The Coffee Culture BY SEERAT FRANCIS
The Coffee Culture
The ‘let’s-go-for-coffee’ has become one of the fastest growing trends among Pakistan’s bold and beautiful. The upscale and wealthy areas in Karachi and Lahore are now lined with coffee cafes where young and old from affluent backgrounds come to relish the taste of a variety of coffee brews. In terms of preference one wonders if coffee is replacing the traditional ‘chai’ craze that our society is addicted to.
Interestingly, coffee is not an extraordinary phenomenon for the East; the first coffee trees were cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula and the drink was introduced to the West by the Ottoman Turks.
In Karachi, coffee cafes provide a laid-back environment where both the young and the not-so-young are sipping their hot cups of coffee. Food served here is light and snacky along with that host a mouth-watering collection of desserts.
As far as coffee itself is concerned, the choice ranges from Cappuccino, steaming black Espresso (only for ‘serious’ coffee-drinks) to milder flavored hot and cold coffee combinations. One hot favorite is the Mocha, a divine chocolate-coffee combination that is rich and delicious for the taste buds.
Perhaps the best thing about ‘going for coffee’ is that the cafes are open at any time form the early mornings to late nights. The crowd that frequents these cafes in general is diverse, consisting of students, office goers, intellectuals, artists and the begums. It’s not unusual to walk into a coffee place and see tables of executives on a break, couples or loud groups of teenagers out for a quick bite and some socializing. The atmosphere is informal, loud with customer noise accompanied by familiar and popular music. Once you’re at the cafes there’s no hurry to leave; coffee and chitchat is the order-of –the –day….and in such a chill atmosphere.
The main reasons most people frequent coffee bars are to escape from routine, to meet friends or read a book, accompanied by a steaming hot Cappuccino or an ice cold Frappuccino. It’s a nice informal way to spend a casual evening that is different from formal dinners and three-course meal—the idea is to do something spontaneous and for fun. All in all ‘going for coffee’ seems to be more than just a passing trend; the ‘coffee-culture’ is a statement of changing times, values and priorities and it seems it’s here to stay.