The bad coffee at the mass-producing chains makes me believe that the only reason they are packed is because they provide the cheapest option for a meal or a beverage in a somewhat upmarket ambience.
As a coffee lover, I generally avoid these chains. The frothy cappuccino at Café Coffee Day has less coffee and more milk, while the mayonnaise and cheese-filled sandwiches at Barista leave me feeling heavy the entire day. After paying Rs185 for a glass of very average cold coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, that’s pretty much ruled out as well.
The two remaining options are a glass of filter coffee at Matunga or a French press at a restaurant. Maybe that’s why the opening of Bru World Café last month in Juhu seemed a promising prospect. There’s a need for coffee outlets that are more than just a space to spend time and actually serve the good stuff AT reasonable prices.
The good stuff
The plain white signboard with green letters is simple, an indication of things to come. The restaurant is all clean lines and spacious, with comfortable brown furniture. The café menu has limited food options—pre-packed sandwiches, wraps, cakes and cookies. The service was attentive, but then most of the place was empty at the time.
The chicken, cheese and mustard panini will not force you to skip dinner. The real test, of course, was the coffee. Besides the regular cappuccino and espresso, they serve Turkish coffee and even French press. But I tried the filter coffee to see how well it was adapted from an Udipi. The coffee was made fresh in the filter and, therefore, arrived 20 minutes later in a steel tumbler, much to my delight. The froth was light and airy, the kind achieved with the traditional south Indian pouring routine. It looked dark and tasted strong. The coffee came with a large sugar-sprinkled cookie, which mostly made up for its price of Rs79.
As a stand-alone space, it’ll be just another café, but there is great potential for this to be a successful chain. The prices are comparable and I would be happy to skip any other chain if this opens up elsewhere.
The cold coffee was too sweet and creamy, and needed a larger shot of espresso.
Prices begin at Rs59 for coffee and Rs49 for tea. The sandwiches are priced at Rs109.