the new kid on the block
Tucked away in a corner, this coffee retail
point at Bangalore’s hip and happening Forum mall could
easily be missed by the throngs that daily visit the food
court and the 11-screen multiplex.
Not by die-hard coffee aficionados, though, because their
nose would surely lead them to this aromatic zone.
Kalmane Coffee is a neat little store dedicated to roast
and ground coffee, and for good measure, is equipped with
a Cimbali espresso unit for those who like their coffee served
by the cup. Recently they put filter coffee on the menu, served
in the dabara for those who appreciate the niceties of traditional
south Indian coffee.
However, what really distinguishes the outlet is the décor,
with a working roaster trimmed with gleaming copper that acts
as a true coffee show-window piece.
But then, for Avinash Prabhu of the Kalmane group, a fourth
generation coffee company owning about 1,000 acres in Chikmagalur
district, such aesthetics come naturally.
For store retailing, the company has developed five blends
that it sells under its estate brand name of Kalmane:
Bluegrass- a blend of chicory and high grown coffee
Mysore Nuggets- aromatic blend of specialty arabica coffee
Cantata- a bitter-sweet blend
Harmony- pure arabica coffee with a peaberry combo
Crescendo- a blend of arabica and robusta
For this 125-year old coffee plantation company that had
so far concentrated on exports, setting up this store in 2004
was a first-time experiment in domestic retailing. It’s
proved so successful, that the company now has four coffee
bars in Bangalore, and plans to take it to 10 units in two
years. The Company even has a home delivery service.
Besides their estate coffees, the stores also provide an
international coffee experience through coffees imported from
Colombia, Ethiopia and Costa Rica.
With much talk of increasing domestic consumption of coffee
in India, Kalmane Coffee has blazed a new trail in bringing
high-end coffees to the public, thereby whetting the appetite
and cultivating a taste for specialty coffee amongst Bangalore