So finally i get to visit the mecca for all arabica coffee lovers, Starbucks! After all the buzz going around i decided to check the place out for myself. Located just opposite horniman circle at fort, the 'twin tailed siren' in green doesn't bounce from your glance.
Making my way in, to the interior by myself, pushing the door away from slamming into my face, due to the negligence of a prior visitor, a supervisor showed us in with a smile and a warm greet, instead of the doorkeeper doing so. Him being busy talking to another. Towards your straight 12 you'll notice the coffee-bar with a group of busy baristas making espressos and the frappuchinos with their coffee machines. Above the coffee-bar is inviting simple decor of the indian themed 'doodhwaala' container and flour bags along with the starbucks mugs and memorabilia.
Conveniently located to the right, a couple of service counters with decent staff occupying all of them. Approaching one i asked for the 'Java-Chip Frappuchino', the flagship starbucks coffee along with a Christmas special 'Mocha Praline' for my girlfriend, which he advised on requesting his recommendation.
I couldn't help but notice the sandwiches and the baked cakes on display just below the counter. Most of them looked crisp and fresh out of the oven, with hygienic conditions not making you wary bout those flies. After confirming our order we went to the cash counter to make our payment of a decent Rs.350-Rs.400 for coffee for two. Giving us our receipt after paying by card we were requested to come back in 10 minutes to fetch our order from the coffee-bar. Excited, finding a place was a biggie though, i had to search for a table for two on the ground and upper level to my disappointment, nothing! In spite of having the biggest spaced-out area from all the three branches, this was unpleasant, and looking at the growing line behind us, the anxiety grew a bit more. But not being on foot for long, we got that spot for two on a long table with a few patrons sitting beside (something better than nothing, right?). Being a while, i went to check on my praline and frappuchino which were already ready, with a quick spurt of whipped cream and chocolate sauce, i couldn't distinguish the two cold coffee's both looking exactly alike. Taking my cups to our new found place i was happy to find us shown to another ideal table for two by a friendly server, now this was what we had hoped for! The coffee seemed slushy with milk and textured coffee java chips which i could now distinguish from the praline. The waiters seem to be nice showing us the place to get the cutlery and utilities which were easily accessible at an end, the spoons were given to us by the same server.
The ambiance around was neat and chic with a roughed out warli design on the floor and a large photographic collage depicting happy people on the wall, the intricate wood work and fine wood sculpting were something that your eyes would trace back to making you admire the work, Fact is that the tables and wood work were hand crafted and designed by Indian artisans and carpentry. All around, the furnishing and lighting were the key take-aways from the experience, each chair and furniture were different from each set. The tables are evenly spaced out with separate families on either side, the arrangements of the furniture and decor differed from corner to corner. There is a lot of rustic rendition of art along with grunge styled trunks and clay pottery at places. One can be happy with the cozy couches and a cup of coffee here for sure.
All in all, the experience was pleasant and well worthy of a 4/5.
Yes, if u are an impatient bean addict, be prepared to be frustrated with the long queue on the weekends at peak hours in the eve. Yes you must have read tons of reviews from amateur critics about how frustrating it is to wait before you get your poison. But, the fruit of patience is bliss. Their coffee sums up to be a great blend which only a person with true taste will understand. So, shun of the negative vibes from the pessimist critics below and try this for yourself. This place will leave you with a feel good feeling for sure (even though you don't digest coffee).