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Barista Lavazza (Gandhara)

Stratford Avenue, Colombo 6

Barista Gandhara has moved and been renamed to Cafe Mocha.

Barista Gandhara has moved and been renamed to Cafe Mocha.

It is a period of civil war. The Galactic Espresso Empire, commanding more cafes, espresso bars and lounges world wide than can be imagined has extended its long black arm to the hidden rebel base of Sri Lanka which still churns out tea faster than Kamino does storm troopers. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the BARI-STAR, an armoured coffee station with enough caffeine to destroy the Alliance. Writing under cover and pursued by the Galactic Coffee Empire super-cool Rebel spy Sandesh reports -

The Cafe - Field Analysis

The Stratford Avenue system, on the outer-rim of the Galax-city of Colombo is harsh and unforgiving. Not quite Colombo Central, not quite Colombo South it comes as no surprise that the evil Espresso-Empire selected Stratford Avenue to house Barista. Badly lit, and empty, Barista Lavazza uses quite possibly the worst cloaking technology to hide its Coffee House.

 Hiding my Delta-7 light inceptor unit on the dark, lonely tar road, with no troopers to be seen I creep into the monolithic mess that is Barista.


Quite mockingly, there’s a picture of late Jedi Master Mace Windu on the wall, a clear intimidation tactic used to scare Rebels such as myself. Ignoring the foul trophy I carry on further into the labyrinth. A few troopers sit around the lounge slurping strong cups of coffee. There are black and whites of Muhammed Ali along the partial brick wall along with a few other decorated generals of the Empire. Despite being a tea-loving fanatic of the Rebel Alliance, I pose as one of the many Coffee-Troopers around and sneak away to the counter.

The plans are devastating. There’s coffee everywhere, a few tea drinks tossed mockingly into the mix, and a fair display of food.

“Aren’t you a little short for a Trooper?” The Cashier asks me.

I ignore the remark. Identity is key. Believing me to be a fellow coffee-slurping fanatic the staff are pleasant and attentive, although as I find later on, pretty slow.

“I’ll order a Cheese cake, Waffles and cream, A sandwich, and one Barista Blast, and one Barista Cookie Crunch.”

“Ok Sir.” The Cashier says. He turns to his co-workers in the kitchen and laughs hysterically.


 Suddenly, smiling he then invites me to have a seat. I sit in the corner and wait. And wait. And wait.

The Dark Side of the Froth

A few light years later my order arrives. For those of us who choose to live on the light side of the froth - Tea is the answer. Undercover however, I am forced to indulge in the dark side of the froth- Coffee. One does not travel to the far reaches of the Galax-city to sip tea.

The Blue Berry Cheesecake is largely disappointing. It tastes extraordinarily ordinary despite its visual appeal. It isn’t as light as I would have liked it… but then again the empire doesn’t live on the light side of the froth. Heavy and rich I put it aside to tackle the more serious looking fighters in the fleet.

The Whipped Cream And Chocolate Waffle (Rs.300) has all the visual bite of being the flagship of the fleet. Sadly this isn’t true. Sink your teeth into it once, and you already know it’s as menacing as an ordinary battle droid. The Waffle is warm and has a bit of crisp, however the abundance of whipped cream and the drizzle of chocolate does little to save it from being an overall dry experience in the mouth.

The only thing okay to eat, if at all is the Pol Sambol ,Cheese and Mackerel Sandwich (Rs.220). The Mackerel, if any, is as sneaky as Emperor Palpatine. You just can’t taste it over the overpowering pol-sambol despite all your Jedi mind-tricks. The cheese, if and when you taste it, leaves for a modicum of texture over the lightly toasted bread. For Rs. 220 however, you might as well buy yourself a lot of roast paan, butter and pol symbol and spoil yourself.

The drinks at Barista are a disappointment. They are so disappointing my less talkative Wookie friends would probably smash the glasses. I know Chewwie, shaddup, I’m telling them, okay?

Both the Barista Cookie Crunch , and Barista Blast taste, to say the least, Like watery-coffee made to look nice. They’ve got whipped cream and accompanying bits of cookies, and chocolate drizzle which does little to mask the cheap tasting coffee inside. The better of the two would be the B. Blast, but seriously for about the same price you could get yourself better stuff at the likes of Coffee Bean.


If this is all Emperor Palpatine and Vader can conjure the Tea Alliance in Sri Lanka is under no threat at all. Jokes aside, I quite like coffee when it’s done right. So, keep in mind that if you go to Barista on Stratford based on “information” that they do good drinks, it’s a trap!

Many Yamurai died to bring you this information.


Try out their tea, maybe? Else you could try Coffee Bean for an espresso boost.


Stratford Avenue, Colombo 6


Head down Stratford Avenue from High Level Road (it's one way!) . It should be just around the corner



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Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Dish Types

Cakes Sandwiches Coffee

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