Everyone has a place that is special for them. A place which they are not just fond of, but a place that makes them feel comfortable, a place where they get a feeling of belonging. The Barista Lavazza café in Baroda happens to be mine.
Baroda is not where I came to know of Barista, our connection is much older than that. More than 10 years ago when I used to haunt the Crosswords book store at Mithakali in Ahmedabad, I would spend time in the adjoining café with the book I would have had bought. That café happened to be Barista. It was a ritual for me to read my pre-ordered Harry Potter on the day of release in Barista. When having bought anything other than Harry Potter, I would spend less time in there, but a visit was always on the cards.
Then something horrible happened. Barista shut down, and was replaced by some other chain of coffee shops. It was decent, but didn’t have the same feeling as Barista. Years later, when I had to meet a friend in Baroda, she asked me to come to Barista. I was overjoyed to learn that Barista had opened sop again. Lavazza had taken over, and opened up at new places. They were smart in the fact that they didn’t change what was already bringing back the old loyal customers, and yet had something for new lovers. My love was back.
After renting out a different place with new roommates in the same area, I could easily spend more time at Barista. It was natural for one of us to be tired from work, and ask the other to join him for coffee at Barista. Barista still serves some of the best coffee that I have had. Their hot chocolate is to die for. Let me walk you through the place with pictures.
Welcome to Barista
This is one of the few places that I know where people love sitting outside as much as they love the insides. There is no special sitting arrangement outside, just two ledges on either sides of the door where you have glass panes. There is enough space to sit on it.
There have been many nights when roommate and I have spent sitting there just chatting away into the last hour of the night forgetting what happened at work, or sometimes just reading in silence.
When we went in as a group, this was our spot. One could keep track of the score if there was a cricket match going on. We could all have our drinks and snacks placed in front us, on the centre table.
When it came to hot drinks, I prefer their Cafe Mocha. It is such a wonderful blend of chocolate and coffee. The cookies help as well 😀
At times when I felt like reading alone, I would order a Brrista for myself. It is their version of a cold frappe which has icecream blended with coffee. The only sad thing about this is that I end up finishing it quickly in three sips, and am left wondering where it all went.
They have such lovely wall art decor. The first one has “AT ANY TIME OF DAY A CUP OF COFFEE DELIGHTS, REVIVES AND STIMULATES THE SENSES.” on it.
This is another lovely piece they have, that takes up almost half of the wall. I love how they have not drawn the features and expressions of the people in it, and have left it to the viewer’s imagination.
This is my spot when I go there by myself. If someone is already occupying it, you may find me sulking about it. The moment they leave, I get up and move to it before anyone else does.
This a panaroma shot from the spot. I can cover the entire place from it, corner to corner. I can see the wash room and wait at my seat instead of having to wait at the door for the person to come out. The barista can signal for me when my order is done. I can look at the outsides through the door and glass panes, and keep an eye out for a friend who may have made plans with me. It also has a charging point right behind the chair, and I can keep my laptop plugged in. I remember sitting hours over there playing games on my laptop.
One day I received a call from the Barista office regarding a feedback form I had filled up. They had called to confirm my address, and they sent in this lovely mug as a gift along with a letter.
The letter reads as :
“ Hi Hrishikesh,
Thank you for writing in!
We appreciate feedback like yours that inspires us to move in a positive direction.
I am enclosing a small souvenir with this package.
Please keep writing for customers like you are the ones we work for. 🙂
BARISTA FOR ALL.”
They’re the best!
Written for day 2 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2014.