10 Coffee Stops In Colombo.

Great coffee is very hard to find in Sri Lanka for some reason. We’re
better as tea-people. Still, Colombo’s handful of coffee shops continue to
be as popular as ever – here is a roundup of where you can get a freshly
ground cup in the big city. If you know of any places we might have missed
out on, even restaurants that do a great coffee, share it with us in the
comments. 


1. Whight
& Co

24, Aloe Avenue, Marine Drive, Colombo 3   114 383 236

Whight & Co grows their own coffee and roast it in the ‘Roasting
Room Cupping Lab’, which you can peek into from the main restaurant. The
coffee has a distinctive, high quality flavour, and they do a superb cold
drip coffee for Rs. 340. The food here is quite good too and very well
presented – you can get a flavoursome, filling burger dish in the Rs. 700
range, or go for a more Sri Lankan meal for Rs. 1000. This is one of those
few places in Colombo that’s total value for money.

2.
Charcoal 

75, Hotel Road, Mount Lavinia   112 715 717

Charcoal is another one of our favourite
haunts in the city, tucked away quietly down a road in Mount Lavinia. The
ambience and service is always very welcoming and pleasant, especially in
the evenings. They serve some very good food in the Rs. 300 range, and the
iced mocha we got here for Rs. 350 really hit the spot. It’s a slightly
milkier version of the caffe mocha with a good amount of espresso and a
mild bit of chocolate – fun fact: they use Hansa coffee.

3. The Brown Bean Coffee
14, Reid Avenue, Colombo 07   071 622 1626

The Brown Bean Coffee has always
been a favourite of ours at The Good Market. Now they’ve got a permanent
stall at the Good Market Shop at Lakpahana. They use Peruvian Coffee beans
which have a unique smokey flavour which works well with both cold and hot
coffees. If you’re looking for a place to get a really good cup coffee, The
Brown Bean Coffee is one place we’d definitely recommend. Their coffee is
organic, tastes great and is quite affordable.

4. Java
Lounge

135, Jawatte Road, Colombo 5   112 556 633

Java Lounge is one of the better ones as
far as mainstream franchise-type coffee shops are concerned. Besides their
main branch at Jawatte Road they’ve also now got an outlet in Bamba , next to
the Kapruka office. The food and coffee are alright, though nothing to brag
about (we like their ice caramel machiato, Rs. 430), but it’s mostly the
typical comfy-and-efficient ambience that makes it popular and constantly
full of regulars. With drinks in the Rs. 500 range, it’s a tiny bit more
expensive than some other coffee shops, and it’s one of the few
grab-a-coffee-to-go options in the city.

5. Cup
Cafe 

6, C. W. W. Kannangara Mawatha (Baptist Chapel Road), Colombo 7
777 326 781

Cup Cafe is the lovable underdog on this list. It’s a ‘no-frills coffee shop’,
a small space hidden in plain sight opposite ODEL, popular among tourists.
The coffee is good – we got a nice big, refreshing glass of iced coffee for
Rs. 380. They also have a tasty range of burgers, sandwiches and desserts
that haven’t disappointed us (Rs. 500). If you’re stopping by here for a
tall cup then also try the lime tart.

6.
Hansa Coffee
 
24, Fife Road, Colombo 5   773 116 579

Hansa Coffee is one of our favourites,
mentioned time and time again on different reviews as a reference point.
They have been consistently good, and they have their very own brands of
coffee and chocolate. It’s another small, understated coffee place, with
comfy cushions and a staff of one or two, a great place to read a book and enjoy
a hot, steaming cup. They’ve got a small menu of chocolatey desserts and
sandwiches, and some interesting drinks, all very affordable – from Rs. 150
to Rs. 350. The Brownie Shake and the Espresso Chocolate Truffle are some
of the best on the menu, while there’s a variety of coffees to pick from
(Thai coffee, condensed milk coffee, spiced coffee).

7.
Coco Veranda 

32, Ward Place, Colombo 7   117 635 635

Coco Veranda is one of the oldies,
competing with the likes of Coffee Bean and Java Lounge. They used to be
quite good, though lately they’re just alright – still, they’ve got a
steady and loyal customer base that isn’t afraid of throwing a dignified
hissyfit if you say anything bad about the place. On our last visit we
tried the lattes – mocha and creme brulee – and for Rs. 540, they weren’t
impressive. Still, it’s a very cool, chic place to hang out at, and
ambience is what makes our coffee shops so well frequented. You also get
some decent desserts and savouries here in the Rs. 400
range.

8. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 
2, Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7   773 928 888

The Coffee Bean is another popular go-to
for coffee, albeit it’s more expensive than the other coffee dons, with
drinks in the Rs. 650 range and food for Rs. 750. It is definitely a notch
above the other mainstream coffee shops in terms of quality – the desserts
are always fresh and reliable, the lattes are good (caramel all the way),
and the food is nothing spectacular but satisfying. Besides the Matiland
Crescent HQ and the one you get at the airport, they also have
a
more central outlet now at Liberty Plaza
. Service is generally good, and it’s an ideal spot for
a business meeting or a quiet read, so if you don’t mind chalking out about
Rs. 1500 for a coffee date, this is one of the good ones.

9. Barista
53A, Nelum Pokuna Mawatha, Colombo 7   112 680 551

Barista is the most successful coffee
franchise in the city. It puzzles me as to why, because there’s nothing
fancy about the coffee or food here, which is alright at best. It is
however, like Coffee Bean, a very convenient place to meet up at,
especially since you get one in all the big neighborhoods now (Horton
Place, Bambalapitiya, Kirulapone etc). Plus their standard of service and
drinks has been consistent. We personally like the ambience best at the
outlet in the Laksala building opposite Viharamahadevi Park – it’s an old
colonial style structure, sharing space with the Laksala store, and a
lovely green park of sorts. Things are affordable, with sandwiches in the
Rs. 200 range and coffees for Rs. 400.

10. The Commons Coffee House
39A, Flower Road, Colombo 7   112 694 435

The Commons Coffee House despite its
name is better known for its food and ambience than the actual coffee
served here. It’s a comfortable, large space that works as a cafe but also
doubles as a chic place to have dinner. They do some great rottis and
interesting desserts in the Rs. 350 range, and we think the coffee tastes
alright as far as coffee in Colombo goes, somewhere between Barista and
Java lounge.

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