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Alisha Sharma-fnbworld By Alisha Sharma


Indians have been loyal drinkers of tea or “chai”. Despite being a major coffee producing nation, this sublime beverage didn't receive the same admiration as its potent rival promoted doggedly by the British rulers. However, changing trends have emerged and with the onset of different coffee-houses or cafes, this drink has finally found the recognition it deserves.

 

The Coffee
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All photos by the author. Copyright: Right Impact Media Inc.

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Since almost four decades or more, coffee parlours have been very popular meeting places among the metro-citizens. In the heart of Delhi’s Connaught Place – the United Coffee Home has been a hot favourite since the 1950s. The recent concept of coffee parlours focuses largely on social interaction. Providing a relaxing and pleasant ambience, coffee houses are apt for a rendezvous. In addition to groups of people engaging in chit-chat and laughter, individuals can also be seen passing their time in a coffee-house. 


Contrasting in quality, prices, service and decor, there is an array of coffee parlours in operation with the most popular ones being: Starbucks, a rapidly proliferating coffee chain in India, this American giant is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world. Regardless of being just a beginner in the Indian markets, having entered in 2012, it has already found a very loyal fan base. It caters to a high end clientele, as its products are a bit heavy on the pocket, nevertheless the quality and taste validates its prices. Starbucks offers a variety of beverages for people of distinctive palates. It ranges from a wide assortment of espresso, teas and the signature frappuccino. The espresso items can be enjoyed hot or cold and includes drinks like caffe mocha, caramel macchiato, vanilla latte amongst others. A sip of their iconic frappuccino will leave you longing for more; java chip and caramel being the most popular ones.


Costa Coffee-fnbworld-Aliha
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“Despite being a little on the expensive side I prefer Starbucks due to its soothing interiors which are uniquely different from other coffee parlours. Also, I like the way they write your name on cups which adds a personal touch” said Sakshi Mehra, an undergraduate student to fnbworld. Starbucks also offers free wifi at all its stores for the technoholics. Its vast menu of food items boasts of a selection of sandwiches, wraps, cookies, muffins and cakes makes sure of a gratifying experience for the consumer.


CCD-fnbworldCafe Coffee Day – It is famously called as CCD, this coffee chain opened its first outlet in mid- 1996 and can now be deemed as India's favourite coffee parlour. One need not worry when you start craving for the goodness of delectable coffee as this is the most popular coffee parlour with most maximum outlets in cities. From metro stations to busy markets, CCD is present at every conceivable location. This snug and warm place is perfect for holding long conversations. It is widely cherished by the youth and the college students due to affordable prices. This coffee-house uses self grown arabica coffee beans in its products.


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Apart from the classic espresso and cappuccino its offers hot coffees like hazelnut cappuccino, vanilla cappuccino, cafe latte, cafe mocha, etc and cold coffees like devil's own, iced eskimo and tropical iceberg amongst many. It also boasts of two international coffees on its menu; Aztec and Ethiopian. Among CCD's non-coffee drinks is a well spread-out range of lemonades, frosteas, hot teas and fruiteazers. In case your stomach starts growling, you can grab a quick bite or choose from the different combos of food and beverages. According to Payal, a server in one of the CCD stores the humbly priced Belgian choco shot and mango shot is a hit with all customers!


Gloria Jean's Coffees- It is an Australian company.  Gloria Jean's coffees is one of the most reputed coffee-houses in the world that made its entry to the Indian markets in 2008.  As I entered the store, the ushers greeted me with their gleaming smiles and the order didn't take long to be served so it is only fair that the service deserves extra brownie points. There is nothing extraordinary on the menu, however, the drinks are of a very fine taste and quality. The refreshing and absolutely ambrosial white chocolate mocha and signature iced coffee are must haves. The aroma of coffee served here is straight out divine. The menu consists of regular cafe mocha, espresso, Irish hot creme and even a babycino for children below 5 years of age. Sweet treats like mousse, muffins and cakes definitely add to the overall experience. The snacks are moderately priced and sell well.


The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a California-based coffee chain that is widely regarded as “The Bean” among its long list of customers that includes several Hollywood celebrities. Introduced in 2008, the coffee bean has made an impressionable mark in the Indian coffee scene in a very short span. It’s beautiful interiors and a hustling yet relaxing ambience is what sets the coffee bean apart from its competitors. Being a high-end place, the coffee bean is felicitous for a sophisticated crowd of adults. The company makes use of specialty grade Arabica coffee beans from East Africa, Latin America and the Pacific.


Coffee Tea
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The coffee bean is known for its signature ice blended coffees and hence vanilla, hazelnut and chocolate ice blended drinks sure outsell the rest. Other coffee drinks include hazelnut latte, cafe latte, iced cappuccino, iced Americano, etc. The tea items can be given a miss. It has a variety of food accompaniments which includes gourmet sandwiches, pastas, salads, muffins, cakes and croissants. Vinay Kapoor, a 30-year-old coffee connoisseur says “I keep coming back for the refreshing ice blended drinks and the food menu is massive, something that no other coffeehouse offers.” 


Costa Coffee is a British chain of coffee parlours, and is proudly the second largest coffee-house chain in the world. Costa Coffee opened its first outlet in 2005 and has since opened more than 100 stores in India. Its stores are accessible and are easy to locate. The ambience is welcoming and warm and the aroma of fresh brewing coffee will leave you in wonderment.

 

The company uses a special coffee blend called 'Mocha Italia' which consists of a combination of robusta beans with Arabica beans. Quality and consistency at Costa Coffee is never compromised; the staff is amiable. The cafe latte and cold coffee are the most popular drinks. The foodstuff here consists of sandwiches, wraps and muffins are quite appetizing. All in all Costa Coffee is an ideal place for an informal hangout with friends as well as popular for formal business conversation among the office goers. Do we need more coffee shops for Delhi before the arrival of next winters, perhaps only you can tell!

(Copyright: fnbworld.com)






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