What makes you happy? Waking up to discover a blue sky; standing at the top of a mountain inmidst the majestic Himalayas; inhaling the unique smell of a nightqueen; dancing away to your favorite song while a hot cup of coffee is brewing first thing in the morning? If these are just some of the things that light you up then perhaps kar.ma Coffee will lift your spirits as you travel through our story…
When I first moved to Nepal I had a backpack and a return ticket scheduled one year later. From day one, I fell in love with the people, the sounds the adventures and the flavors that wait to greet you each morning. Thirteen years later, I am still in Nepal, now with a Nepali husband, a daughter, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a home full of stories. With a background in anthropology, it was no secret that I wanted to contribute to a better world – to work towards a more just society – but I knew I had to do it my own way.
Let’s start from the beginning. It’s 2011. I have a bench, a cooking stove, a handful of cups and the vision of creating a vibrant new community. Having worked as a Tourism Development Consultant in Nepal and Africa for the previous 9 years, I was witnessing the sector demonstrating only little of its potential and only a handful of people were reaping the benefits. Chance discussions with friends, inspired me to develop a new coffee culture for the local community. I visited Surya Adhikari’s coffee farm in Begnas, Kaski district. It was the most serene and peaceful place I’d ever experienced. Surya quickly became my first producer and to this day remains a trusted friend and mentor. He not only taught me about growing coffee, processing and the permaculture, but also the art of coffee. I realized it was an art unacknowledged by many so I decided to change that. When we opened our doors in August 2012, I served my first customer freshly brewed coffee at their table from a ceramic drip – I wanted to create something visual and aromatic that people had never experienced before. New friends, who shared workspaces in the complex, helped cultivate the space: we made origami from recycled filter paper and staged impromptu jam sessions with local musicians. The new model I wanted to develop for Nepal would largely be led through community engagement, so we began to realize this by connecting people through the experience of art, culture and coffee.
Now, kar.ma Coffee is now a busy, exciting hub where our customers come to be inspired and inspire others, to hang out, shop and reconnect with one another. We believe in utilizing local resources, recycling and upcycling and have witnessed how coffee has become a source of inspiration for many producers, creatives and hiveminds alike, with its bold vigour and ability to bring people together. We recognise everything else that contributes to its enjoyment: the love and comfort that coffee brings and its versatility to enhance the lives of those in our community.
kar.ma Coffee aims to put Nepal on the map through its artisan coffee – always ensuring quality, kar.ma focuses on slow-brewed coffee, independent farmers and buying frequent and small batches of green beans, freshly roasting and grinding only small batches for daily use and custom orders. It has always been important for us to connect with the source of each brew and to show the producers behind each step of our coffee chain. kar.ma only uses local Nepali beans, always seeking out small co-operatives to ensure that every cup we sell tells a personal human story.
Enjoy the kar.ma – take it, its yours.