If there are two metros in India where you are almost always guaranteed of an invigorating cup (or tumbler) of filter coffee, they are Chennai and Bengaluru. Both cities love and know their coffee; it's here that you're likely to run into some of India's coffee snobs, who take their coffee rather seriously. Bengaluru's unique location near some of the country's coffee growing hubs like Kodagu and Chikamagalur adds to its coffee creds. It's not just filter coffee here anymore. From home brewing to hipster cafes as well as time-tested filter coffee establishments, this is India's undisputed coffee capital. We take you through some of the city's quintessential coffee experiences:
Immersive, new-age coffee experiences in Bengaluru:
Maverick & Farmer
It is the world's first cafe painted with coffee - the interior walls of the cafe are painted with 120 espressos. This 2020s coffee establishment hasn't been shy to experiment. They created the world's first-ever Clarified Cappuccino with a proprietary clarification process where all the milk solids are removed to create a unique and refreshing beverage. What you experience is a near-clear 'cappuccino' infused with some fruit flavours and rosemary. The cafe smartly utilises coffee chaff, a by-product of the roasting process to make reusable cups
Where: Gangadhar Chetty Rd, Halasuru, Sivanchetti Gardens
Third Wave Coffee Roasters:
It is a quintessential hipster cafe where you're likely to run into plenty of coffee snobs and the occasional start up entrepreneur or angel investor. The Third Wave journey started in Koramangala - it's now a national chain. The promoters believed that Bengaluru is India's first city to truly embrace the third wave in coffee, where consumers actually care where the coffee beans come from. Many of Third Wave's customers - IT executives who've either moved back to India or who keep travelling abroad on projects or vacations, began their global coffee discoveries outside the city too.
Where: 80 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala
It is one of the many coffee plantation companies that offer immersive coffee experiences for the city's coffee's aficionados. Classic Coffee has been in the coffee business since the 1880s and offers a Coffee trail package that allows you to experience the entire plantation and coffee manufacturing process at their estate and resort (Golden Wood) that's in Sakleshpur, just four hours away from the city. If you don't have time for the day trip, you can still make it for their brewing workshops in their city location. You can learn about the subtle nuances of brewing coffee and also try your hand with different coffee brewing equipment.
Where: Commissariat Road, Richmond Town
(Also Read: 6 New Restaurants And Bars In Bengaluru You Must Try)
This 5000 sq. ft. all-white coffee bar doesn't just offer an array of coffees and global cuisine plates but also works closely with Adivasi farmer families in Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh. Their well-trained baristas will walk you through coffee brewing techniques and also help you pick the right coffee and home brewing equipment.
Where: 12th Main Road, Indiranagar
The filter coffee trail in Bengaluru
From MTR 1924 to CTR to Vidyarthi Bhavan, the list of iconic eateries across Bengaluru with a hallowed reputation for filter coffee is endless.
It is one of the city's oldest established filter coffee brands. You can stop by for a tumble of filter coffee or buy their filter coffee powder. Their range includes different blends of coffee: chicory, including restaurant style coffee blends where the chicory content goes all the way to 40%.
Where: Sampige Road.
Brahmin's Coffee Bar:
There are no seats here, the crowd of standing customers always spills over to the pavement around the restaurant. Brahmin's cafe was set up in the 1960s and is famous for its idli and chutney but it was the coffee that first brought customers here. It's fun to watch their coffee 'masters' churn out never ending tumblers of coffee with assembly line precision.
Where: Shankarapura, Basuvangudi
(Also Read: 10 Best Spots For Filter Coffee In Bengaluru)
This has built its reputation almost entirely around its perfectly brewed tumbler of filter coffee. The restaurant also offers healthy coffee options like a karupatti coffee (with palm jaggery)
HRBR Layout, Kalyan Nagar
The nostalgia coffee trip in Bengaluru
If you grew up in Bengaluru, there's a good chance that this open air spot is part of your childhood memories. You'll find old timers rub shoulders with young bikers on a weekend morning sipping on cups of coffee with bisi (hot) idlis.
Where: SBI Road, Ashok Nagar
India Coffee House:
This iconic institution might be driven by nostalgia but it still works. The odd cup might be chipped and the staff uniforms haven't evolved to keep up with the city's transition from Garden City to IT hub. Not a lot has changed since the 1950s, thankfully that includes the coffee.
Where: Church Street
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.