Blue Tokai is a Coffee Roasterie par excellence. For the uninitiated, a roasterie is where people roast coffee beans to perfections and varying degrees to get just the right flavour out of just the right beans and send it across to the ones who know their coffee.
Entering Blue Tokai you see rustic white walls dotted with Warli motifs, a narrow space with just about three tables and huge nautical windows that let you see the business that goes into making and shipping all that wondrous coffee all over the world (400 kgs a week). Mithilesh, the roaster took us to the room where it all happens. Sacks over sacks of coffee beans from the South-Indian estates filled the room and then there was a roaster. A huge machine that roasts about 5 kilos at once. The roaster is pretty hi-fi, connecting to a laptop where a graph is plotted each time the coffee is roasted. Each single origin coffee is roasted to medium, dark, extra dark and so on. And this is achieved by bringing the temperature to say 200 degrees in say 3 minutes. So to get that same quality the graph has to be the same each time. A lot more science goes into it which I failed to understand. They roast on Wednesdays and Sundays and everything is shipped the next day.
Not being a black coffee fan we chose a Cortado, which is two parts espresso and one and half part milk but that was just the proportions, with a choice of different single estate coffees. We chose the MS Estates organic arabica. A simple cup with rich dark coffee arrived. I expected it to be really strong and bitter but a sip without sugar was a must and it was great. Not too bitter, in fact like the menu said it did have fruity and nutty flavours. Soon enough the cup was empty and I moved on to a colder version, one with a blend of Kalladeverapura, Nachammai and MS estates’ coffee. Half milk and half cold espresso. It was delicious.
In a chat with Rhea Sanghi the community manager at Blue Tokai, we came to know that Tokai means the plume of peacock feathers in age old Malabar culture. And the Malabar in Blue Tokai comes from the founders Matt Chittranjan and Namrata Ashtana who were based in Chennai before moving to Delhi. “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. This is what they missed when the moved north. Frustrated and slightly confused be the lack of fresh roasters up here, they decided to indulge 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 getting it directly from the farm and delivering it to their customers instead of their customers having to import Indian coffee that had been roasted abroad,” says Rhea.
Blue Tokai’s expertise lies in their coffee and coffee derived treats like ice lollies and affogato but they are currently working on making a menu that pairs up well with the coffee. They wrap up and shut down at around 7 PM, mostly depending on how many coffee drinkers are around at the point. It is a limited period in which you can make a visit but it is all worth it. So the next time you’re around Saket, maybe skip the mall and head to Champa Galli instead.
Where: Champa Gali, Saidulajab
Nearest Metro Station: Saket