Waking up the neighbours… The Tata Starbucks India Pre-launch Coffee Master Class

I have a feeling that I will sleep again in a couple of nights.

We went to a pre-launch coffee masterclass organised by Tata Starbucks at The Taj Lands End this evening.

Yes, after all the coffees tasted, tonight’s the night to give Love In The Time of Cholera another shot.

Starbucks is opening in India and in collaboration with the Tatas. The first shop is coming up at Horniman Circle in Mumbai in a few days as media reports suggest.

Now I know that there’s a whole school of coffee aficionados who often snootily raise their eyebrows when they hear ‘Starbucks’ but I don’t fall in that category. We quite like our Starbucks halts during trips abroad. Australia with its strong local cafe culture being an exception. Else our holiday albums everywhere are full of Starbucks pics. The familiar green and wood, the welcoming aroma of coffee, the solid reassuring warm mugs, playing with cocoa, cinnamon or vanilla shakers at the coffee counters, plunging into soft sofas, resting travel-weary legs, flopping down bags of shopping, trying out the wifi…yes Starbucks has been a big part of our holiday experiences.

It’s good to find that Starbucks is coming close to home. Even if it’s South Mumbai. I love Horniman Circle and I am sure Bandra will follow.

So what did we do this evening at the master class?

9 rounds of coffee. We learnt to ‘smell’ and ‘slurp’…then the coffees were paired with desserts from the Starbucks store. Loved the two muffins…blueberry and banana walnut and just wished I could have packed some of the soft cinnamon raisin cookie. Then there was a seriously schizophrenic chilli éclair… sweet and and yet very very spicy.

Round one was Guatemalan, Kenyan and Sumatra…my fav was the robust Guatemalan. Next on was Columbian, Jamaican Blue Mountain and Panama. And then House, Verona and Italian. Here House with some cake made for the perfect evening comfort combo. Italian on the other hand was everything one imagines an espresso to be. Stinging and effervescent. All the coffees tasted in their primal form…no sugar or milk.

Yes, there were folks in the room who claimed to have got cranberry, woody, fruity etc….my reactions were more in terms of of ‘lingering’, then ‘it feels like tomorrow already’ and ‘now I feel like kung Fu Panda’. Not connoisseur stuff but then that’s  what coffee means to me. I’ve been told folks keep a safe distance from me till I have had my second coffee of the day. It’s my elixir and I need it to be strong.

Leaving you with a link to the pics Nikhil, The Nonchalant Gourmand, took with his camera. It was good catching up with Rushina too who was taking a breather from the energy of setting her Perfect Bite cooking Studio which just competed two months. It was also nice as always meeting Sahil, known on twitter as @thecofeenazi. In real life he seems to be anything but a ‘coffee nazi’ despite his love for coffee. In a space full of self proclaimed evangelists it is great to come across who is passionate about a subject but doesn’t get pedantic or patronising about it when talking to others. After all as Sahil tweeted:

@TheCoffeeNazi : @Finelychopped coffee, like a lot of food & beverages is a very palate oriented thing. You can't be anal about it.

Which is exactly my point too. Go ahead and eat and drink what you enjoy. Don’t bother about the ‘right way’.

Just do it ‘your way’.

Note: We were guests at the Starbucks event and got a nice goody bag…just love the coffee mug in it

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Medha said…
Hi, You have a very nice blog. Very informative especially the restaurant reviews. We will be visiting India in Dec and will definitely try some of the restaurants in Mumbai which you have reviewed.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
thanks Medha. Hope you have a great time
Anurag Mehrotra said…
I am glad we can now have a cup of plain old coffee! Can't stand those froo froo drinks concocted from espresso.
Now I feel like kung fu panda!! That was the best :) I'm not a big Starbucks fan (in London Caffe Nero, all the way!); but having said that, I'm definitely going to pay Horniman Circle a visit soon! Thanks for posting this.
Awry... said…
Imagine Kalyan Da , a few steps from Yazdani will be Star Bucks :) ... If this is not why life is good .. I don't see another reason :)..

Will make a trip soon as it opens . I am all for good smelling coffee and as you mentioned as I am completely ignorant on this , I'll let the caffeine instincts guide me.
Poorna Banerjee said…
kolkatay ashchena??
Kalyan Karmakar said…
yazadani te adda and then starbucks airconditioning before the long journey home...even I am reasonably 'ignorant' about coffee...I just enjoy it
Kalyan Karmakar said…
kung fu panda is the best :) must admit that my experience of starbucks has been more as a tourist so far than as a regular