Friday, August 22, 2008

Midnight Coffee @ Coffee Beans

It was a dull and dreary thursday night. Economics mid-term marks had come out and how good or bad they were reflected in the fact that I'd spent most of the day studying economics. Ten minutes to eleven, and Kaveesh pings me - 'Coffee Beans'. I'd heard of this place; it was a coffee shop frequented by the prone-to-cravings junta of kampus. But leaving at 11 in the night for a place 20 km away sounded loony to me. Which meant that I said yes, after a feeble attempt at resisting. Anything remotely loony and out of the ordinary appeals to me in some crazy way. After trying to round up fellow komrades who might be game, we set off. It was twenty past eleven, and Coffee Beans closed at twelve.

The drive to the city was an absolute de-stresser. It was a moonlit night, and traffic on NH212 had dropped substantially from its day levels. We reached Coffee Beans just before they closed down, but they assured us that they'd serve us. It was an experience which I will remember for a while, just for the closeness it achieved to perfection. Having stayed in a metro all my life ( although Mumbaikars might take objection to Pune being called that ), I've been to a lot of places, but never have I experienced such a combination of delicious food, great ambience, impeccable service and reasonable prices. The baristas smiled genuinely, this wasn't the I-have-to-smile-else-they'll-cut-my-pay manipulation of facial muscles seen in CCD and other typical coffee shops. They were genuinely apologetic about the unavailability of some food items. The cheese dosa, which came first was the crispest I've come across. The baked vegetables and cheese which followed would have given an italian joint a walloping. The mousses and thick cold coffees left us scraping the bottom of our glasses. Apparently, they just couldn't go wrong. When we'd gorged to our hearts' content, and were about to pay the bill, we asked for 2 additional mousses to be packed for the the unfortunate souls back at K who'd missed this, and in spite of it being 12.30 and way past closing time, they smiled happily and got it for us, without showing irritation about changing the bill. The whole experience was like a breath of fresh air for me, being used to putting up with appalling service, something which runs through the service industry, and mediocre food quality.

Coffee Beans, you have one really impressed customer !

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