Slurp loudly for sakkath taste.
From “one filter kaapi, boss” to “a unicorn frappuccino, please”, the coffee culture in Bangalore has changed tremendously. And so have the city’s coffee drinkers. Although Indian Coffee House and dharshinis are still frequented by those who cherish the traditional South Indian coffee, international coffee chains such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee have managed to attract a significant crowd (a majority of them being young). So here’s a break-up of the coffee trends that have swept across the city over the years.
The “filter”ed crowd:
Let’s start by filtering out the first set of coffee drinkers (refer to terrible pun for a hint) - And yes you guessed right, the classic filter coffee drinkers. These coffee drinkers are mostly clad in mundus and shirts, and accessorised with gold chains – just kidding. Filter coffee drinkers come in all shapes and sizes and may be dressed in anything from mundus to joggers. What they all have in common, however, is their preference for the traditional and timeless steaming hot filter coffee. This coffee is brewed using the finest beans from nearby states, but what truly sets it apart is the filtering device used to prepare this delicate concoction. These coffee drinkers usually enjoy their cuppa with a sumptuous plate of dosa every morning, but sure can’t get their mind off that steel tumbler throughout the day.
The cafés-are-cool crowd:
The next big craze in coffee came with the introduction of café franchises all over the city that were almost run like fast food chains. These cafes were and still are mostly frequented by school and college students who are out on dates, or just there because that’s where all the ‘cool’ people hung out. Another trend that was popular among this crowd was the long late night rides through Mysore Road and other highways which inevitably ended at one of the franchisees that are open 24/7. These so-called coffee drinkers choose from among cappuccinos and cold coffees with chocolate chips, whipped cream add-ons and what not. They also bear witness to a lot of break-up dates, which possibly explains the abundance of sugary add-ons you can pick from to top off your coffees.
A lot of calories can happen over coffee.
The commercial connoisseur:
The next wave of coffee culture began when the youngsters who frequented the existing cafés, grew up and got tired of their limited menu. International giants such as Starbucks answered their cry for help by introducing a much larger variety of coffee based drinks. These species of coffee drinkers evolved from sipping on Caramel Frappes and Vanilla Lattes to Espressos and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The only other thing that motivates these two groups of coffee drinkers to visit a café, however, is the desperate need for Wi-fi.
When Starbucks opened up in India. Even the demonetization phase didn’t see such long queues.
Those who look for “cof-finesse”:
The most recent trend in Bangalore’s coffee culture stems from the growing emphasis on artisan coffee and the perception of coffee as an experience like wine, for example, rather than just a daily dose of caffeine. Coffee drinkers riding this third and rapidly-expanding wave are concerned with every little aspect of their cuppa, starting with where the beans come from, how they’re grown, the subtle flavour notes, roasting and brewing techniques, right down to drinking etiquettes (which we’ll explore in an upcoming post). They take pride in going to great lengths to procure the finest single-estate artisan coffees (thankfully, you can just order yours here). And it doesn’t stop there – these coffee connoisseurs further insist on brewing their own coffee for which they invest in different brewing equipment and experiment with recipes and techniques from around the world. If you’re one of them, you’ve probably been greeted with dazed and confused expressions as you throw terms like mouthfeel, body and notes at your friends and dates with the fluency of a seasoned barista.
We’re not going to lie; it might seem like rocket-science in the beginning. But you’ll get used to it.
Which of these coffee cultures describe you best? Or are you in a coffee league of your own? Share your favourite coffee rituals and stories with us, unless you’re you a tea person, or worse, an instant coffee drinker (Ew! We hate instant coffee).