May 18 2013
Feb 7 2013
I posted this on Cafe Coffee Day’s official Facebook page sometime back along with the photo!
“Your outlet in Shenoy’s Junction, Mg Road, Kochi has become so depressing. I went there this evening after a gap of a month. The quality has been declining steadily week after week. A couple of months back I had pieces of plastic (from the milk packet) in my frappe. Today I went there and the place is looking like a dump. Cartons, boxes & black garbage bags filled with stuff dumped to one side. Due to this there was a lack of space on one area of the cafe, where I had the misfortune of sitting and the tables were pushed so close to each other. I regretted placing an order especially when my veg samosa arrived – the texture is like leather! I could use it to make a pair of shoes! Atleast the coffee was good. But I am not going to step inside the place again. Here is a pic of said cartons & black plastic bags. Couldn’t take more as my phone battery was dying.”
Oct 26 2012
Thailand’s more elite resort chains is releasing “one of the most expensive and exclusive” varities of coffee in the world. The coffee is ground by hand and brewed at 93 degrees Celsius in a syphon machine “using technology developed in 1840 in Austria.” According to the resort’s press release, the result is a “very clean and flavourful taste,” which is a curious way to describe coffee brewed through beans picked from elephant feces! No you didn’t read that wrongly. Yes, it’s elephant dung coffee!!
The Black Ivory blend, made from coffee beans digested and excreted by Thai elephants, is billed as producing a particularly smooth cup. “Research indicates that during digestion, the enzymes of the elephant break down coffee protein,” the Thai-based hotel group, which is selling the pungent brew at around $50 for two cups, said in a statement sent to AFP on Thursday. “Since protein is one of the main factors responsible for bitterness in coffee, less protein means almost no bitterness.” —– Oh really!
At $1,100 per kilo — roughly $27 a cup — it really ought to be the cleanest, most flavorful taste on the planet. Elephant caretakers dig through the dung of the elephants in their care to extract & retrieve coffee beans digested by graceful pachyderms.
Apr 19 2012
Well it’s no secret which is my favourite coffee shop. It’s Cafe Coffee Day. They do have the best selection of coffees and snacks. You have all seen the photos I take of the coffees & sandwiches I have at CCD. Take a look at the place.
This is the one I usually go to as it is quite close to where I stay.
They have a good selection of coffees – hot & cold – some fruit favoured drinks and a selection of tea as well. Although the tea I had today wasn’t that good, I can usually depend on them to give me good tasting stuff. Their snack items are good too.
The other outlet I have been to is the one near Medical Trust. I like that one a little better but it’s further away from me. Now if only they switched on the AC in their outlets and let it be all nice & chilled!
Apr 7 2012
Hmmm good question. I think yes and at 2 hours or so. I would say yes because ordering a single coffee and maybe a muffin doesn’t mean that the customer should be able to occupy a table and use the free Wifi for hours at a stretch. Can the coffee shop afford to let that happen? And what happens when more customers come in and they are unable to get a free table because this one person has set up camp at a table for the past 7 hours? That is a definite no-no and should be frowned upon. I wouldn’t blame the cafe owners if they asked the camper to leave. Actually, instead the person shouldn’t allow such a situation to happen and be more sensible.
Here in India, or atleast in my city, I only know of one cafe that offers free wifi. There used to be two but the other one, the more fancier & better cafe, had to close down well over a year ago. Now the reason that they closed is obvious to me. They were in a prime location, in a new exclusive mall where they rent for stores are at a premium, they were in one of the choicest sections, i.e right at the back which overlooks a walkway and the Arabian sea and the walkway is always filled with tourists & local at all times of the day. With all that higher end shopping (clothes, watches, perfumes, electronics, gadgets, gifts, music, dvds/blu rays etc etc) a tired shopper will naturally want a refreshing beverage & a bite to eat.
Even others who would just want a coffee and a sandwich/muffin/pastry found the place to their liking. It was a good location, the food & coffee was really good, they had free wifi – what happened? The staff kept letting their friends and some other idiots, hang around all day long with ordering just one coffee and that too the cheapest and let the watch cricket matches on the big screen tv. Me & the others – we’d spend atleast Rs.150-190 on a good frappe & sandwich, read a book or use the wifi on our devices and stay for an hour or 2 at the most. Not theses guys! Poseurs, loud mouthed idiots and only there to waste almost an entire day. How do I know that they were there all day? Because one day I saw them there at 11am when I came in and I passed by the cafe again at 3pm with a couple of friends – they were still there crowding around on several chairs and watching the tv. Later that same day at 7pm, I was strolling on the walkway enjoying the breeze with my friends and those guys were still there! Serves the staff right that they had to close!
My point is that several other customers were uncomfortable at the idea of a bunch of guys all ganging up around a table, making it difficult for others to move around, yelling out loudly at the tv. This isn’t a bar! So even if they weren’t using the wifi, they were occupying tables and their purchases didn’t reflect the time they spent there and also they made it hard for other paying customers to come in and bring more business to the cafe.
