Passion superseded the ambition of the two childhood friends, Adnan Azam and Usman Yousaf, when they decided to give up their successful professional careers and open Californian franchise The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a nearly 50-year-old cafe chain 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 90 per cent of the core products which are being offered all over the world by the company. However, we've held back on 10 per cent of those products; once our customers get addicted we will introduce the remaining 10 per cent, such as sparkling tea, pomegranate, blueberry etc,” said Yousaf.
Green teas such as Lung Ching Dragonwell tea, herbal infusion tea and ginseng peppermint tea are also set to be introduced in the coming months.
The coffee beans come 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 seems 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 give the coffee 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 have been trained at sessions in Malaysia and Qatar, as have Yousaf and Azam.
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.
Their chipotle chicken sandwich, though smaller in size, is delectable. The chicken is flavourful and perfectly seared, accompanied by crispy iceberg lettuce, it makes for a filling sandwich.
The cafe also serves cranberry and Caesar salads for those on the lookout for a lighter lunch, these cannot be missed.
The F-6 outlet has a Palm Springs colour theme as the venue is located in one of Islamabad’s oldest sectors and is surrounded by greenery. The partners are planning to open 20 outlets in Pakistan, one in F-11 and two in Lahore are ready to go.
Originally published in Dawn, January 10th, 2018