Tea and Coffee – An Experience


I had sworn not to have caffeine for reasons best left unsaid. Still, as I type this, I have my first sip of morning tea. The mornings are ethereal like this; it’s not so much for the shot of energy that I drink it, as much as it is for the hot cup to hold on to, the smell of the tea, sipping it as vapours hit my eyes and forhead. Do you love your coffee/tea too for more than just caffeine? Do you spend every day on those power-packed cups, no matter what? Well then, let’s have a look at some of those coffee shops around the town.

I have been to several coffee shops in and around. Local ones, and those ubiquitous chains. The ones that quickly come to my mind are – Dunkin’ Donut, and Starbucks. I have read and heard McDonald’s are a competition for these guys too, and their coffee is quite good and cheap, but I am not going to go there. Really, NOT. Then there are those local coffee shops, that I have scavenged out. I am definitely going to talk about them.

When I go to Dunkin’ I smell bad coffee. Very sweet and sick coffee. I see colourful donuts and munchkins stacked in squares and rectangles. I see people in uniforms taking orders and calling out names. These people are bored of their jobs, and it shows. Who cares, as long as you are served? Fair enough. I go there only if I feel like eating hashbrowns, or flatbread sandwich with egg in it.

When I go to Starbucks, I smell Apple. No, not the fruit. The Macs, iPhones, etc. People with long faces (no offence) are there to work, with their expensive cup of coffee. Working away, typing away. Once in a while I spot someone I know. But I am scared of calling them out; they all seem like they are typing some secret codes for some submarine mission. Well, may be I am exaggerating. But the place is intimidating, no kidding there! The people who work here are bored of their jobs, and they make a strenuous effort for it to not show. Unlike Dunkin’ employees, these guys are trained to talk to you nicely. The coffee cup size names are wisely coined out to confuse people who need to be kept out – Tall, Grande, Venti. Give me a break! This place smells of customer segmentation, fancy coffees that are ridiculously expensive and taste more like some milk drink than coffee, fancier gift coupons and cards, etc. All this works well for them. It smells of business, which it is.

When I go to In House Cafe, Cafe on the Common, I smell a lot of things – pie, pastries, soups, and most importantly, good coffee! Things are arranged in circles, squares, stacks, pyramids, here, there. Chairs and couches are made of jute and wood and metal and other things. I see all sorts of people – kids running around, a broke man, friends, businessmen, an old couple. The employees may be slow on certain days taking orders and preparing your food, but they certainly love their job. The most important thing, their coffees are great! Lip-smacking.

Why am I telling you this? Well, my mission in not to put the chains out of business (I cannot even if I want to). All I am trying to tell you here is that, if you really love your cup of tea/coffee, I urge you to try out local coffee shops. Pick a fine day, and just walk into one. You will enjoy the experience, guaranteed, as long as you have picked the right one 🙂


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