What I normally do – whether I take a book to read in the coffeeshops that I visit or a laptop to the current only one that offers free wifi – is I usually order a big coffee and a sandwich (in some cases a muffin) and I’m there for 2 hours at the most. It’s usually 90 minutes or even less but I think that’s fair for the price of the sandwich + coffee. At times I have finished my coffee quicker if I feel that the place is filling up and people will need a table. But that’s my opinion, I dunno about yours.
Mar 27 2012
I hadn’t been out for some coffee & good food in a while. That had to change today and by golly I was planning to relax today. I had to go the bank and to meet a consultant and the plan was to stop for coffee and a bite in between. I chose to go to Fort Cafe out on Convent Junction and armed with a book I set forth. The bank thing took me very few minutes to settle and I went to the cafe, chose my favourite table, sit down and ordered a Mozzarella chicken sandwich and a cold coffee chocolate. I wanted some ice cold water to drink first as it’s been quite a hot day, as the last few have been, and I was parched. So there I was sipping my ice cold water and reading my book and waiting for my coffee & sandwich to arrive.
I was all alone in the cafe and the servers got me my coffee first and the sandwich followed close behind. I set the book aside long enough to smell the sweet bouquet of the coffee and the mozzarella chicken sandwich and proceed to take a big bite out of the sandwich. As I sat and chewed and read, a family came in. At first only the dad and daughter came in and they ordered the same sandwiches as mine and mocktails. The mother and other daughter went back to their shopping and they would return later. Both daughters would be in their late teens. Unfortunately for me they took the table right next to mind. They were noisy as hell and annoyingly so. They spoke in Telugu I think, I recognized a few words, and they were doing it loudly and standing way too close to me. When the mom & other daughter went to a clothing store next door, the daughter who sat in the cafe proceeded to talk my ears off!
Seriously, she just yakked and yakked and I could understand most of what she was saying cause she used a lot of English words in between. I couldn’t relax and read my book because of her motor mouth. She went into a detailed description of the items on the menu to her dad and then went on to explain that mocktails weren’t with alcohol in them! Apparently one of the parents thought that mocktails were like cocktail drinks with alcohol and she kept rambling on about it. The dad was only half paying attention but the moron was sitting like he owned the place. Arms and legs all over the place, just like it would be if in his living room. I can’t relax when people do that, I wanted to tell him to learn some manners and sit properly. Idiot!
I managed to get my concentration back to my coffee and my book and tried to tune out the blabbing girl next to me, when she started to sing!! Oh lordy, she was singing along with the videos of songs playing on the flat screen. I need to get out of here. And then a ninja came in! No not a real ninja but a fulled veiled muslim lady with two men. One of the men rushed to the counter and asked for two coffees in a parcel! Wait, what? Parceled coffee? He meant in the paper cups and the server understood and served them quickly. I paid for my stuff and then went on my way. I needed beer after all that.
Mar 23 2012
Friday afternoon sandwich photos for 23, March, 2012 from Coffee Beanz
Here’s my coffee. Cold one, a choco crunch. Nice, filling & delicious.
Now for the sandwich, a grilled chicken sandwich. Could have been done better but still good. Oh and they gave lots more chips with it, I just took the pic a little later. And they also had 4 slices of cucumbers with the plate.
I really wish that they would change the plate in Coffee Beanz. They look old & drab.
Oh and here is a pic taken from one of the windows of my bedroom. The big coconut trees are awesome aren’t they?
Mar 22 2012
I guess you could say that I am fueled by coffee. I think I started drinking coffee at the age of 13 or 14. I tried tea for a while but I just never liked the taste that much and to this day I prefer black tea to tea with milk. So coffee it was and has been to this day. I usually drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day. That is if it’s in my big cup. If in smaller paper cups then it can be 5 or 6. I remember that I had once had 7 big full cups of coffee in day – by night I was so wired and strung tight, like a violin, that I couldn’t sleep at all!
So yeah, waking up is just a rubbing my eyes, going into the bathroom, washing my face and brushing my teeth – all the things that are necessary hurdles before that first cup of coffee. I get that in my favourite big black cup and come to my room, fire up the laptop and sit in my chair. I place the cup on the desk, wait till I log into my email and take that first sip – ahh! That’s life force surging through me. It’s like a suffocating person being able to breath pure oxygen once again.
My first cup is always with milk. Later in the morning I will get a second cup, which will be stronger, sweeter and black. That’s the one that decides how energetic I will be for the rest of the day. This one is usually drunk a lot slower. In the evening I have two cups; once again the first one will be with milk and the second black. The second one is usually after 7pm and that’s also the usual time that I do the majority of my blogging and I need the extra fuel. 4 cups is enough. I don’t think I need more than that but I do need that first one in the morning to properly wake me up.
