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COFFEE CHECKLIST

Friday, November 18, 2011

 

Confused about where to head for your next cuppa? We tell you what we think about the numerous coffee shops in the city along with a brief introduction to all you need to know about your steaming cup of coffee...
Candies
There are three Candies outlets in Bandra and while all have the same menu, we recommend heading to the biggest and (in our opinion) the best one at Pali. While the lower levels might be buzzing with teenagers, the higher you go, the quieter it is. At every turn there’s a nook where you can plop down and enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack. The Lamp Room is their latest addition and looks like something out of Hogwarts — at least a hundred lamps in all shapes, colours and sizes are attached to the ceiling. The added bonus is that there’s a separate Sky Snack Bar here where you can order and skip the mayhem below.
Cappuccino count: A proper, big cup of coffee is just `60 and they even have a skinny option for the same price. The coffee tastes very homely, has the correct amount of froth and the best part is that they give you petit fours with every cup. 
Ambience: 5/5 Service: 3/5 Coffee: 3/5
Where: 5AA, Pali Hill, Near Learner’s Academy, Bandra (West)
 
Mocha
What started out as a coffee place was quickly taken over by the hookah trend. So, every time you visited Mocha, you would be greeted by various hookah flavours wafting in the air until recently, when strict rules against hookah were applied. We think the Mocha chain of cafés went through an identity crisis phase.

While the Juhu outlet went into Arabian mode with their hookahs, the one in Bandra decided to jump over to the 70’s hippie era with the vibrant Mocha Mojo. All in all, despite its initial drawbacks, it is safe to say that Mocha has recovered and its identity crisis actually worked in its favour as every Mocha outlet gives you a different coffee experience. So, the Mocha in Juhu which is situated at what is possibly the best location in the city, makes for a great place to hang out, while Mocha Mojo is a fabulous place for some coffee and conversations.
 
Cappuccino count: The regular Cappuccino costs `70 and the Cappuccino Grande is for `90. We think the grande is a better option in terms of quantity.
Ambience: 4/5 Service: 3/5 Coffee: 3/5
Where: Opposite Ramada Palm Grove, Juhu Beach; Next to Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra (West)
 
Gloria Jean’s Coffees
This Australian coffee brand has quickly spread all over Mumbai with four successfully running outlets, our personal favourites being the ones in Juhu and Bandra. While the outlet in Bandra mostly attracts the college and yuppie crowd, the Juhu outlet brings in groups of friends as well as families dropping in for their cup of coffee whereas the one in Oberoi Mall mostly sees tired shoppers dropping in for a quick cuppa. Apart from a variety of coffees, teas and coolers, Gloria Jean’s also boasts a selection of tasty treats such as muffins and savouries.
 
Cappuccino count: The Cappuccino costs `69 for a small but we recommend you try their innovative varieties such as the Caramelatte, Very Vanilla Latte and Irish Nut Crème instead of cappuccino. Of course, our personal favourite is the Classic Hot Chocolate (`89) which keeps us coming back for more.
Ambience: 4/5 Service: 4/5 Coffee: 4/5
Where: Ground Floor, Citi Park Building, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai; Janki Kutir, Next to Prithvi Theatre, Juhu; Junction of Pali Hill and Turner Road, Bandra (West); Oberoi Mall, Off Western Express Highway, Goregaon (East)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The LA based coffee shop, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has opened a number of outlets in India. Our favourite being the one in Bandra which is spread over two levels. The top floor has a great view and the seating there is comfortable and cosy. One could sit there all day long with a book or laptop and a cuppa! The comfortable couches and aroma of coffee wants to make you just curl up for hours.
Cappuccino count: There’s a variety of coffee available and it is priced reasonably. A double cappuccino will cost you `100. The flavour is brilliant and worth a try!
Ambience: 4/5 Service: 4/5 Coffee: 5/5
Where: Outlets across the city

Eat Around The Corner
Just Around the Corner has now become Eat Around the Corner and with the name, the décor, ambience and crowd has also changed. The once laid back café is now more of a proper sit down restaurant. The bright yellow and blue walls have been replaced by white walls, giving guests more privacy. A café that was filled with 20-somethings, killing time after college has introduced a cover charge of `250. The attention from coffee has switched to food but it is still a nice place to relax and have a good time.
Cappuccino count: A cup of cappuccino will cost you `135. It tastes great and goes well their breakfast menu.
Ambience: 3/5 Service: 4/5 Coffee: 4/5
Where: Junction of 24th & 30th Road, Opp St. Theresa's Boys High School, TPS III, Bandra (W)

Costa Coffee
We didn’t have such a good opinion about Costa Coffee when we first visited, but it’s kind of grown on us. At their outlets, you’ll find everyone from mums getting their coffee fix to creative types holding very animated meetings. Their new Bandra branch is split over two levels. If you want a laidback atmosphere, then head upstairs. Sit on the plush couches, you literally sink in!
Cappuccino count: We think that the coffee is a little overpriced (starts at `65 and goes up to `105) but the flavour is good. However, we recommend sticking to the hot beverages and skipping the coolers that usually end up tasting like iced milk.
Ambience: 4/5 Service: 3/5 Coffee: 3/5
Where: Outlets across the city

Café Coffee Day
There is hardly any teenager or college student who hasn’t been to Café Coffee Day (known in student circles as CCD) and this is perhaps its minor shortcoming — no matter what time of day it is, you will always find CCD crowded with youngsters. But, you will always manage to find some place to sit, unless you visit the CCD at Crossword, which has very few tables and a lot of people looking to occupy them. On the menu you will find a number of coffees and chillers but for food you will either have to consult the staff or the food bar as they do not always have all the food options that are printed on the menu in stock. However, at CCD you might want to give the food a miss. It is not worth the money and you will getter better quality for a lower price at other eating joints. The staff is very helpful and the service is decent.
 
Cappuccino count: A big cup of cappuccino costs `58 and there is nothing you can find wrong with it. The other coffees too are delicious but depend on individual tastes and so you might not like a couple of them. They also give you the option of adding whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce to any coffee that you want.
 
Ambience: 3/5 Service: 3.5/5 Coffee: 4/5
Where: Outlets across the city

Bru CafÉ
While Bru Café does little to surprise us, it sprouted up almost out of nowhere. With outlets across the suburbs suddenly springing up, we thought a visit was in order. From the white walls adorned with quirky sayings and graffiti posters to the bare wooden benches and sleek tables — nothing about the place says over-the-top. It’s a cosy, comfortable wifi enabled zone where you can sip on a delicious cuppa while reading a book or working on that presentation.
Cappuccino count: At just `58 for a small — we were understandably excited to try the coffee. With just the right amount of milky cream and a subtle but good hit of coffee, the cappuccino is worth every penny. It may not be the greatest cup of coffee you’ll ever have, but it’s worth its price and a good option for a casual coffee date.
 
Ambience: 4/5 Service: 4/5 Coffee: 3/5
Where: Bru Café, Link Road, Next to Citi Mall,
Andheri (West)

 

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