Upon graduating from college Matt Chitharanjan moved to San Francisco and was taken with the taste and culture of freshly roasted coffee beans. When he moved away he started to roast his own to try and replicate those beloved flavours. He never expected this new hobby would become a full time job, especially in India. Matt, a development economist and his wife, Namrata Asthana, started Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters in response to the poor quality coffee they were finding after moving to Delhi from Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital known for it’s residents love of traditional filter coffee.
The avid coffee drinkers traveled to the coffee growing areas in India and discovered a small percentage of farmers were growing Arabica beans. Unfortunately the majority of these high quality coffee beans were being sold, roasted and ground overseas. After purchasing some of these beans from skeptical farmers they roasted, ground and tasted many cups to find each coffee estate produced a brew for Blue Tokai with unique properties.
The mission at Blue Tokai is simple: to promote Indian coffee by roasting and grinding (or not, depending on the customer’s preference) single estate beans and getting them in the cups of their customers when at their peak flavor.
Over a cup of freshly brewed coffee I sat down with Matt to record this video interview.
Can’t see the video? Click here.
Cameron Stauch is a chef currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam. He is eating and cooking his way around Asia in search of cooks and producers who are focused on preserving and enriching their local culinary ingredients and traditions. Follow him @camcooks.