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Valley’s five popular coffee spots
KATHMANDU, Jan 29: Coffee plant, on being first discovered in Ethiopia in the late 11th century, was termed as ‘magical fruit’ for its vibrant aroma. The fame and peculiar functioning of coffee gradually began to spread over the years, and Nepal was no exception. With Gulmi district serving as a center point to producing Arabica coffee beans, coffee culture in Nepal has taken a noticeable flight making significant progress in terms of coffee cultivation. Although some swear by coffee to blend in the trend, it is widely consumed for health benefits including prevention against Parkinson's disease, diabetes and liver cancer. Coffee is also believed to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression. There are a myriad coffee houses in Kathmandu, all with their unique specialties and varieties. Mentioned below are some popular coffee spots in the Valley that are Mecca for coffee lovers.
Red Mud Coffee
Opening hours: 8 am to 10 pm
Red Mud Coffee, New Baneshwar is one of the most preferred coffee destinations in Kathmandu. Founded in Thapathali in 2012, it has six chains including four in Kathmandu, one at Jhamsikhel and one in Manang, informed senior barista of the coffee house, Avinaya Ghimire. The café serves 27 varieties of hot and cold coffee beverages and its specialty is Signature coffee aka Nepalicano, Oreo latte and Blended Mocha. The Arabica coffee beans here are organically grown, processed and brought from Palpa and Nuwakot. “Since coffee culture has hyped in Nepal, majority of customers who visit Red mud are Nepali nationals, especially youngsters and adults. Customers highly prefer burger and bakery items to match with their coffee,” said Ghimire. “We focus on quality service and hospitality, and therefore provide gift voucher to our regular customers who have paid a visit at Red mud for at least 10 times. We also collect suggestions to learn about customers’ feedback and improve accordingly,” he added.
Himalayan Java Coffee
Opening hours: 7 am to 9 pm
Himalayan Java Coffee at Boudha serves six varieties of brewed coffee and 28 varieties of hot and cold coffees drinks. Founded in 1999, Himalayan Java is widely renowned for its rich coffee flavor. Spreading its franchise in the US, Thailand, Bhutan and Darjeeling, Himalayan Java Coffee has about 12 chains in Kathmandu. The organic Arabica coffee beans brought here are grown and processed by farmers in Gulmi which is then roasted at the Himalayan Java coffee house in Thamel. “As per the demand, our outlets particularly comprise of medium roast and dark roast coffee. The amount of caffeine differs in both the types such that the amount of caffeine is high in medium roast while low in dark roast,” said Surendra Saud, area manager at Himalayan Java Coffee, Boudha. “Every day we welcome more than 350 customers who come from diverse parts of the world. As much as 70 to 80 percent of our customers are regular, who drop in to mostly indulge in the pure and freshly brewed coffee while coffee with Blue berry Cheese Cake and Walnut Brownie are also highly consumed by our customers,” added Saud.
Opening hours: 7 am to 8 pm
Café Kaldi at Boudha serves 24 varieties of hot and cold coffee drinks. Founded in Nepal in 2008, there are chains of Café Kaldi at Boudha, Thamel, New Baneshwar, Maharajgunj and Chobar. The Arabica coffee beans here are especially imported from Columbia, Indonesia and Brazil. “People from different places and age groups come here to enjoy our coffee. We also serve bakery items, snacks and confectionery. Regular customers highly demand Americano and drop their genuine feedback. Since we don’t use syrup for making caramel, home-made caramel is widely known for its rich taste. We use the caramel to mix with hot, ice and smoothie coffee drinks. Every type of coffee has its unique flavor however, caramel macchiato prepared with ingredients like caramel, milk, and espresso is the specialty of Café Kaldi,” said Rakshya Thapa, senior barista of Café Kaldi.
Bento Lounge and Bar
Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm
Established in 2017, Bento Lounge and Bar at Bishal Bazar has maintained a reliable space for the coffee lovers of Kathmandu. It serves 20 varieties of coffee drinks with three especial flavors including vanilla, caramel and honey hazelnut. “Espresso is the base that goes with every coffee drink. The dose rate for espresso is seven to eight grams, while the extraction time is 20-30 seconds. Even an inch of difference in ingredients affects the taste of coffee, so it is important to learn and get trained prior to serving your customers,” said Aashir Manandhar, barista of Bento Lounge and Bar. “Of all the coffee drinks, Caramel Latte and Caramel Cappuccino are highly admired by our customers. Basically youngsters visit in the day time, while the place serves as a hot spot for corporate clients in the evening,” said Dinesh Shrestha, manager at Bento Lounge and Bar.
Opening hours: 7:45 am to 9 pm
Since it is an Indian franchise, Barista Lavazza at Lazimpat imports Arabica coffee beans from Chennai, India. Its branch at Lazimpat was launched in 2012 and at Jawalakhel in 2013. The café serves 21 varieties of hot and cold coffee beverages. Cappuccino, latte and Americano are highly saleable coffee drinks here. Customers prefer croissant, muffin and bakery items to complement the taste of coffee. Bakery items like Mr Fudgie the Brownie, Wicked Brownie and Dark Temptation perfectly go well with coffee drinks and are highly saleable here. “Our frequent customers are mostly middle-aged people followed by youth and senior citizens. As much as 70 percent of our customers visiting here are Nepali nationals while 30 percent are foreigners,” said Kishor Pradhan, senior brew master at Barista Lavazza. “Every time I visit here, I order Americano. Since I am a regular customer of Barista Lavazza I have the privilege card which provides 10 percent discount on every beverage that I order,” said a regular customer and Chief Technical Officer at Tootle Nepal, Ayush Subedi.