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Coffee Quality: 4/5
Zen café is an epitome of lovely ambiance, impeccable hospitality, and delicious coffee; and my second encounter was as brilliant as the first one. Located on the mezzanine floor of a housing store in Raghuvanshi mills, its winsome aura and distinctive appearance engulf you. The elegant and minimalist décor, along with soothing music, makes it a perfect place to spend valuable time even if you are all alone. A great WiFi facility and the comfortable sofas allow you to relax or work, and in case you are an avid reader, like me, bang on!!! One of the rare vegetarian cafes in Mumbai, their not so lavish menu still looks bountiful to a vegetarian like myself where I can go ahead and choose anything without looking for a red dot.
Due to its indelible impression on my first visit where I ended up spending 3-4 hours, Zen café had to be a part of my coffee diaries expedition; hence, when the time came to hunt down the best cafes in Lower Parel, I started this crazy extravaganza with this suave café.
It all comes down to coffee in this expedition, and Zen café did make me happy this time as well. I went for a latte, and, surprisingly, their espresso roast was mild where the flavor was not at all strong as compared to my experiences at other cafes. However, the uncanny part was that for the first time I enjoyed my coffee without adding any sugar. I absolutely loved the mild aroma of just coffee, and the sublimely quality of milk in terms of creaminess gave me a delightful experience, altogether.
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the experience of coffee varies per person, and my preference goes with rich and creamy milk along with a nice aroma in my cup of coffee. At Zen café, I had a unique experience where I relished the beautiful flavor of coffee and creamy milk without any sweet content, and this fact made me realize that this brewed drink in mild serving is more enjoyable without sugar. Served with a delicious Nocciola baci (a Hazelnut cookie), I had a pleasing coffee experience.
With the humble flavor of coffee, I prefer to have a piece of rich chocolate as it enhances my overall tastebuds and makes my foray more pleasurable. In my experience, to enjoy a cup of coffee, sometimes, it should be paired with complementary flavors such as almond, caramel, hazelnut, citrus etc., and on this occasion, an old memory flashed and reminded me of an instance where I splurged into the above mentioned heavenly flavorful chocolates made by Rupali Samat of ChocLe. You can find out more about her amazing chocolates over here: ChocLe
In a nice bit of serendipity few months ago, I had a pleasure to taste ChocLe’s delicious chocolates, and while enjoying my cup of coffee at Zen café, I got a strong urge to have their almond or a hazelnut chocolate piece where both of these are my all time favorite. My experience suggests that a mild coffee flavor is exhilarated with rich chocolates, and ChocLe’s sophisticated almond and hazelnut ones can be paired very well with coffee. I am gonna keep them handy for my further coffee experiences for sure. You can read more about my Choc Le experience over here.
My succinct version:
I love salads at Zen café; hence, along with a coffee, I had an Arugula leaves salad as well, and it was very refreshing. The freshness of ingredients is their another striking aspect, and they have maintained the consistency in the same.
I, once again, had a nice coffee time at Zen café, and I highly recommend this place for the following parameters: Wifi, reading books, occasional workplace, professional meet-ups, and, of course, coffee. However, as price is a subjective matter, I would still like to mention that the portion size of coffee and food items are a tad small as compared to the other cafes. However, with its sublimely quality, the place will not disappoint you.
Quality of coffee: 4/5
Value for money: A tad expensive as compared to other cafes but definitely worth it
Place for professional meet ups: Absolutely yes.
Occasional workplace: Yes.
N.B. As this visit was a part of my coffee diaries expedition, the coffee and the salad were on the house. Please note that I always look forward to pay for my expenses; however, after several discussions, Zen café did not accept my payment, and I sincerely appreciate their kind gesture.