Feb 25 2012
There was a couple of things I wanted to do today. And both had a clash in timings. Damn if I couldn’t change the timings for both! It would mean shifting the venue of one meeting and meeting the other person post lunch. Or whatever! I decided to just roll with it and see what happens.
I arranged for a friend to meet me at Cafe Coffee Day for a quick bite in between as I had some free time. I felt hungry as it was almost 1pm by then. We went in and sat at my favourite corner table. Before we could order, he got a call from home asking him to rush back as his uncle was ill, so I was on my own. I thought, no problem, I shall sit by myself and enjoy an hour of relaxing. I ordered a sandwich and a cold coffee and went to my table, waiting until they served me.
As you can see, Cafe Coffee Day seems to have run out of proper plates and served me my sandwich in a paper plate. How far down the social ladder have I fallen? Kidding! In terms of serving aesthetics the red serving tray more than made up for the looks or lack therefore of my paper plate. It’s blood red and looked much more sexy than the photo here.
My coffee was a cold Mochachillo with more ice than coffee it seems. Funny thing is this drink seems to have some milk added separate to the coffee. And the first sips are always great – as you wind towards the middle it gets a bit watery and yucky, no matter how much you stir & mix the drink. Oh well! Atleast it was cold and refreshing against the hot sun.
My sandwich, as seen here, was another thing altogether. In a class of it’s own, it’s the corn & spinach sandwich with lots of cheese. And it was piping hot, melting cheese just bursting in my mouth as I took a bite – yummy! I love this sandwich and it is consistently awesome the way CCD makes it, although not always this hot & fresh. I was sad when I was done and wanted more but I was to join my good friend Anil Alapatt for beer and snacks later so it would not be good to fill up.
Later that afternoon Anil & I met at the Volga bar & restaurant in Kadavanthara. The sun was blazing hot by then and we were both glad to sit in the cool air conditioned bar. We had a Kingfisher beer each, in these new cute looking tumblers from Royal Challenge. We ordered garlic prawns, dry chilli fish & chicken fry and sat for 2 hours talking about stuff. We tried calling up Madhu (now in Qatar) but he was at the bank and suffering spotty cell service, so we said we’d call him later. Anil & I chatted about the good memories and things coming up ahead until it was time for him to head on towards Thrissur. I went for a brief walk and then came back home.
Feb 18 2012
Very nice & refreshing Coffee Dream from Fort Cafe. Thick coffee frappe with a vanilla ice cream scoop for good measure. It was relief from the hot sun.
Sadly I could not say that this was a good sandwich. It’s a tuna fish roll from Fort Cafe and although I’ve loved everything else that I have ever had in this cafe, this was a huge disappointment. I’ve been craving tuna for a couple of weeks now and I asked if they a grilled tuna sandwich. They instead had a tuna fish roll – the bread was good but it’s what was inside that was a disappointment. All I could taste was lots & lots of chopped onions that was liberally splashed with a kind of mayo and a hint of tuna taste. All that crunching of onions put me in a foul mood.
Feb 5 2012
I’m sure you have your own places to relax in and I have mine. Last Friday I spent almost all of the day outside and found time for a late brunch as I was feeling peckish and thirsty. At around 11 am I stepped into Fort Cafe, which is on the first floor of a rather small shopping mall on Convent Junction. They are open from 10am-10pm but it seems that they have more of a noon/lunch time rush leading onto the rest of the day, cause I was the only customer there when I stepped in at 11am and their first customer. The staff there weren’t all in the usual uniforms so I guess I’m correct when I say that I guess their business usually takes off at around noon.
I took my usual seat whenever I go there, which is once a month or so, and I took out a book to read as I relaxed there. I ordered one of my favourite sandwiches, a Mozzarella & chicken sandwich and a cold coffee chocolate. 15 minutes later I was deeply engrossed in the book and sipping my coffee and 10 minutes after that the sandwich arrived. It was almost noon when the next customer came in and 2 minutes later a couple of families took up a large table at one end. By the time I left the place was almost full.
Later in the day after the rest of my errands were done, I decided that I didn’t want a big lunch but what I wanted was beer. Iced cold beer and thought of hitting the Couchyn Bar next to the Grand hotel. So I got out of the hot sun and went in and sat at the very table that I have sat all 6 times that I been in there before. Being an elitist bar that wishes to keep out the riff raff and also serves foreign liquor that costs you ridiculous amounts for a couple of pegs, I always stick to the beer. However if you want Carlsberg or Tuborg, it is still pricier than most Indian made beer. I ordered a Carlsberg and barbecued sausages. This is a great place to sit quietly and relax even if the food & drinks are much more expensive. After the 650ml beer was done I wanted just another mug of beer so I asked them for a 330 ml bottle but they didn’t Carlsberg in that sizes so I opted for a Kingfisher Gold. The taste differences between these two beers is ever so much more obvious when you drink them one after the other.
Overall a very relaxing time in between errands and I enjoyed myself. A little walk later I was back at home and ready for a nap.