As an angsty teen, I'd run off to the Coffee Bean with whatever pocket money I had. I'd happily look for any excuse to make it rain at the Maitland Crescent outlet and for the longest time you'd be able to spot me in a corner, just existing. Shudder.
Recently I found myself there again. Things haven't changed much.
The Smoked Salmon Bagel (Rs. 1100) is an all-time favourite. They rarely mess it up. Basically you get two thick slices of smoked salmon sandwiched in between a bagel with a lovely spread of cream cheese. On the side, you'll get a small salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes and raisins in vinaigrette. An all-round filling and tasty dish worth your $$$.
We decided on the Chicken Arabbiata Pizza (Rs. 650) for no reason. Well, mainly because I've tried nearly everything here except for the pizza. It's basically a good pizza base with marinara sauce, WAYYYY TOO MUCH mozarella (you can see that they've clearly just melted two slices over the pizza), minuscule bits of chicken and lots of chicken sausage. I disliked the topping on this because the sausages were horrid - but the base is well done for a coffee franchise. It's also an ugly dish, to be honest.
Nobody really goes to these franchises for pure coffee anymore, everybody knows that. What with places like Kopi Kade and Butter Boutique seizing the coffee market, most other outlets these days tend to focus solely on their flavoured drinks.
For old times' sake I got an Iced Mocha Latte with Whipped Cream (Rs. 800 for the drink, Rs. 150 for the cream smh). This was my first Coffee Bean drink, and to date, it's still as good as when I first had it. They've messed it up a few times, but every other time it's always been good. I'd advise against the whipped cream- it just thickens your drink up wayy too much, but que sera sera.
The Ice Blended Matcha Latte (Rs. 750) is another good one. I didn't know this existed before, but I'm glad I know now. There's a hefty amount of matcha infused into the drink leaving you with a delightfully rich latte. Plus, the colour of this thing is pretty aesthetically pleasing. Great for photo ops.
For some unknown reason the guy who cleaned up after we were done eating was in a bit of a mood. He threw cutlery around, made quite a bit of noise taking the plates away and was being a bit dramatic. Why, you ask? I don't know either.
This place has always veered more towards a self-service oriented system, and the staff don't really talk to you or waste time trying to make conversation. Which is a good thing, you're left alone to do whatever you like.
PS: the upstairs area is usually packed to the brim with tribes of male humans who will eye you up and down like their parents taught them to. It can get really uncomfortable, so best not go here for a smoke.
I'm not writing this as a recommendation, I just want everyone to know what's changed since our last review. If you're still a fan of this place, let me know what your favourite item from the menu is. If you're a coffee afficionado, look elsewhere.
We stopped by the iconic(ish) Coffee Bean on Maitland Crescent to give their food and drinks a try. Verdict? Eh.
The Coffee Bean is a pretty comfortable place to relax at, though the bill can make you rather uncomfortable.
So who goes to Coffee Bean? Rich people and their kids, apparently. We have a photograph of a row 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?