Kar.ma Coffee is the perfect place to lounge in a corner with a steaming cup of coffee during monsoon or to sip cold coffee on a hot summer day with a good book to keep you occupied.
Amidst the restless noise, mindless conversations and the hustle of the people there are places that rest like tiny caves waiting to be discovered; coffee shops. I have always been fascinated by coffee shops; the aromatic smell of coffee wafting through the air, the rows of books flashing wisdom in it’s perfectly arranged shelves, people engrossed in their books: physically present but far away; an introvert’s paradise. A coffee shop for me is an escape; a tiny secret world only I know about. But Kar.ma Coffee at Moksh Complex in Jhamsikhel is not only an escape offering silence and coffee, it does this and more.
Undoubtedly, Kar.ma Coffee serves freshly made coffee, rich with its intoxicating smell. The fresh Himalayan beans are handpicked and brought from rural areas of Nepal. The authentic process does not end here. The coffee at Kar.ma is prepared without the use of electricity; simply with the use of filter paper and a wooden stand, carefully balancing the bitter taste so that one does not overpower the taste. The result is a freshly brewed cup of coffee, not only a cup of beverage but a piece of art adorned with the tiniest and intricate details.
It is Mrs. Brigit Gyawali’s love for details and originality that brought her unique vision of creating a coffee shop that is affordable and accessible for everyone. She started with a single room and now Kar.ma coffee has expanded with its beautiful interiors.
The smallest of details are evident as soon as one enters the long corridor of the coffee shop; adorned with creative graffiti, its ceilings decorated with recycled lamps made from disposed of filter papers. All of the furniture is personally designed by the owner and are made by women of Kakani from mango wood which is usually considered waste. The entire decorative that embellishes Kar.ma from candles to ceramics to furniture are locally produced and hand-made.
This has created a pleasant and soothing effect on the whole place, it is warm and brown in appearance and one might even assume for a moment that the place is somewhere in a rural corner with the possible sight of haystacks close by instead of being in the center of highly capitalist town.
The name ‘Karma’ is deeply rooted in the Buddhist philosophy and as the owner suggests that what we give to the society will always come back to us in some form. It has partnered with 30 producers to supply the rarest local products as well as to create awareness about different matters. For instance, Kar.ma coffee has partnered with Putali (empowerment for girls and women in Nepal) an initiative to increase menstrual awareness in the rural areas of Nepal. In this respect, eco-friendly pads made by local women are also sold here. Along with this Kar.ma coffee has created its own brand of cosmetics made from excess coffee skin produced from roasting to create face scrubs, lip balm, soaps and body oil.
After a long day at work, Kar.ma Coffee is the perfect place to lounge in a corner with a steaming cup of coffee during monsoon or to sip cold coffee on a hot summer day with a good book to keep you occupied. Or better, it is also the ideal place to meet with friends and have great conversations. With its policy of ‘pay what you like’ for coffee, it has become popular among all generations of people: from young people wanting to hangout to a slightly older group of people wanting to enjoy a peaceful environment with a strong cup of coffee. After a single visit to this quiet coffee place, the gentle smile of the people and the fragrant aroma of the coffee will still linger with you after you have left this coffee outlet.
Shuvekshya Limbu is a writer at nepaltraveller.com. An avid reader and traveller who has travelled to Hogwarts and Middle Earth and lived to tell the tale. She spends her time discussing literature and metaphors of life.