ARAKU coffee is known for its uniqueness. Since its inception the brand has stood out for its sustainable and farmer friendly practices apart from its internationally acclaimed coffee. While ARAKU’s only outlet so far was in Paris, they are finally in India with the flagship café now open in Bengaluru.
The 5000 sq ft space is located in Bangalore’s culinary hotspot, 12th Main in Indira Nagar. Wrapped in white, ARAKU café stands out with neutral interiors, modern layout and sustainable design – all in line with the brand’s ideology and aesthetics. Bamboo chandeliers, recycled paper planters, and recycled metal shelves sit in harmony with rare plants brought in from the Araku valley. The neutral tones work as the perfect backdrop for artwork from Tarq gallery of Mumbai and hand crafted pieces from the tribals of araku valley.
The ARAKU Coffee flagship features India’s first-ever Modbar on the ground floor; the first floor of the café focuses on coffeeology and the second is for the barista training. The Sensory Bar, set against the background of brass shelves lined with ARAKU’s signature colourful moka pots, is where customers can witness and sample manual brews made using French Press / V60 pour over / AeroPress / Moka Pot / Chemex before choosing to buy some for home brewing. Equipment is for retail sale too. A bookshop, hidden behind the white and golden floating staircase offers specially curated books and private dining rooms bring flexibility to organize private soirees and events. In that sense the space is much more than just a coffee shop – it is an art center, a learning center, a place for communions, a roastery, a retail spot, even a diner.
An entire section at the café is dedicated to ARAKU World Specialty Coffee Academy, also India’s First SCA-certified Coffee Academy. Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), is a non-profit, membership-based organization that represents thousands of coffee professionals, from producers to baristas all over the world. Built on foundations of openness, inclusivity, and the power of shared knowledge, they foster a global coffee community and support activity to make specialty coffee a thriving, equitable, and sustainable activity for the entire value chain. Araku Originals Coffee Campus, Hyderabad, has been a member of SCA since 2018. The aim, say the founders, is to build an international educational network where coffee professionals around the world can have access to SCA education in Bangalore, and pursue a career in specialty coffee.
“The biggest differentiator of our coffee is that it is terroir mapped, completely traceable and graded. We have full ownership of the end product from the soil stage to roasting and brewing,” informs Aditi Dugar, CEO designate for ARAKU Coffee Retail & Lifestyle. Which is how, she says, they know the exact flavour profile of every bean and work with it accordingly. “At the café what we have really played with are the ingredients. We use premium A2 milk from our own farm to match our coffees and our syrups that go in the beverages are homemade.” And while there are classics like cortado, latte, cappuccino and americano, there are also flavoured cold brews like café l’orange and black forest that are already selling almost 100 liters a day.
Like their coffee the food at ARAKU café is ingredient focused too. Even though majority of the produce is sourced from their own farms – either in the valley or within 300 kilometers of Bangalore – the menu remains global. “We want to cater to all age groups and not restrict our menu,” explains Aditi. “So while the dishes remain classic there are some surprise elements roped in. Local and seasonal ingredients remain at the center.” Together with chef Rahul Sharma—who has been working with ingredient-focused menus, first at Noma, Copenhagen and more recently at Masque Mumbai—Aditi has created a menu that consists of small sharing plates and all day breakfast options like nosh boards, smørrebrøds, white butter croissants, toasties and mains like roasts, spatzle, congee among others. The response she says has been phenomenal even in such a short span. What then are her plans for expansion? “Delhi and Mumbai are in the pipeline but not before we settle this one completely.”
Add: Plot 968, 12th Main Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru.
Source: Lonely Planet