My Prize For Winning A CCD Twitter Contest

About 2 months ago I had taken part in a caption making contest that Cafe Coffee Day was running on Twitter. They had 10 photos and chose the funniest for each as the winner. I was the winner of the 2nd photo. I finally got the prize delivered to my residence (albeit after following up with them on Twitter as well as email)

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This afternoon while I was out I got a call from FedEx informing me about the package and I have them directions to my apartment. As I was away mom signed it for me.

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The first item in the box is this espresso machine that you see above here. Kinda works like a filter coffee I guess. I have never used one before but I will try it out say by tomorrow.

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The second item in the package was a tin of Dark Forest coffee that Cafe Coffee Day sells in their stores and on online. I will try that one out as well as soon as say tomorrow. Hope it is good!

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The third item is the large coffee mug that you see on the right. It came in this little box. Unfortunately I already have a very similar coffee cup that I had bought from CCD a couple of years back. It’s basically the same with just some added images – truth be told the added images makes the cup look rather tacky and I much prefer the old design!

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Now the bad thing – the coffee cup comes with a saucer. However the saucer was broken in transit and I got it in several pieces, as seen here in the photo below! I dunno if it was the fault of FedEx but that is terrible!

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And the last item in the box is this “Cafe Moments” card that they sent me – it works like a debit / prepaid card at any CCD outlet and they had put in Rs.100 in the account to start me off. The total value of the prize package is Rs.1000. Here is the video of the unboxing in 2 parts.

Shirts, Shoes & Stuff

Last evening’s lovely rain duped me into thinking that today might be a cool day weather wise to go out for a bit of long delayed shopping. It was instead a rather hot day and even now, at 6:40 pm, still 33 degrees Celsius. Anyway I had planned to go shopping with my cousin Sujith, as I’d called him and asked him if he wanted to join me. He was game and so we decided to meet at Men’s Studio near Kacheripady by 11 am. Unfortunately for us the sun was blazing hot by then. As I live nearby, I reached much earlier than he did and I went in and sought a salesman at one of the counters. I looked at well over 30 shirts before selecting around 8 and tried them out before selecting 2 to buy for now. I’ve asked them to keep one in reserve for me and that I would come by on Monday and buy it. I had the money but I also wanted to buy a pair of shoes and decided to get that first.

Sujith and I went to get some coffee and a small bite to eat and step out of the hot sun for a while. As we drank our cold coffee, sitting on couches next to the ceiling to floor length windows of the cafe, we stared at a stupid tank lorry driver who, knowingly or unknowingly, drove from a side road onto MG Road and basically blocked the busy street for over 20 minutes. With the Metro railway work being done on Mg Road, as it is the road is heavily congested and now a large queue of cars, buses, autos and bikes were now piled up on the road as a illegal turn to the main road was done by this guy. It was fun to watch for us as he twisted, drove and turned for many minutes but I’m sure the driver of the lorry was under pressure and many people on the roads and on their vehicles were cursing him.

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We then went to buy shoes but – the preferred place that I go to was closed so we tried a couple of other places. We waited for a while to be served but no one came for a long time and so we left the first place. The second place said they had a large 70% discount as part of a clearance sale. They lied! Someone should tell them what the meaning of a discount is – marking a make believe large amount as the original price and then slashing it and showing an amount, which is the actual rate, is not a fucking discount! Everything was charged quite high and I knew that I could the same shoes at a lower rate in my preferred store so I decided to wait for a couple of days and try my luck again.

We then went for lunch and had pizzas (videos will be uploaded soon) and Appy Fizz to wash it down. More walking in the sun for checking out shoes and we ended the evening with frappes (bad choice as I was too full with those). But it was so hot and we were sweaty and I was tired. After an hour sitting in another cafe we left to our respective homes.

Bru’s Cappuccino Packets

Bru is the preferred coffee brand of choice in my household. We prefer it to the more costlier Nescafe and the cheaper Sunrise (these are the only three instant coffee powder brands that we buy). Given a choice, I would probably buy Bru over the other two. Yes you get more fancier brands but they are too expensive for this family.

Bru had launched different packets of these cappuccino styles & flavourings (not sure when but I have seen a few here and there) but I find them lacking in quality and taste whenever I have tried such stuff before. Recently I found a single packet of the Creme flavoured cappuccino powder, enough for making a 120 ml cup of coffee, which came free with something else I bought at the store. Yesterday evening I thought I’d try it out and see how it measured up to the cappuccinos I have had at cafes like CCD and Barista.

One word – yuck! It tasted so bad enough though I followed the instructions to the letter. The aftertaste was so terrible that I had to eat a banana just to get it outta my tongue!

My Lament To Cafe Coffee Day

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.”

Elephant Dung Coffee

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.

What’s Your Favorite Coffee Place?

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!

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Laptops & Coffeeshops

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.

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