Day starts with a cup of strong coffee for a Bangalorean and at times even ends with one. Indian Filter Coffee is a comfort drink of every household here. Sipping a cup of coffee munching world news every morning is an enduring local habit. Morning/ Evening walks are never deemed complete without chatting and having a hearty laugh with walking buddy over a cup of coffee or rather by2 coffee. (By2 coffee is a term used to order 2 half cups of coffee in the coffee joints that would be shared with a companion. This practice should have started to support the local’s proclivity to drink small amount of coffee multiple times a day.) Coffee is more than just a beverage here, locals love for coffee is inexplicable and you would definitely sense that when you spend some time here.
Though the origin of city’s affair with coffee is unclear, I believe it must be a long-drawn one as it is just 150 miles from the birthplace of Indian Coffee and would not have been long for the winds to carry the enchanting aroma of the coffee beans. Today, every neighborhood has dozens of coffee joints and darshinis(no-frill cafes) serving happy customers. These coffee joints are usually crowded as people from all walks of life gather here for a cup of steaming coffee, with equally heated discussions on politics, sports, business etc. Alongside exists the kiosks (locals call them as ‘petty angadi’), bakeries and hand carts selling hot coffee for the people on the go.
The dynamics of the city began to change due to the IT boom that hit India after globalization in 1991 and has undergone drastic changes in the last decade. MNCs replaced Govt owned companies and people from neighbouring states flocked the city. Coffee culture in Bangalore as transformed with the city and today the place is home to countless cafes. Café culture in the city began with a local chain ‘CAFÉ COFFEE DAY’ in 1996 and now has global brands like Starbucks, Gloria Jean’s etc. satisfying the needs of western coffee lovers.
Theme based cafes are the latest addition to the milieu, mostly located in Indiranagar, Kormangala, Sarjapur and other parts of new bangalore. These cafes are modern and elegant serving variety of fancy coffees, pastries, waffles, pancakes, pizza, pasta etc. There are roof top cafes offering great views; also the unique ones, which allows the visitor to paint a claypot. This is a very popular place for Business meetings, coffee dates and for hanging out with friends over a light meal.
In the last 5 years, many creative cafes are mushroomed in the city that encourage spirit of creativity and community. These cafes organizes workshops, encourages local artists, stages plays, bring together ardent readers for reading sessions and discussions.
While Bangalore has welcomed the new generation cafes with open arms, it has also retained the traditional darshinis strongly in its roots. You can either sit in a chic café sipping an Italian style expresso or head straight to a darshini and order by2 strong filter coffee. Either way, I’m sure you will have an overwhelming experience