ISLAMABAD: Passion superseded the ambition of the two childhood friends, Adnan Azam and Usman Yousaf, when they decided to give up their successful professional careers and franchise The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a nearly 50-year-old Californian chain cafe that has over a thousand outlets all over the world.

Located in F-6 in the same building as Khaadi, the cafe is open from dawn to dusk. Coffee at The Coffee Bean falls into seven different categories: Light and Subtle, Light and Distinctive, Medium and Smooth, Dark and Distinctive, Decaffeinated, Flavoured and Reserve.

A rack at the outlet displays bags of coffee in 17 different flavours, from the house blend, to Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee, espresso roast, mocha java and everything in between.

“For now we are following 90pc of the core products being offered all over the world by the company. However, 10pc of the projects we have kept on hold; once the customers get addicted we will introduce that 10pc, such as sparkling tea, pomegranate, blueberry etc,” Mr Yousaf said. Green teas such as Lung Ching Dragonwell tea, herbal infusion tea and ginseng peppermint tea are also to be introduced in the coming months.

The coffee beans comes from farms in countries such as Costa Rica, Colombia and Kenya, and are hand-roasted at a facility in the United States before being packed and shipped.

Everything at The Coffee Bean outlet sees to carry a foreign tag: their silverware is from Korea, their cheese from France and their chocolate from Switzerland.

“It’s not only the beans that make the coffee carry its unique taste and texture, the machines which brew the coffee and the person behind the machine play a pivotal role in what you see and taste in the coffee mug,” explained Feroz bin Abdul Karim, the vice president of franchise operations for Asia Pacific. The cafe’s staff were trained at sessions in Malaysia and Qatar, along with Mr Yousaf and Mr Azam playing backup.

The tea at the venue comes in various kinds as well, from herbal infusion teas to decaffeinated, black and oolong.

Like the coffee, the tea is also hand-blended.

The cafe also features a live station serving Eggs Benedict, waffles and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and chipotle chicken and Cuban chicken sandwiches, chicken lasagne and two different kinds of pasta from noon onwards.

There are also cranberry and Caesar salads for those on the lookout for a lighter lunch that cannot be missed, while the chipotle chicken sandwich, though smaller in size, is delectable.

The chicken is flavourful and perfectly smeared, and complemented by crispy iceberg lettuce, making it a filling sandwich in spite of the size.

The F-6 outlet is decorated in the Palm Springs colour theme, as venue is located in one of Islamabad’s oldest sectors and surrounded by greenery. The partners are planning to open 20 outlets in Pakistan, and one in F-11 and two in Lahore are ready to go.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2018

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