Chandigarh, Sept 12 : Chandigarh is fast gaining recognition for embracing a modern lifestyle. The most apparent change is the way people spend their evenings at coffee bars or cafes sipping coffee. The aroma of coffee beans has mesmerized everyone, especially the young and the upwardly mobile in Chandiagrh.
The coffee culture was introduced to India a decade back, and now has caught the fancy of Punjabis.
Chandigarh's denizens have found a new way to relax after a hard day's work. An array of coffee flavours and tastes, a setting that is plush, yet informal, up market, yet within reach, is drawing people to these coffee cafes.
Abhay Bhagat, the proprietor of Backpackers Caf, says, "We are in to this profession for the past eight years and have seen it regularly climbing up."
"Chandigarh as a city didn't didn't have any caf except one in Sector 17 where an old coffee shop was situated thronged by older people like professors and journalists. But now, the younger generation are frequently visiting cafs and taking coffee," added Bhagat.
Besides coffee, these caf's also serve cakes, pastries, snacks and sandwiches.
Backpackers Caf, which is a unit of Whispering Willows, a European style caf, is doing its bit to boost the coffee drinking culture in Chandigarh.
The caf offers world class cuisine. The dishes are authentic, both in terms of ingredients and recipes.
Sumaira Friscic, an Austrian coffee buff, says, "When you drink coffee, it gives you relaxation from tensions, business concerns seems far away. If you are discussing business or some concept with a friend, coffee takes away other tensions. The concept of coffee is to get relaxation time. With a cup of coffee and a friend, you find yourself easing in life."
"As we are exposed to the western world and people are traveling abroad, the coffee as well as tea culture will catch up because it's an opportunity to take breaks. Also, the ambience is nice and in the hot weather of India it is great to go to an AC caf and have coffee," adds Mandeep Singh, another coffee buff.
In Chandigarh, from small-sized coffee parlours to classy coffee lounges and leading coffee retailers, all are trying hard to attract customers. And, it seems a congenial and hospitable atmosphere has certainly worked with consumers. y Sunil Sharma