Apr 11, 2013

Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf - Review


Cosy, homey, warm, comforting – are all words that come to mind when I think of the Cafe chain, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Celebrating it’s Golden jubilee and running strong in India since 2008, the cafe chain has plans for expanding further too.

View of Indoor Cafe

The first thing that caught my attention was the ambience. With options of plush seating aided by soft lighting inside and a bright naturally lit ‘outdoor’ space lined with cafe table, chairs, the place looks cheerful and inviting.

The Coffees – I was informed that ‘only Arabica beans’ are sourced from East African, Latin American and Pacific regions. CBTL did not disappoint on the quality of coffee. Their mocha cappuccino was smooth, frothy, delivered the right coffee flavour with just a hint of chocolate and cinnamon. It was outstanding as was their caramel flavoured coffee. Others tried their “ice blended” Hazelnut and Double Chocolate coffees too.

Mocha CappuccinoCaramel Latte

Teas –  CBTL sources only whole leaf teas from across the world to ensure best flavours. They offer a  whole variety – Black, Flavoured, Green, Flavoured Green, Herbal Infusions and Fruit Infusions (whew – so many categories).

Chinese Black with Rose PetalsIndian Chai Blend

Quite a  choice, I’d say. – I tasted the Swedish berries – iced tea, (not really tea, rather a fruit infusion). It was very refreshing, aroma of fruits and berries wafted through, no mouth feel of artificial flavours, smooth aftertaste.

Swedish Berry - Iced TeaThe Swedish Berry leaves - closer look

We witnessed the brewing of ‘The Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl’ – quite a sight to see the ‘pearled’ leaves uncurl in the hot water, and infuse the brew with it’s ‘jasmined’ tea aroma! The tea was an olfactory and gustatory treat! The jasmine did not overpower the tea flavour, instead, upon drinking, the tea induced a immediate stress-free, relaxed feel! ( Is it watching the almost magical uncurling of leaves playing on my mood?)

I sampled the Moroccan mint (Flavoured Green Tea) too. Invigorating, refreshing, great pick me up on tired days, I quite liked this one.

The Jasmine Green teaTea Bag Dipped in - at 30 secTea bag dipped in - at 1 minThe Ready Brew after 3 min

Choice of Menu – A new ‘Healthy Menu option’ launched to coincide with CTBL’s 50th year includes Banana Muesli, Oats and Cranberry Bars (mildly sweet, chewy, super yummy), egg white omelettes, multi grain croissants. A good choice of Low Calorie drinks such as the iced teas allow you to mind your calories and indulge at the same time. I saw Decaf coffees and teas on the menu card too.

Did I mention that their range of Sandwiches, Salads, Pastas are super scrumptious?

I sampled the  Roast Vegetable Sandwich with hummus, Seasonal Vegetable Lasagne and The Three Cheese Ciabizza. The lasagne was the best I have had in Bangalore so far. It was appealingly served with two garlic bread wedges. The sandwich did not speak much of ‘roast vegetable’, but tasted good with nice balance of creamy hummus and aubergines. The sandwich was served with fries and a tiny portion of salad. The Three Cheese Ciabizza is truly drowned in  gooey melty cheese. While a super calorie dense dish, this could be the  cheese lover’s ultimate delight. Any of these snacks, coupled with a drink could become a filling meal.

Oats Cranberry BarRoast vegetable sandwich with hummusSeasonal Vegetable Lasagne3 cheese ciabizza

Interesting dessert options like Blueberry Cheesecake, Banoffee Pie, Philadelphia Cheese cake, Oreo Cheese Cake, Brownies help you to round off the meal, should you be in the mood for some indulgence.

Dessert options

In keeping with the norm of international coffee chains, CBTL has special flavour additions like French vanilla Sugar, and Dutch mocha at no extra cost, to help customers, customise their drinks. Open-mouthed smile

Flavour add ons

Why go to CBTL?

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a good choice for people to meet for business, for friends who want to catch up over (what else?) a great cuppa, for tired shoppers, for young couples who need some undisturbed space, for busy folks who can work away happily charged on caffeine (or decaf) and free Wi- Fi, for folks seeking a quiet spot to catch up on reading, for those looking for a hot or cold beverage, for a meal anytime, or just for some great coffee too!

Vegetarians have good  menu choices too.

Location – I visited the Cafe at 1, MG Road. This is in the thick of the business district and augurs well for the both cafe and customers. Other locations in Bangalore are at 7th Block, Koramangala, Inorbit Mall, Whitefield, Phoenix Market City, Whitefield, and the  Bangalore Airport.

Suggestions –

  • More outlets are surely welcome!
  • Menu could include more fresh salad options (found only two in the menu).
  • Offering baked vegetable wedges, such as potato or carrot wedges, instead of fries as accompaniment to sandwiches would make it healthier.

Special thanks -

Mr. Md. Zameer Ahmed, thank you for coordinating our afternoon, answering our queries patiently, and taking us through the nuances of coffees, teas and CBTL.

Score Card – On a scale of 1 to 10

Location – 10

Ambience – 10

Hygiene – 9

Food – 9

Choice for vegetarians - 9

Beverages – 10

Value for money – 10


Subbu said...

A nice review with good pics. Makes me thirsty for a large cuppa right now! Will surely try CBTL the next time I am in its vicinity.

Nilu A said...

Wow! Nice detailed review Rajani :-)

Glan Deas said...

Good research . Thanks for gathering and sharing such a very useful information. I am a coffee drinker and this research make me crazy.

Glan Deas
Kopi Luwak

Fruit Infusions said...

Fantastic review! And lovely photos too. It's great to see so many fresh, healthy, natural ingredients being used.

Best wishes, Alex

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