee via their cafés and website.

It also sells cold brew bags, easy pour, cold brew cans, and roasted and ground coffee through its website and ecommerce channels like Amazon, Flipkart, and More. The on-the-go cans are available in various flavours like Classic Light, Classic Bold, Tender Coconut, Passion Fruit, and more.

Matt Chitharanjan, Co-founder at Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters

“The intention was to bring coffee in an easy, ready-to-drink format that is convenient, portable, and easy to transport. Our vision has always been to be a coffee company, not necessarily a cafe company. Cafes have been important because that is where people come, try the product, and compare how we are different from the standard coffee available.” Matt earlier told YourStory.

The startup has 50-plus cafes in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Gurugram. According to a recent interview with YourStory, the startup claims to have roasted and sold 1,000 tons of coffee to date and is expecting to grow its revenue two-fold in revenue this year.

Country Bean

Founded in 2017 by Aditi Somani Satnaliwala, Kolkata-based startup Country Bean aims to bring a café-like coffee experience to the home. It offers a range of flavours including cardamom, berry, cocoa mint, caramel, coconut, hazelnut, and others.

The startup is on a mission to innovate and create products that are easy to use and instant. The brand focuses on the core philosophy of convenience without compromising on taste.

“Some variants, including caramel and vanilla, are our permanent flavours. But we experiment a lot with different flavours during festive and other seasons of the year. In 2020, during monsoon, we launched cardamom flavoured coffee, and our customers liked it so much that we ended up putting it on our permanent menu,” said Aditi earlier told YourStory.

Third Wave Coffee Roasters

Founded in 2017 by Ayush Bathwal, Sushant Goel, and Anirudh Sharma, Bengaluru-based Third Wave Coffee Roasters provides locally-sourced coffee brews and curated food and beverages in various states across India.

Sushant Goel, Co-founder, Third Wave Coffee Roasters

The startup focuses on ‘centralised roasteries’ approach to enable a source-to-cup experience and also provides local and international offerings in coffee and food through offline-first stores.

“We aim to disrupt the coffee space by breaking the monotony of the usual flavours with globally-influenced coffee and food pairings that match the palate of the modern, discerning Indian consumer,” said Sushant.

In December 2021, the startup raised $6 million in a Series A round for pan-India expansion and to hire leadership teams from top QSR brands.

SLAY Coffee

Founded in 2019 by Lakshmi Dasaka and Chaitanya Chitta, Bengaluru-based SLAY Coffee offers coffee beans sourced from the mountains of Chikmagalur. It has created a category of gourmet, handcrafted coffee on-demand at the click of a button.

Lakshmi Dasaka (left), co-founder of DropKaffe Food and Beverages Pvt. Ltd, with her husband, Chaitanya Chitta (right). Also the co-founder and CEO of the firm

The startup offers coffee for varied tastes and lifestyle preferences – ‘Skinny’ range for the calorie-conscious, vegan range, Black range for purists, and SLAY-X for strong coffee drinkers.

SLAY Coffee provides reusable packaging and SLAY case – a temperature-retaining, spill-resistant packaging.

“Not everyone wants to spend so much money on going to a cafe and having good coffee. So, we wanted to bring quality coffees to people’s doorsteps. Instead of you going to the coffee, at cafes, the coffee can come to you,” Chaitanya said.

Beanly

Passionate about coffee and having a significant interest in the coffee-making business, friends Rahul Jain and Samayesh Khanna founded Delhi-based Beanly in 2018. The startup offers freshly brewed coffee at the doorstep of coffee lovers.

It sells products through Amazon as well as its own website. The startup is present in Gurugram, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, and others.

“For a cafe-like coffee experience and freshly brewed coffee, people have to often spend on home grinders and machines that cost somewhere between Rs 75,000 and Rs 2 lakh,” said Rahul.

“We saw a big gap in the coffee products that were available in the market. Most of them were usually either not fresh or just not up to the mark. As coffee lovers, that was a problem, and we set out to solve it (but only for ourselves),” he added.

Beanly claims staying focused on the quality will always be the startups vision and motto.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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