Starbucks came to India only in the year 2013, which is just about a couple of years back. Bangalore was the fourth city in the country (after Mumbai, Delhi and Pune) to get a Starbucks outlet, and that was in November. So it’s safe to say, It’s been around in Bangalore for only a little more than a year.
My friend, being a major caffeine addict, made sure we all visited it as soon as possible – which we did. And besides, having seen and heard about it in movies and on TV shows, I was curious to see what the hype was all about. My cousin dismissed it by saying “it’s just another coffee shop, why the big fuss?” – and I honestly wanted to know the exact same thing.
The first time (we went to the outlet on M G Road), I had an iced mocha or some thing along those lines, but frankly, I didn’t like it – I found it too watery. It wasn’t a ‘blended’ drink, it was just ‘iced’ – which meant ice cubes floating around, diluting your drink even more (which is great if you like that sort of thing, but not for me).But. I did have a sip of my friend’s Signature Hot Chocolate – and that was honestly the best hot chocolate I’d ever had! The first thing that popped into my mind as it melted on my tongue was that it tasted like liquefied Lindt chocolate bars! I am an absolute chocoholic, and it catered to my taste buds perfectly -and the Signature Hot Chocolate is now one of my favourite drinks there.
I really liked my first visit to the place, despite my drink being so watery, because I loved the ambiance and the laid back aura about it. From my second visit, I learnt what to order according to my taste, and I discovered that they had a whole range of fabulous and tempting options to chose from. I had a Java chip Frappuccino, one of their best selling drinks, and I simply loved it. It was thick and cold, and slightly grainy with just the right amount of choco chips blended into it. This led to several more visits with a friend of mine who has a caffeine addiction and shares my love for this place. We go to Starbucks when we want to study, or to satisfy cravings, or to just talk (and also: free wifi. Need I say more?) – and this has become all the more convenient now because of the new outlet that opened up super close to our college (in Sadashivnagar)! This one is spacious, comfortable, and filled with sunlight through out the day, the staff are friendly and the food is great as always -plus there’s always soothing jazz playing all day.
I have tried quite a lot of drinks – some seasonal ones too, like the Christmas special, which was something with praline, and today, a Raspberry Truffle Mocha (which was delicious and smooth, even though the raspberry flavour was a little overpowering). Another drink I enjoy a lot is the Green Tea Frappuccino, which I tasted first because of my friend, who also happens to be quite health conscious (not that this is even remotely healthy – what with all that whipped cream, but well, it creates the illusion). It has that ever so slight bitter green tea flavour that goes so well with the whipped cream, and I love that!
The food at Starbucks is great too – the muffins are huge, the brownies are sweet, the sandwiches are loaded with chicken and veggies, the bread is soft – the only flaw is the exorbitantly priced desserts. The cakes are expensive, but I have tasted their cherry chocolate cake (during one of their free sample testings) and it was quite delicious.
I’ve heard a whole lot of opinions on Starbucks – it seems to have garnered quite a lot of attention for a coffee shop – but that’s probably because it’s been a part of so many movies and TV shows and memes and all of that. Some love it (like me). Some pretend they love it – just to fit in I guess? Some think it’s alright. And then there are people who think it’s the cliche-est of all cliches, so over-hyped and not worth it at all.
Here’s my opinion: It’s true, Starbucks is pretty over-hyped. How ever, I find myself attracted to the place because I genuinely love the drinks and food they serve, and most of all, the general atmosphere of the place. And also, I LOVE their whipped cream(which I eat with a spoon because I’m a little weird), and that’s saying something because I don’t really like cream.The few of my friends who are Americans, and also those who have been to Starbucks abroad have told me that the outlets there are more like drive-bys – people get their drinks, and head out. There’s not much place to sit and work, like there is here, in India.
There are only two things I wish could be improved – the pricing of the food items and also the spelling skills of the staff (yes, the number of times my friends’ names have been contorted into something else is hilarious!). So, at the risk of sounding cliche, I’m going to go ahead and say, yes, I love Starbucks! It is a great place to catch up with friends, or to get work done or to simply enjoy some time by yourself. 🙂