Starbucks Comes To Town

By which, I mean Delhi. Bringing in its wake sharp focus back on to Connaught Place, largely neglected over the past few years due to the mall-swell across the National Capital Region. Long-time home to stalwarts such as Wengers, Keventers and Bercos, to name but a few, CP (as it will always be) was once the undisputed cynosure of the foodie world.

High on bucket-lists of tourists by virtue of its proximity to Janpath and Paharganj, it was soon run over by popular fast-food chains,  gradually elbowing back the old-worldly Gaylords’, Standards and Embassys of yore. That one of the world’s most-admired companies, also its largest coffee chain, decides to set up shop in joint venture with Tata, India’s most-admired company, in a cavernous two-level showroom in A Block, underscores amongst other things, CP’s go-to relevance yet again.

Long queues are no deterrent; as evidenced on my visit there on an invite from fellow blogger at Wanderink. Perhaps it had something to do with the tiny teaser shots that the staff passed around to its fidgety customers-in-line. The interiors are somewhat bare and trademark products a-plenty. In deed the place had a buzz to it, packed to capacity as it was.

The staff are  friendly, the service quick, the muffins moist, and the brew, well, familiar. In the sense that we have been quaffing back the same stuff at our neighbourhood Cafe Coffee Day all this while. That’s right, as both companies source their aromatic Arabicas from the rain forest plantations of Coorg. What remains to be seen is whether Starbucks can step into the vacuum created by CCD’s indifference towards its food menu. Or whether their fruity caffeine based drinks can convert purist taste-buds. At last stab, web chatter suggested the jury was still out on that one.


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