Who serves the best filter coffee in the city is a contentious issue. Wars have started for less.
Who serves the best filter coffee in the city is a contentious issue. Wars have started for less. We understand how precious this drink is, so we reached out to several filter coffee lovers in the city and asked them for their favourite spots. More than just a selection of coffee houses, this is a compilation of varied tastes and love for that perfect cup of kaapi.
Disclaimer: Cafes Madras and Mysore are not on the list for the simple reason that every self-respecting Bombayite knows about these famous establishments. And probably agrees that their filter coffee is excellent, just like the rest of their food.
Sharda Bhavan, Matunga
There are no queues at Sharda Bhavan, and that should be reason enough to like their coffee. Sharda Bhavan’s beauty also lies in the old-world charm and vibe that the owners have retained. It hasn’t been “manicured” for a younger or newer clientele, and it feels like it belongs in a different time altogether.
Sharda Bhavan, Lakhamsi Napoo Road, Matunga, Mumbai. Phone: 24141271
Taj Mahal Tea House, Bandra
Despite its name, Taj Mahal Tea House does serve coffee. But just the one kind — Indian filter coffee — and we’re not complaining. Their filter coffee is milky and not very strong. Before you turn your nose up at the brew, know that there might be quite a few milky coffee lovers who might appreciate this version of kaapi. Go easy on the sugar and you’re sure to get a good taste of the rich, flavourful coffee.
Taj Mahal Tea House, 36/A, Sanatan Pereira Bungalow, St. John Baptist Road, General A.K.Vaidya Marg, Bandra (W), Mumbai. Phone: 26420330
Ramashraya makes their coffee strong but don’t hold back on the sugar. So if you want a potent mix of the two, this is the place for you. If you want to make a full meal out of your trip to Ramashraya then order their sheera, which is cloud-like soft and has a soufflé-esque structure. If you go during strawberry season, you’re in for a treat. They’re known to not use any artificial flavours or syrups either. Pair it with some sweet bun puri, and you have yourself a glorious breakfast.
Ramashraya, 24, Shreeji Sadan Building, Bhandarkar Marg, Opposite Matunga Kabutar Khana, Matunga (E), Mumbai. Phone: 24102369
Indian Coffee House, SEEPZ
SEEPZ is rarely on the map for food and drink guides, but Indian Coffee House are known to make a mean cup of filter coffee, the highlight being that the staff are willing to customise it according to your tastes.
Indian Coffee House, Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone, Andheri East, Mumbai. Phone: 28290955
Swagat Refreshments, Fort
This tiny, old Udupi restaurant near Strand Book Stall does a pretty good filter coffee. They been around since the 1970s, their filter coffee isn’t too sweet, and you never have to tell them to make it strong. That’s just a given.
Swagat Refreshments, Syed Abdullah Brelvi Marg, Gunbow Street, Borabazar Precinct, Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai. Phone: 22657300
Mysore Concerns, Matunga
If you’re looking for proper filter coffee powder then Mysore Concerns is your place. They’ve been around since 1939, and if you like to brew your own filter coffee then you probably already know about them. The heady smell of freshly ground coffee greets you before you even approach the store. Mysore Concerns do several varieties of blends with or without chicory.
Mysore Concerns, Maheshwari Udyan, Matunga, Mumbai. Phone: 24025339
If you’re fond of the coffee houses/restaurants that are speckled all over Matunga, then you’ll definitely love Poornima in Fort. It is old school in its décor and service, consistent with the quality of coffee (and food), and great value for money.
Poornima, Raja Bahadur Compound, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. Phone: 66311396
Amba Bhavan, Matunga
Amba Bhavan opened its doors to the public in 1934, and since then it has been serving its patrons South Indian snacks and coffee. The food is hot and fresh, and a meal here is considered complete only after it’s chased by a cup of strong filter coffee that a server will make at your table.
Amba Bhavan, Patel Mahal, Bhandarkar Marg, Kings Circle, Brahmanwada, Matunga, Mumbai. Phone: 9820117882
It may not have the reputation of Cafes Madras and Mysore, but Trupti figures high on the list of authentic South Indian food and coffee. The menu is lean but if you’re there for the filter coffee, you will not be disappointed.
Trupti, Sulochana Shetty Road, Sion West, Sion, Mumbai. Phone: 24015934
—By arrangement with thecitystory.com