Detailed guide on How to start a small coffee shop in India?

You want to enter the food industry but are tight on budget or want to start small for whatsoever reason? Wondering how to start a small coffee shop? We have this covered for you.

Once you enter, you will get a glimpse of the industry and won’t have much to lose.

There are so many examples of people starting from small and making it big with the hard work and dedication.

There are multiple structures if you want to start a small coffee shop.

Chai Sutta Bar franchise cost
  1. Food Truck
  2. Coffee on wheels. Something like the old kulfi vendors on tricycles.
  3. Kiosks with low rentals.

You’ll need a good coffee machine to deliver a great product. Or you’ll need great marketing when you’ll be delivering a below average product with a machine like this. It’s a big NO NO!!

We will be going with a good machine and a great product.

Get yourself an Astoria or Lavazza machine with good quality coffee beans.

Learn the art of making a good cup of coffee. You can learn all this for free from YouTube and Facebook groups.

To start a coffee shop you need the following –

  1. A good location
  2. A good coffee machine and coffee beans
  3. Branding
  4. Marketing
  5. Some side items like a cheese cake or something that compliments coffee like a brownie.

1st and 2nd point are the backbones. Rest all can still be managed sooner or later.

How to select a good location for a restaurant or a cafe is covered here in this post.

Difference between 1st wave, 2nd wave and Third wave coffee

First wave vs second wave vs third wave of coffee

Although there have been many changes in coffee trends throughout history, the last few decades have seen significant expansion and innovation of the industry on a global scale.

We’re going to concentrate on three recent developments in coffee experience—trends, movements, or—more commonly—”waves”—for this blog. Without a doubt, you’ve experienced all three coffee waves, although you might not have been aware of it.

These coffee trends revolve around a number of different factors, including bean quality, sourcing procedures, and some other factors. You can observe how coffee is evolving and going in the right direction by learning more about them. You’ll also learn a fresh technique to discuss the level of a coffee roaster or cafe.

Lets learn about the waves

1st Wave of Coffee –

This wave was from the early days of commercialization to early 1980s where they never focused on the quality / grounding techniques.

No body wanted to educate the masses on what coffee actually was.

As a matter of fact, majority of the population in the USA did not even know that coffee comes from a real life plant.

Reason being it always felt as if the coffee is coming out of the factory and not the coffee estates.

Keypoints –

  1. Bitter Taste
  2. No knowledge about the coffee and its origin.

2nd Wave of Coffee –

This was in the early 1990s when the coffee roasters or cafe started educating the masses on the origin of the country from where the coffee is procured. The coffee companies started exploring the good beans of coffee and made sure the quality of coffee is enhanced.

But, it was still not about the taste of coffee rather it was more of experience.

And we all know the giant who became the pioneer in the field. Starbucks! Yes. they focused on a lot of customer experience and used a lot of flavors to make a great blend of coffee.

They mixed espresso shots with syrups and sugar to make it sweet and tasty. The unique beverage, the ambiance created by the lighting, and the welcoming baristas were still more important than the coffee itself.  However it rarely shifted away from the first wave’s super-dark coffee roasting method, which resulted in bitter, boring, and monolithic coffee.

Keypoints –

  1. People interested in cafes and experiences more than the coffee itself.
  2. Better quality but enhanced taste due to the flavors and sugar.

3rd Wave Coffee –

In the 1980s, there existed a small niche community that focused on coffee beans. Using well-grown coffee beans, this small group of roasters and cafes experimented with lighter roast levels and newer, unusual aromas.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America was established in 1982, providing this new kind of roasting and brewing with such a stage. In addition, this wave was beginning to spread to other parts of the globe, including Australia, Canada, and Scandinavia.

Over the subsequent two decades, this niche market continued to expand. In 1999, the phrase “third wave of coffee” was first used, and it quickly gained popularity. As more and more customers understood that coffee was much more than ashy and bitter flavors.

This was a revolution in coffee!

Keypoints –

  1. Lite roast and less bitter taste.
  2. Manual brewing methods like french press.
  3. Freshness, transparency in terms of origin and roasting date.
  4. Latte Art

How, Why and When?

When?

We officially launched 4 Outlets at once in Indore on 8th of May 2016 and became Unicorn and Pioneers and what all you can name in Central India’s Cafe industry. Profitable from day 1 with all out outlets and humongous footfall we became an overnight sensation. From the Youngsters to the Elderly we had every age group enjoying and blessing us. Being pocket friendly we became second home of our customers.

Our tagline back then was “Fill Your Fill” which came up after a decent brainstorming session. We were getting tagged on social media and people in person started calling us their DusraGhar that we changed our tagline from Fill Your Fill to #DusraGhar

Why?

Har Prarambh ka ek Prarabdh Hota hai.

Suyash Singh Thakur & Sahil Juneja

Even though we launched in 2016, Chai Kaapi’s seed was already planted in Mahakal Institute of Technology Ujjain, back in 2009 when these 2 really good friends were having a discussion of doing something together after graduation over the canteen’s tea and baked samosa. That’s what they could afford back then. Well, every student goes through this nightmare of less or next to 0 pocket money. That’s why Chai Kaapi is Pocket Friendly.

How?

Now the Question arises why it took so long to launch the brand?

After graduation Suyash went to pursue his MBA and Sahil started earning bread and butter. It took them some years to get the funds in place. FYI, Chai Kaapi is bootstrapped. No external funding was entertained even though a couple of offers were there.

In 2015, They both left their ventures and came together for the Brand they always wanted to make. Chai Kaapi. They had to travel pan India for the R&D. Because of this We procure our Coffee from chikmagalur, tea from assam and Spices from Munnar. It took almost 45 days for them to finalize the things.

Sahil Juneja
Chai Kaapi founder Sahil Juneja
Finalizing Kaapi @Coffee Board of India

Both the Directors went to Coffee Board of India multiple Times to make sure that they can learn as much as they can about the Indian Filter Kaapi.

Few trips to Tea Estates were also there and fruitful.

Sahil Juneja

So basically this is how Chai Kaapi started. The 2 individuals and the brand have come a long long way. Learned, Improved, Evolved and Now The Best there is.

Chai Kaapi owner Sahil Juneja
The Duo – Founders, Friends, Directors & The Backbone of Chai Kaapi

The Journey Continues..