What happens when all your coffee needs — equipment, beans, you name it — is available on one link? Meet Abhinav Mathur, whose roaring e-commerce platform, Somethings Brewing, unites caffeine enthusiasts like never before. At Starbucks, or any fancy coffee shop, we’re often tempted to pick up one of those fancy, big mugs, some packet […]
What happens when all your coffee needs — equipment, beans, you name it — is available on one link? Meet Abhinav Mathur, whose roaring e-commerce platform, Somethings Brewing, unites caffeine enthusiasts like never before.
At Starbucks, or any fancy coffee shop, we’re often tempted to pick up one of those fancy, big mugs, some packet of roasted and ground coffee, or a French press that we just need to have. Some of us give in, but some of us take a step back on account of unnecessary overpricing, freshness of the roast, or just wanting to take our time to understand the equipment we want.
All this browsing, feeling tempted, but not needing to really back off from a purchase is being made possible by Abhinav Mathur, who, during a pandemic that forced the best of us to up our online shopping skills, launched Somethings Brewing, an e-commerce platform and retail store with “internationally acclaimed coffee gear, accessories, and coffee”, as their social media bio rightly clarifies.
Browsing the website, I realise that we don’t entirely celebrate the wide artisanal coffee range we now have in India. There’s a brand in every price range, tells you where it comes from, and helps you select what suits you, taste wise. The equipment section takes you through accessories, barista tools, machines, grinders, even cleaning equipment, and there’s also a section to buy commercial equipment. Pretty much a one-stop shop.
Abhinav Mathur, the brain behind the coffee shop, comes from a great deal of experience in marketing, sales, and business. He joined the Indo-German coffee equipment company, Kaapi Machines, in 2017 as the CEO, where he now is an investor and managing director. “Kaapi Machines was founded in 2007, at a time when the café concept was just growing in India. The idea was to provide coffee businesses with the right equipment, training, and support to grow and thrive. The company has since grown, and serves many top café chains, hotels, and corporates, and is considered a market leader in the coffee equipment industry,” Mathur explains.
The idea of Somethings Brewing started during the peak of the pandemic. “We saw a lot of coffee businesses struggle as F&B outlets were not operational during the lockdown. On the other hand, we saw the growth in home brewing. As coffee enthusiasts ourselves, we decided to launch an e-commerce portal that could provide home brewers with all possible products they need to brew coffee at home.”
The brand started with a simple e-commerce website, where they spread the word around through fellow coffee enthusiasts. “Very soon, the community expanded, with consumers suggesting to launch new products. The growth came both from our ideas as well as suggestions and support from the community. We are now one year old, and it seems almost unbelievable that we have been able to create a whole new business during this period,” he quips.
Mathur opines that despite being a tea-drinking nation, India is gradually brewing a generation of coffee lovers who are growing steadily every year. It is not just a cappuccino, espresso, or latte from a café anymore, coffee enthusiasts are interested in brewing their cup of goodness themselves, are ready to experiment with their taste, coffee, and methods of brewing, grinding, and even roasting. There is also a clear trend towards the consumption of better coffee, which has given rise to many new niche café chains and roasters during the last two years. “It is interesting to see that the growth of new-age cafes is happening not just in metros, but in emerging cities like Surat, Chandigarh, Nagpur, and the northeast as well,” Mathur explains.
People are experimenting with home brewing using different coffee origins and roasts sourced from India and abroad, given that the pandemic forced us to work from home, and those who loved their daily coffee from their office pantry or the café nearby started missing the routine. Mathur believes this personalisation of brewing for thyself will continue to grow even post lockdown.
“At Somethings Brewing, we are excited to note these new trends, and take various initiatives like organising coffee brewing workshops, masterclasses with popular roasters, meet-ups for home brewers, and also constantly expand our range of products to include all possible brewers and the latest blends and roasts in India. We also recently launched our subscription plans, which allow homebrewers an easy way to order their favourite coffee from us,” he adds.
After a year of its e-commerce presence, Mathur has launched a physical store in Bengaluru. “We realised, after interacting with a lot of customers online, that many were not able to decide on which brewing method would suit their needs most. We also realised there are a lot of coffee enthusiasts who own coffee gear, but do not know how to use it. Our intent behind the store concept was to bring alive a space where new and experienced coffee brewers could spend time, learn, and engage, such that the small tribe of coffee lovers starts to grow,” says Mathur, who always was clear about wanting to have retail presence and an offline store. “Customers also love interacting with our coffee experts and taking their advice on various aspects of coffee brewing. Most of our walk-in customers end up becoming repeat visitors due to the experience the store provides, which is a testament to our strategy.”
This is a first-of-its-kind store in India, Mathur adds, which allows one to try all types of coffee brewing methods, have coffee from more than 20 roasters from around the country, and even brew coffee on their own.
Clearly the plan is working, interactive experiences are the future after the isolated time we’ve all spent. And Mathur doesn’t plan to stop here. He wants to expand the brand’s reach through a mix of physical retail expansion, and more engagement on social and digital platforms. We just have to wait and see what the brand does in the near future, and the future for Somethings Brewing looks quite bright.