Karma Kettle Brings Global Taste and Aroma in Your Cup of Tea

Karma Kettle Startup Success Story

Startup Name Karma Kettle
Headquarter Kolkata
Founders Priti Sen Arora & Dhiraj Arora
Sector Food & Beverage
Founded 2015
Parent Organization A&S Solutions

About Karma Kettle
Karma Kettle Target Market
Founders of Karma Kettle and Team
How was Karma Kettle Started
Karma Kettle - Name and Logo
What is Karma Kettle
Karma Kettle - Funding and Investors
Karma Kettle - Startup Challenges
Karma Kettle - Competitors
Karma Kettle - Growth
Karma Kettle - Awards
Karma Kettle - Future Plans

“Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings” quoted Letitia Baldrige, the American etiquette expert and author. A cup of tea has the power to make us feel refreshed, rejuvenated and stress-free. India is not only the 2nd largest producer of tea after China, but Indians are also vivid tea lovers. Indian’s love for tea is proved by the fact that 70% of the tea produced in India is consumed in the country itself. Taking this love for tea to the next level, Karma Kettle, a Kolkata based startup is bringing you a wide range of tea in different texture, flavor and fragrances.

About Karma Kettle

Karma Kettle is one of India’s finest artisanal tea blenders with 60+ different tea varietals. Karma Kettle is headquartered in Kolkata. The startup founded in 2015, has established itself as a specialist tea brand offering a wide variety of tea to choose from.

Karma Kettle envisions-

  • To educate the Indian consumer to look at tea beyond Chai or CTC and introduce Indians to fine artisanal teas of the world
  • Making tea a versatile ingredient that can  be enjoyed in many different forms- as a hot brew, cold brew, cocktail, mocktail, ice cream, patisseries or / Tea infusions in food, cocktails and mocktails
  • Reviving the ritual of afternoon tea in Indian households

Karma Kettle Target Market

Karma Kettle majorly caters to the HoReCa industry – Hotels, Restaurants & Cafes In the last couple of years, there has been a surge in gourmet cafes and restaurants in India that are looking to serve upscale food and not compromise on the quality of ingredients.

According to Karma Kettle co-founder, Priti, Gifting is another one of the biggest segments for brands like Karma Kettle – be it weddings, corporate gifts, or other similar events. Owing to their low caffeine content, wellness and health-related benefits, teas make for an ideal gifting option. For those looking for something unique, brands often create custom blends to suit a particular occasion or event.

Increasingly artisanal teas are also making their way into gourmet food, cocktails, desserts, and much more, owing to their versatile flavor profiles.

Though India is not as experimental as the rest of the world, over time the change in peoples preference towards gourmet and local food has been visible. At the same time, Consumers also no longer just consume tea, they expect a complete tea drinking experience with an extravagant drinking option, an inviting brand vibe, etc.; They crave authenticity and the story which can connect them to the tea sommeliers. We believe the potential for growth is certainly there, especially as the consumer tastes evolve in India.

Relevant Read: Gingercup- Innovative Marketing through Papercups

Founders of Karma Kettle and Team

Karma Kettle was founded by Dhiraj Arora and Priti Sen Arora in 2015.

Dhiraj Arora is a passionate tea connoisseur did his specialization from the World Tea Academy USA and is also a certified tea Sommelier from Sri Lanka. He has personally blended most of these fabulous tea varietals, which are also now available in various hotel tea bars, cafes and gourmet stores across India.

Priti Sen Arora is the person behind the marketing and vibrant packaging of the Karma Kettle products.

Dhiraj and Priti co-owned two restaurants in Singapore. With their backgrounds, it only made sense to start Karma Kettle to carry back those flavors and pour-out the story of their voyages in a teacup. As told by Priti Karma Kettle is inspired by global travels.

Karma Kettle aims to take you on a voyage across the globe with a teacup.

Karma Kettle currently has a young and dynamic team of 30+ members.

How was Karma Kettle Started

Dhiraj & Priti own a 32 room heritage boutique hotel- Cochrane Place in Kurseong located in the center of the world famous Darjeeling Region. During this feat, they formed a lot of close associations with Darjeeling tea estate owners & planters.

They realized that most established Indian tea companies were packaging tea in a very traditional format ( stand up metallic pouches) and most of their season's freshest picks were sent to export markets. Having already been involved with the F&B industry in Singapore, Priti and Dhiraj were convinced that India has huge potential and that tea could be packaged & marketed in a more globally appealing format.

