Sleepy Owl Coffee is the brainchild of three friends who wanted to awaken the country to the novel taste of cold brew. One of the co-founders of the four-year-old gourmet brand, Arman Sood, recalls the twists, turns, and thrills of the journey. By Adila Matra
Take us through the inception and journey of Sleepy Owl Coffee.
Sleepy Owl is the country’s pioneer brand of cold brew coffee. Despite being one of the largest producers of coffee in the world, India’s consumption has been quite low, because there is no brand taking the lead to educate the consumers and make it convenient for them to have real coffee. Sleepy Owl is working on filling that gap. We design products that make brewing coffee [at home] easy.
You started as a gourmet coffee brand and went on to introduce India to the concept of making cold brew from a packet. How challenging was it?
It has been an arduous journey—educating a tea-drinking, instant coffee-loving nation about brewing fresh coffee. We have worked hard on our social media and communication tools, including videos and infographics to educate customers about brewing fresh coffee. We also share recipes that they can try.
From where are the coffee beans sourced?
Each batch of Sleepy Owl’s cold brew coffee is made using quality beans sourced from Chikmagalur, Karnataka. They are medium roasted to extract the chocolatey, nutty flavours.
You’re a team of three. How are the jobs divided?
Ashwajeet Singh handles marketing and design, Ajai Thandi handles finance, HR, retail, while I look at operations, supply chain, and institutional sales.
What are your future plans?
At present, we are available in retail stores across NCR and Mumbai. We are expanding to the top 10 metros and also focussing heavily on our D2C (direct-to-consumer) distribution via our own website as well as Amazon and Big Basket.
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What about hotels, cafes, and restaurants?
We work with cafes, bars, and restaurants to help them add a cold brew coffee section to their menus. We also supply the products and conduct training sessions for the staff so that they can educate their customers about the concept of cold brew coffee.
Where in the world have you had the best coffee?
I’ve had some of the best coffee in the plantations of Chikmagalur. One of my finest experiences was at a cafe in Bali, where the cafe served speciality coffee during the day and turned into a bar at night that dished out delicious cold brew martinis.
What is on your bucket list?
I would love to visit the Bora Bora island.
Which is the strangest coffee you have tasted?
Kopi luwak coffee from Indonesia.