Some of the best days begin with a hot, steaming cup coffee. Lucky for us Mumbai has a bevy of cafes that take their morning brew seriously, creating well-decorated havens for the caffeine dependent inhabitants of out city by the bay. However, a lot of folks are a bit clueless as to where they can wet their whistle with the frothy foam of a well made cappuccino. As fellow coffee drinkers we find this unacceptable, and have consequentially put this list together so that you know where to go on those mornings your brain goes on strike until you treat it to a bit of arabica. Say goodbye to Nescafe and hello to a new day, where you can slide into a booth, open up a good book and kickstart those little grey cells who simply don’t want to get up.
Blue Tokai, quickly becoming a favorite coffee brand amongst many in India, has their Mumbai roasting facility located at the end of one of Mahalaxmi’s mill compounds. The roasting facility hosts a small cafe in it’s facilities that might be a bit of a hike for a daily coffee joint, but lord, the smell of the cafe is like olfactory porn for the regular coffee drinker. They roast on Wednesday and Sunday, so we recommend stopping by for a cup of Joe on either of those days, topped off with a buttery croissant. Then you can pick up the rest of your week’s supply directly from the roasters.
Where: Blue Tokai, Unit 20/22 Laxmi Woolen Mill, Opposite Khazana Furniture, Shakti Mill Lane, Off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai.
II. BAD Cafe, Bandra
A meditation area, yoga studio and good coffee, this concept cafe sounds like it’s straight out of a millennials’ dreams. The soft interior reflects the streams of natural light flowing into the three story facility, which can be considered one of the better places to lunch in Bandra. Their ambience is paralleled by coffee options like ristrettos (the technique behind this espresso shot is considered by many to be the perfect way to extract coffee from grounds), a variety of Turkish blends, and flat whites (these are Australian and New zealand style lattes, which literally and figuratively pale in comparison to the other coffee options). However, the one kind of coffee you get at BAD Cafe that really stands out is the Cafe Bonbon, which is always served in a clear glass cup so the drinker can appreciate the coffee rainbow created by condensed milk that settles on the bottom. The cafe Bonbon is the perfect follow up to BAD Cafe’s tapas options.
Where: BAD, 22G, Kapadia House, New Kantwadi Road, Off Perry Cross Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West.
III. Café at The NCPA, Nariman Point
Next time you head to a play try out Cafe at The NCPA’s Maple Burst, a double ristretto shot (the technique behind this espresso shot is considered by many to be the perfect way to extract coffee from grounds) with maple syrup, cream and a tasteful dusting of chilli. Otherwise, an affogato topped with pistachios or the Amadeus, a creamy coffee connection served cold and garnished with cinnamon, are perfect options for the coffee drinker with a case of the sweet tooth.
Where: Gate No. 2, National Centre For The Performing Arts, Next to Amadeus, Nariman Point, Mumbai.
A white-tiled piece of heaven, this joint is so ‘cutesy’ you want to hate on it, but so good you can’t possibly. The Pantry offers a plethora of food options, from vegan to bacon-centric creations, and pretty much everything hits the spot. After munching a bit a good follow up would be one of their many cold coffees, a great way to beat the heat as you stroll around town. However, they also boast a good selection of traditional coffee creations, all of which can be served with almond, soya or slim milk options.
Where: Yeshwant Chambers, Military Square Lane, Near Trishna, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai.
V. The Sea Lounge, The Taj, Colaba
The Sea Lounge feels like you walked into Fortnum And Mason, a posh, expansive room with comfy chairs and high ceilings. Nevertheless, there is more to the lounge than the decor, however the fine coffees they feature come at a price. Their selection features beans sourced from global behemoths, many from the Americas, such as: Colombia, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Jamaica, Mexico , and Panama. However, Indonesian and Ethiopian beans also make the cut. Yet somehow the tea selection is still more expansive than the coffee selection.
Where: The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai.
VI. Aromas, Powai
This Australian chain does well to remove itself from the mediocrity often associated with corporate coffee. The Powai location offers creative coffee concoctions which add depth to their continental menu. Although some coffee drinkers may moan at the thought of an oreo latte (Oreo D Latte) it may work with a younger crowd just entering the coffee scene. Still they produce ‘real’ coffee beverages like their Vienna, an americano topped with whipped cream.
Where: G6, Ventura Building, Central Avenue Road, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai , Mumbai.
VII. Koinonia Coffee Roasters
The new kids on the block of Mumbai’s burgeoning coffee scene know what they’re doing. They are Coffee Roasters first and a cafe second, yet their tiny cafe area is a great place to have a smooth cup of coffee and chat with one of the owners. If you live in Bandra and want to find a steady supply of good coffee for your apartment this is the place to go. We snagged a bag of their dark roast, tossed it in our french press and enjoyed the subtle chocolate and fruity undertones of a solid cup of coffee. For our full story on the newest cafe on the block, click here.
Where: 66, Chuim Village Road, Off BR Ambedkar Road, Bandra (w), Mumbai 400 052.
Representational Feature Image Credits: Wandeleur