It is always good to see International brands come to Chennai, and more so when it is to do with coffee. Even though the Chennaites are a tough bunch to crack and truly believe in their filter kaapi, they are always ready to welcome new kinds of coffee into their city. Phoenix Market City in Velachery is where Starbucks has set up their 1st outlet. The US based coffee brand ventured into India with a partnership with Tata Global Beverages and has so far opened nearly 49 stores across the country.
The launch in Chennai took place on 8th July 5pm where a select group of people were invited and given the honor to walk down a green carpet to their store. Each of us was also given a wrist band with Starbucks on it giving us entry into the store. It felt cool to be there. And it was quite a high profile event featuring leading bloggers, foodies, celebrities and the who’s who from Chennai. As soon as you enter the outlet, you are greeted by dark brown interiors and comfortable chairs and sofas. There are is a long counter manned by capable staff wearing name tags where the 1st name is their name while the last name is that of their favorite coffee. Apart from the seating inside, there are quite a few tables outside as well, with a green umbrella sporting the Starbucks logo and the name written in Tamil.
Apart from coffee there are quite a few other beverages including iced teas, Mancha tea latte and other non caffeine drinks as well. For those who are looking for something to bite into, there is quite a range of bites- both veg & non veg, salads to sandwiches to pita pockets. And for those with a sweet tooth, time to dig into the sinful red velvet cake or the cute little orange & blueberry scones. Most of their beverages are priced between 180 – 250 Rs and come in 3 different sizes as well. Overall, the place wins big thumbs up when it comes to the products. As always, they retain their merchandise as well- mugs, containers and a drip apparatus that people can use at home to make their own pot of coffee. We even had one of their staff, a chief Brewer show us a demo of how this contraption works, and got to taste the coffee as well, which was quite good.
In a city known for its filter kaapi, only time will tell how this brand fares and how far they have managed to reach into the Chennai market. Next time you are heading towards Velachery or looking for somewhere new to visit, you should drive straight into Phoenix Market city and head near the Amphitheater area to Starbucks!