If your work hours are flexible and you want to get away from the monotony of sitting in the same place everyday (or from working at home) Colombo is host to a ton of cafes where you can plonk yourself and get some work done. Better work environs, A/C, Wifi (good and bad both), power-outlets… we've got you covered.
From the time they opened their doors, Whight & Co has been undoubtedly one of the best coffee shops in Colombo. They've got cold drip, pour over, espresso, frappes and capuccinos, all executed well and delivering on taste. What sets them apart from most coffee shops is how much they've invested in one key aspect of their enterprise – the coffee. We're fans of the minimalism of the dark wood, bronze and white walls. At day time, they make good use of the sunlight and sea-view. If you're looking for a place to while away a few hours, you can feel quite comfortable here. The Wi-Fi is kinda slow, though.
What's rather surprising about this place is the amount of space. There are four rooms, two of them quite private, and a balcony upstairs. It's a great place for a party or a hang-out sesh with a close group of friends — and it's an even better place to work in because with that much space around, you can grab yourself a quiet corner and settle yourself in with your laptop (we noticed plenty of plugpoints around, near all the chairs).
Java Lounge does a good job of balancing out the three most important factors of a coffee shop- the coffee, food and ambience with good service and a centrally accessible location. However, our experience tells us that their WiFi is excruciatingly slow.
Black Cat's got a concise and focused menu specializing in sandwiches, great coffee and a limited array of refreshing, homemade juices. Add to that, they have a spacious and well-lit room with shelves of a wonderful selection of books, great staff, and homely, friendly working atmosphere.
Hansa Coffee is a cosy little room with a few cushy seats on wooden frames, about enough for 10 or 12 people – we included it in our list of Colombo Book Nooks. We usually see the same loyal customers that return for Hansa's brand of chocolate and coffee. It's also known for Colombo's Poetry P'lau gatherings.
Coco Veranda is a few grades above your average Starbucks clone. Their premise on Ward Place, particularly the all important veranda, is slicker and better designed than some insta-coffeehouse job, and they've got atmosphere. The ambience at Coco Veranda is chic and tasteful, which is one of the reasons why it's popular. Our last experience there didn't say much for service, but a few unofficial visits inbetween didn't leave as
sour bitter a taste in our mouths as what we unfortunately experienced during the time of our last review.
The outlet at Galle Road has natural light aplenty, and the furniture is well spaced out and minimalistic. There's music playing in the background which makes for white noise, and it's overall very clean and well-maintained. The older branch at Maitland Crescent isn't bad in terms of space either, especially as service is almost non-existent and you're left alone most of the time.
These are places we'd recommend based on the fact that you can stay in for hours on end, have AC/ WiFi/ poweroutlets/ peace and quiet. They're basically nice places to get work done in, but keep in mind that the speed of WiFi is and can be occasionally sad. If you've got your own spot and don't mind sharing, let us know in the comments below!