On Romancing The Divine Arabica In Amchi Pune

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As avid readers of this column will confidently assert, the undersigned is nothing if not a caffeine addict.

I consume coffee the way crack addicts snort up, or the way politicians give speeches. We can’t help it, it’s just the way we are.

Unfortunately, as the MIssus will confidently assert, my palate has become a lot more demanding over time, without conceding an inch to the extent of my addiction. I can now talk (endlessly, if the slightly bored visages I look at are any indication) about how coffee ought to be roasted, why Arabica beans are better than Robusta beans, how soon after the roasting should coffee be consumed (no more than two weeks at the very worst, the earlier the better. I’m looking at you, you large coffee chain out of Seattle)… and well, I could go on, but I won’t.

Now, there are, as you may have gauged by perusing casually through columns past, many things that I like about Pune.

One thing that I wish would get better is the quality of coffee that we get in these parts. Nobody serves better filter coffee than Roopali, a law of physics that Newton forgot to mention, but if you like your coffee black, sans milk and sugar, then there are slim pickings in Pune.

All of which is to explain why I am delighted to announce that there is this little cafe that has opened in Bavdhan that is simply Arabica from heaven. The Fat Labrador Cafe, a small, unassuming little place from the outside, has within it a cozy, comfortable ambience, extremely friendly staff, an outstanding collection of photographs of dogs on the wall, and two owners who take their coffee even more seriously than I do.

Smita and Aniket, the aforementioned owners, would have deserved plaudits even without the coffee they serve, but I could not be more serious about this: if you are even remotely a fan of the magic bean, do take the time to visit them.

They serve decent muffins, chicken bowls and other snacks as well, along with a mug of hot chocolate that the daughter absolutely adores. In addition, they have a small collection of books that you can read while you are there. On weekends, they arrange for a variety of talks, open mics and forums.

But if you ask me, all of that pales into insignificance compared to the fact that Pune now has a place that serves coffee which can stand up with and against the best in the business.

And for that reason alone, I hope they succeed, thrive (and maybe relocate to Baner, while they’re at it?)

I wish I was typing this out while sipping on a cuppa in the Cafe, but it still isn’t too late for me to drop everything else for the day, arm myself with a nice thick book, and traipse over to Bavdhan.

If you do drop in, keep an eye out for a slightly plump individual (the human, not the eponymous canine) and say hello.


#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them. 

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni