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Move Aside Tea, Lucknow Now Brews Its Own Coffee Culture
With names like Tata Starbucks, Roastery, Bili Hu, Third Wave and Blue Tokai already expanding their footprints in the city, Lucknow is no longer just a tea lover’s heaven. It caters to the young, urban coffee lover too
Photo Credit : Tarannum Manjul
Coffee lovers at Roastery Coffee House
Gone are the days when Lucknow loved the kadak chai for its mornings and evenings. The city has now developed its own coffee culture, enjoying every brew that has hit the Lucknow market. The young urban nawabs are switching to coffee as their “soul” drink and not just big brands, but direct to consumer artisanal coffee brands are also enjoying love from the Lucknowites. The city’s love for the beans has grown to such an extent that brands do not mind investing big money in the city to give it the surreal and the best coffee drinking experiences.
Tata Starbucks was amongst the first big names who saw the potential in Lucknow. As the first Starbucks outlets opened in the city in August 2020 just after the Covid wave, the brand received an overwhelming response from the coffee lovers of the city. Since the first two outlets, Starbucks has now expanded to six outlets across the city, having one outlet in almost every nook and corner, including one at Sapru Marg, Phoenix Palassio, Lulu Mall, Apollo Medics, Gomti Nagar and Lucknow Airport each.
The “white cup with a green logo” surely raised the caffeine quotient of Lucknow. According to official information, Tata Starbucks gets approximately 5200 transactions per week in Lucknow. The Phoenix Palassio and Lulu Mall stores are the most frequented ones and their best sellers include their Cappuccino, Caramel Macchiato, Hot Mocha and the all time favourite Java Chip Frappuccino. For the young entrepreneurs, Starbucks is a go-to place not just because of the coffee, but the ease of Work-from-Cafe culture that it supports.
Udit Madan (28) a young entrepreneur and a Starbucks regular, says that the coffee plus ambience combination works for him. “I can spend my entire day here doing all my work and the coffee just keeps me awake to keep the spirits high.” Sonali Kapoor (35) another young entrepreneur too finds Starbucks to be a perfect place for work meetings. “The ambience and the coffee at Starbucks is just right for business discussions with that slight informal touch, making it perfect for us young lot.”
Nishant Sinha owned Roastery Coffee House too opened its doors for the coffee loving Lucknowites in July this year. The brand, which finds its origin in Hyderabad, opened its fourth outlet in India in Lucknow and is said to have invested over Rs 1 crore in the outlet to make it a one of its kind cafe. Sinha’s expertise in creating specialty brews makes Roastery stand out amongst the crowd.
Add to it the ambience and the vintage French style look of the café which got an overwhelming response from the city’s coffeeholics. According to the brand, they have an average of 200 to 250 orders in a day, including takeaways which constitute a major part of Roastery’s sales.
The Hot Brews and Cranberry Coffee are their highest selling variants at the Lucknow outlet. Navleen Kaur, dentist and digital creator swears by Roastery coffee house. “I find this place perfect to take breaks from a stressful day and also when you want to work from a cafe. The brews and ambience are a perfect combination,” Kaur says.
Artisanal brands like Bili Hu, Third Wave and Blue Tokai have also created their footprints in the city through different outlets. Bili Hu, which has already made its presence in hospitality through properties like Taj, Oberoi and Indian Accent, is currently available at two cafes, Pomona Orchard and Irani Cafe 2.7, and gets a lot of attention from city coffee lovers who enjoy coffee with good food. Founder of Bili Hu, Bharat Singhal said that it’s amazing to see their brand finding love with Lucknowites. “These cafes had directly approached us. We have created blends keeping in mind the choices of the people and the food served by these cafes and we are happy that city’s coffee lovers like these brews,” Singhal says. He adds that Bili Hu trainers make sure that they keep a check on the baristas at these cafes and update them with regular new additions to Bili Hu’s menu. “We want these cafes to ensure that they deliver what Bili Hu stands for,” Singhal adds. Meenakshi Karwariya, owner of Pomona Orchard reveals that Bili Hu’s Classic Cappuccino and Hazelnut Cappuccino are amongst their best sellers.