" Voyages in a teacup" is the theme at Karma Kettle - teas inspired by travels across the globe. Karma Kettle lets the Indian consumer enjoy an authentic cup of Moroccan Mint tea or Genmaicha tea or Japanese Matcha at reasonable prices. Also, every packaging weaves a story of its origin( take Istanbul as an example).

We started in 2014 with around 10 blends and today we have over 60+ blends packaged in different formats- Pyramid teabags, Loose Leaf, Double chambered teabags.

Relevant Read: Startup Story of PaperBoat- India's Favorite Beverage

The name of the start-up combines two words ‘karma’ and ‘kettle’.

At the heart of our journey is Karma which broadly translates to- what goes around comes around, says Priti.  Karma relates to spreading good energy through one’s actions and reap positive benefits. The kettle is something which is always related to tea.

The name Karma Kettle was coined in 2005, much before the company was actually started in 2015. Dhiraj wanted to start a tea room in Singapore. Initially, the idea behind Karma Kettle was to take on the traditional English tea room concept. The word ‘Karma’ was added to give an Eastern feel to the name.

Deeply rooted in our company’s philosophy is the belief that tea is a healthy beverage and that in blending tea with the purest botanicals we are able to transform tea to a salubrious infusion that positively impacts peoples body, mind and spirit. We also consciously source our tea through small and medium scale tea growers positively impacting the lives of the tea plantation workers and helping them with a better livelihood.

What is Karma Kettle

Karma Kettle is one of India’s finest artisanal tea blenders with 60+ different tea varietals. The company offers a wide and innovative range of tea like green tea with peach and jasmine, green tea with lychee, chamomile & lemongrass caffeine free tree, Strawberries, Cockscombe & Hibiscus tea, Ashwagandha tea, Green tea with tulsi, ginger & marigold, Masala chai, etc.

Besides packaged tea, Karma Kettle sells loose tea leaf. Karma Kettle’s pyramid tea bags and iced tea has become quite popular among the target customer. The pyramid tea bags allow space for the tea brew to infuse properly. Karma Kettle also offers tea and teaware in different gift packages.

We launched our teas in 2014 selling them in biodegradable pyramid tea bags, although the market was very receptive to our loose leaf blended teas, the response for bio-degradable teabags was not as per our expectations ( they costed Rs 2-3 more than the standard pyramid teabag)- this stemmed from the lack of awareness of the benefits of switching to a biodegradable teabag.  We thus decided to move our focus back to standard pyramid teabags & loose leaf.  In 2019, the situation has changed a lot, we do get more and more requests from various B2B and B2C clients inquiring about biodegradable teabags- so reintroducing them is in our pipeline.

Karma Kettle - Funding and Investors

Karma Kettle is a bootstrapped startup.

Karma Kettle - Startup Challenges

According to Priti, getting the tea consumers to move beyond the regular chai/CTC is a major challenge that Karma Kettle is facing.

Karma Kettle - Competitors

Some competitors of  Karma Kettle are Tea Trunk, Teabox, Anandini Himalaya, Chai Diaries, Dancing Leaf, No. 3 Clive Road, Gardener street,  Goodwyn, Jugmug Thela and La Plant.

Karma Kettle draws inspiration from’ David’s Tea’. Dhiraj while pursuing his specialization in Tea at World Tea Academy in the USA had the opportunity to be a part of a project at David’s Tea.

Karma Kettle - Growth

Karma Kettle started as an online platform. It acquired its customers online and sold products through its own site and other e-commerce portals. Now, Karma Kettle tea is also available in selected gourmet stores and cafes in different parts of India. Karma Kettle started its exclusive brand outlet in Kolkata in 2017.

Today the company is also catering to some of the eminent five-star hotel chains in the countries. Karma Kettle teas can now be enjoyed in the Novotel Hotels, Le Meridien Hotels, CGH Earth Hotels, etc.

The company curated various tea tasting and tea-themed events in collaboration with the different five-star hotels and boutique restaurants across the country. It also arranged for training at the hotels, restaurants and other retail spaces where Karma Kettle teas were served. These trainings were organized to upskill the bottom line so they can, in turn, educate the consumers/guests about the best way to consume each tea blend/tea infusions.

Karma Kettle - Awards

Karma Kettle received Award for Excellence in Tea category  in “The Telegraph Food Guide Award 2019”.

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Karma Kettle - Future Plans

Karma Kettle is looking to open flagship retail & tea room concepts in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai & Delhi in the next 2-3 years. The company is planning to expand its tea range and also has plans to export its products to foreign countries.

Karma Kettle Website
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About Chayanika Goswami

  • Assam
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