The Coffee Bean on Maitland Crescent always has customers in it. Always. We've never seen that place empty, and it's a little baffling because it's really quite expensive. The poor Barista across the street, however, never seems to have customers - but more on the sad decline of this once popular coffee shop later. The food and drinks at Coffee Bean aren't bad, but the prices are still a bit high for a Sri Lankan context.
So who goes to Coffee Bean? Rich people and their kids, apparently. We have a photograph of two Benzes and a Montero lined up outside (that's our trishaw in the background) to give you a sense of the clientele. Cause who else can really afford to spend above Rs. 300 on a coffee?
Yep, the standard beverage at Coffee Bean is likely to set you back around Rs. 350-400. Once you add extra toppings, etc. that climbs to the Rs. 450-500 range. And with food/dessert we're talking Rs. 800 and above. But Coffee Bean is part of a global coffee chain, and their rates are pretty much on par with what you'd pay at a Starbucks in the US, or Costa in the UK.
However, you're not paying lots of money for poor quality, as is the case with places like BreadTalk
. The desserts are good - cheesecakes, apple crumbles, scones - and so is the food - paninis, salads, etc. The coffees also, especially the ice blended range, don't tend to disappoint. But still, overpriced.
We were pretty excited to discover that they do frozen yoghurt. YAMU recently went on a hunt for all the froyos in the city: Il Gelato
and Avirate Cafe
but we'd somehow missed Coffee Bean. They serve two types of froyo - tart and vanilla. Tart is the standard plain flavour, like what they serve at Il Gelato
, and vanilla is, well, vanilla. It's sweeter and goes better with chocolatey toppings, whereas the tart is good with fresh fruit.
I quite like Coffee Bean's froyo, although Indi doesn't, and one of our friends thought it tasted machiney, ie. metallic like a machine. It seems popular though, and we noticed quite a few other customers ordering a cup. You get a massive serving for Rs. 300, but, if you add toppings the total can come to rather a lot. I had the tart with chocolate sauce which came to Rs. 370. You get alot of yoghurt, but that's still expensive. The cheaper option, which is honestly as good maybe better, would be Yo-Mo
at the World Trade Centre.
Anyway, the verdict on Coffee Bean is, well, it's okay. They do some good drinks and desserts, and it's really popular with the people who can afford it. If you're one of them, it's not a bad place at all to get a quick hit of caffeine. But if you buy coffee every day, this really isn't the place to get it from.
Their Ice Blended Matcha Latte is p good.