A Coffee Lover’s Guide to Bombay

Coffee and then the world. Here’s spilling the beans on the best cafés in Bombay for those fiendish about their caffeine fix!

Koinonia Coffee Roasters, Khar

Translating to “community” in Greek, Koinonia is the brainchild of an international trio of coffee lovers – Sidhartha Marchant (from India), Clement Sissia (from France) and Shanon D’Souza (from Australia).

Tucked away in the bylanes of Chuim Village in Khar, their diminutive café constellates around a large Probat machine roasting an artisanal variety of organic beans from Badra (Chikmanglur) to Marvahulla (Nilgiris). The visual art of brewing aside, other draws feature the likes of an affogato menu (curated by Chef Sanjana of La Folie!), intriguing nitro-brew infusions and a charcoal mint chocolate latte.

And as though you needed another reason to visit Foodhall’s fabulous new store on Linking Road, Bandra, Koinonia are also the helm of the all-encompassing Coffee Lab found within the hallowed halls of our favourite gourmet food-space!

KC Roasters, 66, Chuim Village Road, Off BR Ambedkar Road, Khar, Mumbai

The Coffee Lab at Foodhall, Plot No.106, Linking Rd, Santacruz West, Mumbai

Cardboard, BKC

Remember those good ole days at BAD, Bandra, fuelled by Spanish-style bon bons, ristrettos and cashew mylk cortados? Well, while the café sadly remains shuttered, the creative forces behind it have launched the ultimate hipster-hangout in the form of a café made entirely out of cardboard! Sourced from Tamil Nadu, the 100% Arabica beans here are just as strong as the corrugated surrounds (featuring cardboard wall panels which take a wave-like, parametric shape!). Expect to see local office-goers communing freely with freelancers, as they sip on owner/ chef & barista, Yung Dhanani’s expertly-brewed cups of coffee.

Cardboard, Adani Inspire, G Block, Patthar Nagar, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East

Kala Ghoda Cafe, Kala Ghoda

Sustainably sourced coffee is the name of the game at this inviting bolthole cosseted within a reconverted barn in the eponymous Kala Ghoda neighbourhood. The café’s old world charm is matched in equal measure by desi touches and millennial twists… Think chilli-cheese toasties and organic wholegrain waffles smothered in dark chocolate, with a side of hazelnut mylk cappuccinos! Explore more of Kala Ghoda, here

Kala Ghoda Cafe, 10, Ropewalk Lane, Opp Krishna Restaurant, Kala Ghoda Fort. 

Sea Lounge at Taj, Colaba

A Bombay institution, and no – not just for its longstanding reputation as an intermediary setting for many an arranged marriage in polite Marwari society. The elegant salon at the Taj boasts sweeping views across the city’s harbour, with lazy afternoons over high tea in order for the less hurried. Nothing quite beats the combination of chaat and cold coffee here, the latter an incredibly indulgent proposition with generous dollops of vanilla ice cream smoothly blitzed in.

The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder 

Suzette, various locations

We’ll always be thankful to the French trio behind Suzette for bringing a bit of Brittany to Bombay. Crisp buckwheat crêpes apart, mornings are always well taken care of here over freshly-baked, melt-in-your-mouth croissants and steaming cups of coffee. Comfort classics include the viennois – an americano topped with oodles of whipped cream!

Suzette, A1, Atlanta Building, Ground Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021; 

Shop No. 14, Gasper Enclave, St John Street, Opp. Golds Gym, Pali Naka, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Blue Tokai, Mahalaxmi

This cheerful cafe in Mahalaxmi regularly roasts its own beans, brewing the coffees with a meticulous – almost scientific – precision for a velvety-smooth result. Oh and they have cruffins on the menu too – an exquisite hybrid between a croissant and muffin, amply filled with a rich custard cream… Full review, here.

Blue Tokai, Unit 20/22 Laxmi Woolen Mill, Opposite Khazana Furniture, Shakti Mill Lane, Off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi 

Best for filter kaapi

Aromatic, perfectly golden milky coffee with an intensely-sweet richness, balanced by nutty undertones… yes, this guide would be incomplete without a mention of where you can find the best South Indian  filter kaapi. Otherwise known as the Mylapore of Mumbai, the city’s Matunga district is your best best of course – the reputations of Mysore and Madras cafes both precede it. South Bombay compatriots less keen to travel afar can seek comfort in a good brew at Dakshinayan too, close to Malabar Hill.

Cafe Madras, No. 38-B, Ground Floor, Kamakshi Building, Bhaudaji Road, Kings Circle, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019

Cafe Mysore, Shop No. 1461-C, Durlabh Niwas, Bhandaji Road, Matunga East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019

Dakshinayan, 183, Teen Batti Road, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai

Find more more cafes off the beaten path, here. 


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