Coffee – Caffeine – Café that’s how the word Café arrived into our lives from the original one called coffee and if you happen to visit the same, you can expect, at least, a cup of coffee without any denial or excuse. Along with the coffee theme, another aspect of café is the practice of ordering at the counter and bringing it to your table on your own. But in India, we prefer more comfort and hospitality and resultantly local cafes, most of them, do not stick to such concept of self-service.
Local cafes are much more superior, flexible and tempting than any other chains or brand of café or restaurant. The interior and exterior, eye candy outlay, new age theme etc are designed appealingly to mesmerize all and sundry. All café menus, traditionally, contain the usual suspects such as cappuccino, espresso, sandwich, burgers and fries, but there will definitely be a twist and turn to the original recipe if the proprietor is enthusiastic and innovative. The chief objective of every cafe owner is, basically, to satisfy the taste buds of the customers, and make them frequent the place in the future. With spacious seating arrangements, cafes are perfect for kitty parties and small birthday parties for those who don’t mind a bit of splurging.
The pandemic might have cut out the scope of socialising to a large extent, but previously some fortunate ones might have had conversations with any of the passionate café owners. I have been part of such exchanges in a cafe in Guwahati city. “The Zouq” by Intibah Murtafi, who has infused her traditional family Mughal recipes in the menu together with her own culinary innovations. The interiors were so fabulous and eye candy that your hand would refuse to leave the click button of the camera in your possession. Another café owned by Karpum Pegu known as “Phat Town” had a street style theme to attract youngsters and office goers. It served some signature burgers and quick healthy meals along with a free wi-fi facility, which was very much new in the city 4 years back. Her experience as a crew member in Qatar Airways helped her prepare some mouth-watering burgers and her ethnic origin made her cook those rice meals. Furthermore, a café located in an exquisite location of the city, “By The Way”, is a favourite among students, young couple for its simplicity and economical price. Supervised by the duo Mehtaz and Kangkan, who takes a keen interest in the food, music and fashion industry and are quite adept at concocting a vanity fair.
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Ideation of a Café Culture is a never-ending process that keeps evolving with time and trends. The existing inclination centers around the new generation, who prefer offbeat cuisines and super-fast internet. This has led many restros and cafés to come up with English and Continental breakfast platters, mini and combo meals with a local touch and the facility of co-working space with packages that suit your budget.