I have one in every neighbourhood – because a work meeting can take me everywhere. As a girl on the entrepreneur block, the joy of having a tall, dark and handsome cuppa for company, when you are calling the shots, is a good idea. So as an unapologetic teetotaller and digital nomad, here is my handpicked list of time-tested spots for a quick fix of caffeine and work catch up, beyond the usual suspects of 5 star coffee shops and other “starry imports”” in Pune – a city we call our weekend home. Furthermore, if you are a fan of coffee as much as we are, you may want to check out this coffee selection guide, especially if you prefer to roast your own coffee at home. Yes, it is true. As much as I enjoy drinking coffee in coffee shops, there is something incredibly special about making coffee at home. I am always reading about all the latest coffee making equipment such as coffee grinders on websites like The Full Moon Cafe, so if you have any coffee equipment recommendations for making coffee at home, I would love to hear them. For now though, let us discuss some of my favorite coffee shops.
This is almost a second kitchen to the family. The toss up is between a luscious cappuccino or quickie with an expresso is eternal. Both work well, as young as you insist in fresh butter croissant with it. Barring meal times (and long weekends), it’s easy to find a spot in its salubrious setting, a spot for a razor sharp focused meeting with no distractions, except the peacock from the neighbouring Osho Commune. Ample pop of mauve and the friendliest Italian add to its charm. And I am not complaining.
Where: Lane No. 1, Next to Osho Commune, Koregaon Park
Price: 250- 350
Pagdandi Books Chai Cafe
I was hooked from the time a friend mentioned that it is a “concept book café”, because even if your client is late, you always have an array books for company. The gallery wall invites visual artists to share their work. The event list encourages is alive with interesting workshops. The buzz is that of a convivial and creative space, where ideas can flow over adrak chai or my favourite Ca Phe Sua Nong – Vietnamese filter coffee with condensed milk matched with their homemade cakes.
Where: Regent Plaza, Behind Symantec Baner Pashan Link Road
Price: Rs. 200
This one is a bit of a secret – Tucked inside an upscale home décor shop, so assured that it’s not brimming with teeny boppers ques to get a table. Pune’s sweltering heat allowed me experiment its Affagato – a dollop of vanilla ice-cream drowned in steaming espresso . Free Wi-Fi and large windows allow you a freewheeling conversation, from a brainstorming to a business plan, have done it all here.
Where: Level 1, Business Square, Lane 5, Koregaon Park, Pune
Price: Rs. 400
Fat Cat’s Café
Often see myself at its welcoming Wanowrie outpost – Tiny and shiny. Their sweet treats are truly worth the calories, but seems like their Nutella and peanut butter milkshake seems to be the star of every meeting of mine here. Their USP is home cooked comfort food that is both indulgent and delicious, made from scratch daily. Needless to say, its is a local favourite that is always buzzing.
Where: Clover Heights Shopping, Opposite Salunkhe Vihar, Wanowrie
Price: Rs. 200
La Bouchee d’Or
I am confused which one do I like more – Its Boat Club Road or Aundh branch. Because they both take me back to Paris, instantly. Their almond croissants and Delicious macrons (not to be confused with another Frenchie with similar sounding name) is sin-worthy, especially when clubbed with a Caramel flavoured latte.
Where: Clarion Park, Behind Gaikwad Petrol Pump, Aundh,
Price: Rs. 400
Café Peter Donuts
Their menu is wide as the their new locations, making them into one of the fastest café chains around. From Viman Nagar to Bavdhan, and in between, it’s easy to find respite in quick meal here between meetings, especially at the more peaceful Prabhat Road branch. My staple continues to be a robust Americano with honey or the cinnamon frappe, and the waffles are very tempting. Especially when you are talking shop, and your eyes are chasing a plateful of Belgian goodies, on the next table.
Where: Behere Arcade, Near Hotel Royalty, Prabhat Rd, Deccan Gymkhana
Price: Rs. 300
Classic Rock Coffee Co.
This more than just a coffee shop. It’s multifaceted charm allows you to enjoy it the way you like – But never fails to impress from its funky live gigs to book launches. Their happy hours and service have brag worthy value, as this sprawling 15000 sqft eatery inherits a easy vibe from its owner, Avinash Agarwal. Amazing place for brainstorming outside the office box or a tough pitch on a rough day – Have done it all with some help from their chocolate laden cold Jamaican Coffee, club sandwich and well curated music.
Where: Mulik Capital, Next to Mulik Lawns, Kalyani Nagar
Price: Rs. 300
One O Eight Café
You always save your current favourite for the last. Mine it is because of fresh and flavourful food, the wide range and the yummy slice of cake. The colourful chairs and the wooden tops make discussions of new ideas easy and you have no idea when morning steps into the noon. What’s more it brings my preferred Blue Tokai coffee beans from Mumbai served up with organic milk.
Where: Precious Gem, Lane 6, Beside H2O, Koregaon Park
Price: Rs. 400
# All views expressed in this column are the authors. Prices mentioned are only indicative.
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