Yangyel Lhaden

Hot and happening in Thimphu the Café at Cottage and Small Industry (CSI) Market. It is gaining popularity among the residents of Thimphu for the varied ranges of coffee, brewed from local coffee beans.

The most popular drink at the Café is boba, which comes in different flavours—strawberry, blueberry, matcha, and Thai tea. The Café gets more than 200 customers in a day.

Mohan Darjee, 28, also known as Rocky, returned from Kuwait. He runs this popular café at CSI market.

Mohan himself was not a big fan of coffee; he never dreamt of becoming a barista one day.

After clearing Class 10 exams from a school in Dagana in 2017, he decided not to continue his higher studies. I went abroad, to Kuwait, with some of my friends. There, he worked at a coffee house.

“I became more interested in coffee and wanted to learn more about it. Making coffee is an art,” says Mohan.

In a week-long training in Kuwait, he was taught how the best coffee is made, starting from the plantation of coffee in the field and the processes involved until it is served steaming hot in a cup. It can be served cold too.

Mohan said that he learned about different coffee beans, how to roast each one differently for different texture and taste.

In 2020, Mohan returned home for vacation. And the Covid-19 held him back. As he was not eligible for kidu, he had to do something. A year passed before he decided to become a barista at CSI Café. “I never thought there would be job opportunity scope for a barista in Bhutan.”

Mohan is happy to be able to follow his passion; he is able to use the skills he learned abroad and apply in Bhutan.

“I urge every Bhutanese to return to our country and use the skills they have acquired abroad and use it in our country. The time has come to give back to our country,” says Mohan.

It was Kuwait where he learned the skills but he doesn’t want to go back.

Mohan’s dream is to start a coffee farm on his family’s land in Dagana and start an export business. He also wants to start a coffee house that serves coffee grown from his farm. “I can and will do it.”