24 Fife Road, Colombo 5
Originally posted by indi · Last updated on 27 June 2013
This little coffeeshop on Fife road is really a breath of fresh air. More accurately, a breath heavy with the scent of freshly brewed coffee. It's really just a hole in the wall but its lack of pretension, excellent local coffee and reasonable prices (Rupees 100-200 for any conceivable sort of coffee) are a slap in the face to Colombo’s larger, overpriced mediocrity-peddling, Starbucks imitation coffee houses.
It's run by the people behind Hansa coffee whose packets of ground coffee (now available at all major supermarkets) have turned Sri Lankan coffee from something of a joke to a serious business. Certainly the coffee they brew using their own coffee at the café can be world-class.
The owners are clearly passionate about coffee (they do own a coffee company) and the offerings are more variety – Thai iced coffee, coffee with condensed milk, various spiced coffees - than at other Colombo Cafes. This is also the only café in the city in which you won’t feel ashamed to order something as simple as a milk coffee (Rs. 125).
The interior, while tiny, is cosy and a pleasant enough space to while away a few hours. The good food is also worth lingering for, the fresh and tasty brownies are Rs. 125 and you can order toasted sandwiches to line your stomachs.
Fundamentally it’s a chilled out space with good local coffee at a reasonable price and its probably the only such place in the city so Yamu give it two thumbs up.
Note: While we do love the Hansa concept it must be noted that their execution isn’t pitch-perfect. Their plain coffee for example is usually excellent but at times is much too weak. Timing seems to be a key factor, the waiter on duty in the evenings seems far more able than the one on duty in the afternoon. The mornings, when the owners seem to be there, are good too.
Suggestion: Would it kill you to stay open a bit later on a Friday and Saturday – maybe till 9? And either improve the aircon or get rid of it and install a proper ceiling fan.
Read another review in the Sunday Times.