Considered a passing phase by the tea drinking cognoscenti, India’s burgeoning coffee culture is clearly more than just an ephemeral trend. There is very little doubt that while traditionally, we as a nation have largely been tea lovers, the freshly roasted beans’ aroma is now blowing in fond favour of coffee. Millennials are more aware of the global coffee culture, thanks to exposure through social media, travel, and the proliferation of international coffee chains. As per research conducted by polling and market research company YouGov, since the outbreak of covid-19, the younger generation is more likely to opt for a cup of coffee than their predecessors.
All this, signalling the need for trendy, hip new coffee places with plenty of coolth. Here are eight places around the country that capture the zeitgeist perfectly:
This coffee shop augments Bengaluru’s prowess as a city that happens to be home to some of the best artisanal coffee in the country. The menu of this place located in HBR Layout is full of single-estate options like the cedarwood-jaggery Cauvery Peak from Yercaud and the fruity Manavam from Koraput. While it does the expected espressos and cortados, one can also have a flirtation with options like the apple pie latte, the cold brew orange coffee soda, and our personal favourite of the litchi coconut iced coffee.
Veering down an experimental path as a hybrid coffee shop-gelateria, Affogato as its name suggests, has the delicious Italian coffee-gelato based beverage named affogato al caffè at its very core. With its decidedly Bauhausean architecture influenced sand-hued interiors, highlighted by plenty of curves and rounded corners, this pet-friendly, Khar coffee shop serves a range of coffees from sister brand Javaphile. These take the form of a yummy sea salt mocha, a spiced latte and an espresso hot chocolate. For those who like it chilled, call for the tiramisu frappé, toffee nut frappé or the mint mocha frappé. And of course not forgetting the hot-cold wonder of a salted caramel or almond affogato, among other iterations. All made with gelato from another sister brand Crèmeyum.
This recently opened coffee shop in Vasant Vihar’s Basant Lok Market is a coffee lover’s paradise. Not only does it offer a rotating selection of five blends and coffee bean varieties to sip in situ, but one can also have the beans specially ground and taken home. To go with the coffee are a range of savoury baked items and a slice of perfectly made Biscoff cheesecake.
Replacing an earlier coffee shop simply called Coffee by the same proprietors is this brand new place. Housed in a leafy converted cottage at Teynampet, this one is all about the community aspect of coffee drinking. Where a huge communal table encourages strangers to come together and bond over a cuppa. Speaking of which, this place uses the state of the art Italian Sanremo Opera coffee machine that is teamed with Flow, an innovative coffee telemetry system that ensures consistency. This means every cup of foamy cappuccino and every jitters-inducing shot of a double espresso comes with the guarantee of being the best in the city.
Don’t be misled by the ‘store’ part in the name of this European style coffee shop in the Kankulia neighbourhood of the city. A rather underground sort of place known to only those with a serious yen for good coffee, here one can find some truly artisanal roasts and unusual bean blends. Yes, this place is probably the only one in India to serve one of the rarest coffees ever– the Luwak (civet cat poop coffee) from Indonesia. Also, don’t miss out on ordering a flight of coffee shots in varying degrees of potency and strength.
With its decidedly European feel and not to mention flagship product of the East European babka bread, this Anjuna coffee shop is a must-visit place. Besides the moist pull-apart babka, its namesake serves the perfect Americano this side of Italy. This, along with other speciality coffee blends and a range of baked goods and savouries to make the perfect all day cuppa experience!
While this coffee shop might have started out as being one of the first places in the Pink City to offer coffee beans roasted freshly onsite, this C-Scheme place has a newer, more exotic ace up its sleeve these days. Made with a thick splodge of condensed milk, the ca phe sau da or Vietnamese iced coffee is drawing in the crowds. Equally popular is their Vietnamese cold brew for those who like their coffee with a fruity flavoured twist.
The perfect place for a bibliophile and a coffee junkie to go on a date is this coffee-cum-bookshop located in the bustling Sector 16-D of the city. Known for hosting book readings, live music sessions, along with open mics, and poetry recital evenings, there is one type of coffee that this place does that I’ve not seen at any other place on this list. I’m talking about the desi dalgona doppelganger called pheti hui coffee. Yes, divine and unctuous with a creamy head is this beaten coffee that jostles for space on the menu with other iterations of hot and cold coffee drinks.
Raul Dias is a Mumbai-based food and travel writer.