Met up with friends at Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) yesterday. Going to a coffee shop at least once a week is almost a ritual these days.
I often wonder where people used to hang out before coffee shops became big in my city. Were there enough places outside of homes or proper restaurants to just sit and while away the time? Where did the college students go in between classes? Where did one drink a quick cuppa while waiting for a friend? Which place did the young office-goers visit to rant away the week's stresses (yes, that's what I was doing)?
As far as I can recall, Barista started the coffee shop trend in Kolkata. Though it seemed pricey back then (esp. since one was a student), the novelty of the concept was attractive. The ambiance, the wood finishing at the outlets, the games like Pictionary, the guitar in the corner - all encouraged one to take it easy, let one's hair down, put one's feet up, watch the world go by (you get the drift)...all the while sipping on a cappuccino (not just a "coffee" you see). The price justified the means one might say.
When CCD came along the idea of a coffee shop was already established and flourishing, at least for me. CCD offered 'old coffee in a new cup' so to speak, by charging lesser and catering more directly to a younger crowd. The decor is brighter and the music is louder.
I am no coffee connoisseur and most times am happy with the variety of cold coffees on offer. Yesterday I had the Cafe Frappe with a dollop of ice-cream. It was refreshing after a tiresome Saturday. My friends and I also tried the New Zingy Pizza sandwich. It was, as the name suggests, a sandwich made using grilled pizza base. It tasted pretty good and our only complaint was that it was smaller in reality than it had looked in the picture in the menu. But that could just be our hunger talking. :)
We also had their Garlic Chicken Sandwiches and rounded off the repast with a Chocolate Doughnut which was completely delightful - being not just warm and chocolatey but also much larger than a standard doughnut.
We had captured one of the low divans and were ensconced on it for quite some time, indulging in all the random tales that apparently give us inordinate pleasure - our never ending workload, diets and gymming, gifts and weddings, the latest fashions victims, London Dreams vs. Ajab Prem, Bigg Boss and Amitabh Bachchan...
These particular friends will be moving to another city shortly and the evening spent at the coffee shop I will add to my list of happy memories.