Karma Coffee

our Story

impact that creates the future

kar.ma COFFEE was born out of a strong desire to contribute to better and more just world. As the world rushes relentlessly to meet countless desires and acquire more and more possessions, we at kar.ma, believe in taking a pause and dedicating ourselves to things that really matter.

I arrived in Nepal with just a backpack and a return ticket. Almost two decades later, I have built a family here and I have fallen in love with everything – the warm-hearted people, the vibrant sounds, the thrilling adventures, and the delightful flavors that greet you every morning.

After learning about coffee from Permaculturist Suriya Adhikari, I started my coffee journey by serving pour-overs at Gyanmandala. From sourcing and roasting our own beans to training farmers’ cooperatives in growing coffee and artisans in woodworking to establishing the HUB at Bouddha and initiating kar.ma Handmade, our journey has been a real adventure. Today, we collaborate with coffee farmers in six villages and with diverse local artisans to promote the country’s offerings globally.

Looking back over these years, it’s incredible to think that a simple idea, like brewing coffee in the Gyanmandala staircase, could lead to a journey that touched the lives of countless families in Nepal, for the better.

As we begin a new phase with Handmade by kar.ma COFFEE, we continue to care about the community and the environment. We honor farmers, artisans and all those like-minded souls who support us everyday by visiting our shops, purchasing our products and contributing with us to a sustainable future.

our journey

Slide
2009​

The year we fell in love with the world of Nepali coffee

The farmers, the process, the landscape, everything enchanted us. 

slide 2
2010-2012

kar.ma’s seed is planted

Before kar.ma had a name, we brewed coffee, bought from the supermarket, on a camping stove in Gyanmandala’s staircase and using cups from home we offered coffee to passersby.

slide 2
2012

kar.ma’s seed begins to sprout

kar.ma rents this space in Gyanmandala. With a wooden table and a hand grinder, we announce that we are open for service. We focus on building a community and lasting friendships around this table, and we name it the community table, which is still here working its magic.

slide 2
2013

kar.ma matures into a sapling; our leaves are growing

This year, we concentrate on our supply chain, visiting farms, and connecting with farmers. We see the value of direct sourcing, the people who cultivate coffee, and the stories behind the process of turning seeds into beans. We buy our first green beans, and never go back to supermarket coffee ever again.

slide 2
2014

Spreading our branches, we continue to grow.

The year 2014 is when we realize the importance of joining hands with other creatives. Changdaeng Kamkong, an interior designer from Thailand sets the pace with ‘Light up your Life’, a live showcase of his lamp creations. At the same time, people admire our furniture and place orders, giving us new ideas to venture into sustainable wood furniture and accessories.

slide 2
2015

Nepal earthquake, a year of resilience and feeling of togetherness

The earth trembled and shook our hearts. We support each other and strengthen our community. Doing our part, we organize Shake the Quake to shake off the trauma, an event with coffee, cake, and wine as a little attempt to remind people to live life again. We also organize a workshop for kids to paint on broken ceramics. We send relief for our staff and our farmers. We visit our partner village Gati only to see that nothing is left, so the German school network decides to rebuild 7 schools there.

slide 2
2016

We grow into a tree, with new branches and new leaves, sharing our shade with those who want to rest.

After the earthquake, we see a nationwide economic crisis. Our hand brewing philosophy comes to good use. We can still brew coffee while other coffee shops have no electricity for many hours.
We realize the importance of supporting local producers and join hands with them. We organize hand-brewing training sessions, further spreading the coffee culture.

slide 2
2017

A year of expansion: kar.ma LIVING is born

We take a step towards bravery and choose four Newari women from Khokana to train them in wood-turning and carpentry. Production starts in cooperation with Austrian NGO, Roots for Life that helps women in Nepal help themselves. And so, begins our new line of products for home furnishing…

slide 2
2018-2019

The fruits of our labor start showing

We design and build the HUB at Thamel together with Social Tours and introduce our food line and signature bakes. We start developing recipes and staff training for baking with the very best, Tenzing Yangchean. We explore traditional ingredients to serve local food with a healthy twist and make it more interesting. The HUB is a place of complete comfort. These are years of partnerships, events, and important growth for us.

slide 2
2020

A year of stillness, and reflection

We get through the COVID-19 pandemic by advising #Stayhomeandstaysafe. We take things slow and in the process, tourism partners from Manang and Karnali reach out to Social Tours to help them market their agricultural stock. So,in collaboration with the HUB, Karnali Direct and Manang Direct are born to provide people access to organic and artisanal produce directly from the high-altitude regions.

slide 2
2021

Red cherries adorn our tree

COVID gave us time to be creative, an opportunity to pause, breathe, reflect and learn. Necessity is the mother of invention, so to keep on going, The HUB moves from Thamel to Boudha, an uncharted territory where few dare to venture. We learn to take a leap, and this leap of faith helped us make a new community, different from all we knew so far. In Boudha, we also find something special – a love affair with Barahsinghe. Craft beer meets Craft coffee!

slide 2
2022

We grow, and discover who and what we are

The past years are full of trials and errors. We fall, but we always get back up. We have learnt that our consistent commitment has helped us become a sustaining environmentally friendly business, and now we have a model we believe in from which we wish to motivate and encourage others as well.

KAR.MA COFFEE IS A WAY OF LIFE

Every day is an opportunity to come up with new ideas and find better way to make a positive difference through:

DEDICATED CRAFTSMANSHIP

At kar.ma COFFEE we want to showcase the craftsmanship of talented local artisans. It’s not just about the coffee, it’s about the way of life and the journey that goes hand in hand with the production of our coffee.

SOCIAL PRODUCTS

All our products are handcrafted and ready to take their place in your home or your creative space. By working with the exquisite talent of 32 local producers, we are on a quest to promote Nepal globally.

SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

We put sustainability at the heart of everything we do. Our cafes are designed using natural materials and upcycled treasures brought to life by local talents. We use reusable items as much as we can in our daily work out of respect for our environment.