MUMBAI -- India is famous for tea, but a growing number of the country's middle class are drinking coffee as Western culture and consumption behavior are rapidly spreading.
The second outlet of Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, which opened last summer, a short distance back from the main street in Mumbai's Mahalakshmi district. It is a small coffee shop with only five tables and seven seats at the counter, but its home-roasted coffee, which is still rare in India, is gaining popularity with youngsters and businessmen wearing jeans and polo shirts.
Blue Tokai roasts select Arabica and other beans from farms in the southern state of Karnataka and other places on Wednesdays and Sundays. Customers can see the process of roasting from their seats through a window.
A cup of coffee costing 150 rupees ($2.2) is a bit more expensive than at local coffee chains, but Blue Tokai is popular among Indians as well as foreigners. A Japanese expat said he is glad now he can have freshly roasted coffee at Blue Tokai.
Blue Tokai opened its first outlet in the National Capital Region of Delhi in 2015. It also sells coffee beans online, in an effort to meet growing customer demand for online sales due to the spread of smartphones.
India's coffee consumption has nearly doubled since the early 2000s. With South India being a famous coffee growing area, the number of such roasteries like Blue Tokai is likely to increase mainly in urban areas.