Coffee had always had an emotional connect with its consumers, however if it's good or bad it remains to be debated (read more) But a caffeine craving can be a powerful thing. And if I’m forgoing dessert, a spot of coffee does really hit the spot.
Before you say “but what’s the point?” – it’s about the taste. I drink coffee because I like it, not because I need it to wire me. And trust me, the taste is just fine. At home I use instant decaf just as often as I use espresso grounds – Illy and Lavaza both are available in stores as well as online – and there is absolutely no difference in taste compared with regular coffee that I can discern. Maybe you’re used to a higher chicory to coffee ratio if you can really feel it, but decaf is just A-Ok by me. Anyway, several places in Mumbai serve really good Columbian and Indian blends – so you can suit your palette.
For my fellow decaffers, here’s a roundup of where you can enjoy the coffee taste, but without the caffeine, in Mumbai:
Among the coffee chains, Starbucks, of course, saves the day. They serve their Tata blend of decaf in every combination, bless them! You can have it straight up, blended with milk or foam, or even soy milk, hot or iced, to suit your taste.
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf also sells decaf, but all outlets do not serve it (for instance, the one at SOBO Central doesn’t even list it as an option, but the Phoenix mall and Bandra ones do). More often than not, I’m disappointed here and I end up having a green tea.
Cocoberry, the froyo place, has decaf coffee on their menu! But, no surprise, they never seem to have it in stock, at any outlet, ever. (And why you’d want coffee when you’re having frozen yoghurt ... I don’t even ...) Anyway, they’re using decaf Nescafé, and it’s the cheapest per cup option out there.
Among the restaurants (listed in no particular order), that do decaf, there’s The Tasting Room, where you are served Columbian Supremo without the jitters in a French press.
Amidst a variety of lovely teas and infusions, Basilico also serves Columbian Supremo (strange, I never realized it’s the same coffee). Again, the mildly acidic, fairly robust coffee is served in a French press.
Also served in a French press, the Guatamalan decaf at Indigo (and Indigo Deli) is pretty strongly flavored.
Moshe (and the cafés) serves their in-house American Classic in a cup, it’s pretty acrid (but maybe they just don’t make it so well). Make sure to ask for it black if that’s what you want, it seems to come as a latté by default.
One of my favorite decafs is the Smoke House Deli & Salt Water Café house blend. It’s single origin, and that is all the information they’ll divulge.
And in first place is Kala Ghoda Café’s single origin, organic Arabica Robusta blend from South India. Before Starbucks, this was the only place you could have any variation on the decaf – latté, soy latté, cappuccino (with soy instead of milk), mocha, macchiato … It’s a Rs35 surcharge to lose the caffeine, but so worth it to be able to sport a little (soy) milk mustache. And, on the side you get a square of dark chocolate to really bring out the flavor.
While Starbucks and Kala Ghoda Café are the only places to offer soy AND decaf (since I’m lactose intolerant), the Pantry and Costa coffee do offer soy milk.
There, I think I’ve got them all. If you know of some other places that serve decaf, please, please do let us know.
Also, find out her healthy places to eat out.
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