Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters Set To Steep Japan In Indian Coffee Culture

In a bold move, India’s beloved coffee chain, Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, has announced plans for expansion into the Japanese market, leveraging the escalating growth of the coffee industry in India.

What Happened? According to Nikkei Asia, Blue Tokai, already popular in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district for its pop-up location, plans to launch a fully operational store in the city by April 2024. The decision forms part of the brand’s international growth strategy, which took root in Japan in 2021 with the inauguration of a roastery in Tochigi prefecture.

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The Indian coffee market is witnessing an impressive annual growth rate of approximately 10%, surpassing global market growth trends. Blue Tokai, founded in 2013, currently runs 94 outlets across India. The secret to the brand’s success lies in its unique farm-to-table approach, sourcing beans locally and adorning its packages with traditional Indian art and the name of the origin farm or estate.

While India is globally renowned for its tea production, it surprisingly ranks as the world’s eighth-largest coffee producer. With projections indicating a tripling in the size of the Indian coffee market by 2032, multinational coffee giants like Starbucks are also intensifying their presence in the country.

Why It Matters: The expansion plans of Blue Tokai in Japan signify the growing international recognition of Indian coffee culture. The brand’s success story, as recounted by co-founder Shivam Shahi in a Benzinga exclusive, is rooted in the realization of the potential of cafés as a sustainable business model in India.

Establishing Blue Tokai was a strategic transition from tech to consumer brands for Shahi, driven by his observation of the constant footfall in cafés. The company’s unique farm-to-table approach and local sourcing have not only revolutionized the coffee game in India but also instilled a sense of pride in Indian coffee. This move to Japan is likely to further enhance the global visibility of Indian coffee, offering a fresh perspective on its quality and diversity.

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