Koffee in Kashmir
Coffee Shop Culture Comes of Age in Srinagar
HANG OUT BY MIR USMAN
An elitist fad, a social hub or just another cool place to hang out. Call it what you may, but there is no denying the fact that coffee shop culture in Srinagar is coming of age.
From well- coiffed gentlemen to swanky hipsters, the coffee-shops have become a scene to watch. They present a picture of a new, changing Srinagar: youth who get into the groove on the aroma of the lattes and the mochas. They feast their senses on the foam and froth of the espressos and the cappuccinos topped with creamy layers of rich Ghanian cocoa.
The baristas of the CCDs (Café Coffee Day), the Arabicas and the Robustas conjure up magical potions and inebriate Srinagarites… big time.
THE CAFÉ PEOPLE
Ranging from laptop-toting professionals to bohemian students, there is no monotony in the clientele of a coffee shop. The Café People or ‘café au laiters’ take time off from their busy schedule and indulge themselves in the café culture by frequenting the coffee shops and taking a well deserved ‘coffee break’. “One can come to a coffee shop, enjoy a good drink and then carry on with his work. A strong coffee gives you the kick to work on and on,” says Sohail Bhat, a management graduate.
A LOT CAN HAPPEN OVER A COFFEE
In the words of American author Mark Pendergrast, only one thing is certain about coffee…wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be a lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.
Coffee houses have been intellectual centers and social hubs since long. A casual conversation or a light hearted banter brews up quite nicely amid the perfect setting of a coffee shop. “It’s a place where one can meet up with his friends and talk freely. One can discuss anything. There are no restrictions here,” says Sufyan Wani, an engineering student.
THE COFFEE HOUSE
Be it the musical notes wafting on the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, patios and gazebos for a lazy rendezvous, framed posters of the theatre legends evoking the aura of the New York City’s Broadway street or a good old book store, the coffee houses know how to lure the ‘espressonites’. “The environment inside a coffee shop is very nice. You can’t get this anywhere else, not even at your home. You talk with your friends and don’t get disturbed,” says Faizan Andrabi, while munching French fries inside Coffea Arabica.
While the younger generation is making a beeline for the coffee shops, the older generation isn’t impressed. “This is not a part of our culture. It was a part of the Middle East and then spread to Europe,” says 50 year old Mansoor Khan. “Coffee shops do not gel with Kashmiri way of life”.
With sales going beyond Rs 50,000 a day, coffee shops are proving to be money minting ventures. The growing popularity and costly menus ensure that the cash register keeps ticking. “Coffee shops are open almost every day. Apart from selling fast food they can also collaborate with some other company and sell products like books or other accessories,” says Zakib Gull, a hotel management graduate.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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