Caffeine and Cakes


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So last week I received a complimentary treat from Cha Bar while working on a coffee table book and I was searching for material for my website. I wanted to do this in a rather fun way but I think the coffee here is making me go into a trance.

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[Opposite Hansraj College, Delhi University, Jawahar Nagar- 110007]

Anyone who knows me pretty much from my college days also knows that I am a coffee lover and I can survive on coffee if not food. I have been visiting Cha Bar, Connaught Place since  long time and I was more than excited when I found out it has extended its aroma to the campus, how happy can I get!

So I was researching for my coffee table book that is scheduled to release soon, sometime in spring and I was asked to pose for a photo the barista needed for some survey of the branch. I love the way their menu card is designed, it looks a little unconventional because the headers are a tad bit funnier than a pretentious menu card of a continental cafe you may find to be inspiration for other cafes around Delhi University. I will tell you what you may like about Cha Bar, Kamla Nagar, especially if you are a student and trying to chill after college hours.

There’s Wi-Fi! Okay, so this is what most people would want to know about. Next up, the interiors. When you enter into a cafe, you may want to find something soothing to your eyes, if you mean business (work related). You may also be attracted to the cool slogans splashed across the walls with witty quotes, etc. Cha Bar has an elegance that is missing in most coffee shops because there is an assumption that loud and bright colours might attract more young people. What gets lost in the pre- requisite list is that people in coffee shops are in all demographics. You cannot cater to one age group and wish to run an eatery. Tea is served in tea pots and coffee in shiny porcelain white cups. We will get to the service a little later. Let’s see what all you could taste.


Because I love coffee, I intend to consume it  frequently so that my system doesn’t shut down while I work. I have tasted almost all the variants at the store but what you may like if you are new are cha bar coffee blend, affogato (that’s vanilla icecream topped with a shot of strong espresso coffee), cappuccino, cafe au lait (French) and caffe latte. There’s also good news for black coffee lovers. Do check their espresso, spiced cappuccino (with added cinnamon powder), americano and espresso con panna (served with cream).

If you are a latte lover, you have more options to choose from: cafe macchiato, south Indian organic coffee, south Indian Malabar coffee, south Indian Coorg coffee, Kenyan hakuna matata koffee or if you think caffeine is getting too much, you may choose decaf (decaffeinated coffee).

On a hot summer day, there’s some eternal bliss to be found in the iced coffee latte, cold coffee (with or without ice cream). You may order thandai and nimbu paani, some tasty lassi as well.


The thing with tea(s) is you either like a too milky one or you like it without milk. the many friends I have are heavily into drinking tea and I must say in many ways I have started to like tea, thanks to the flowering teas available at Cha Bar.

Since Cha Bar is supposed to be famous for cha , you will find your regular masala flavoured tea, or the cardamom one or even ginger! That’s a given because Cha Bar has been well known for the variants of tea served at their store. But if you really want to go for some light beverage, you may choose from chrysanthemum, jasmine, rose or marigold. I promise you, the flavours are extremely enticing. What’s more thrilling is that you can sip on some rainbow teas as well- silver needle white, yellow, orange peel, geamaicha, emerald green, vervain blue or purple rose. Alternative herbal teas include chamomile, rerbena, hibiscus, thyme, lavender, liquorice, nettle and red berries.  On a lighter note, you could opt for flavoured teas like earl grey, jasmine, lemon, peppermint, rum, vanilla or chocolate on a day when you only want to relax and chat with your friends or spend your afternoon reading a book.


What caught my eyes is a list of fruity beverages like fruit melange, apple, black currant, orange, passion fruit, peach, strawberry and apricot. Now these teas kind of have a tangy twist to them but immediately wakes you up from a stupor, probably the Vit C!


It’s very difficult to control your hunger pangs once you are inside a cafe that looks cute and all put together. There’s a gym on the floor above the cafe and I am pretty sure most gym goers would love to know that you can sip on these diet teas without guilt- slim mate, red bush, pomergranate, green rosiboose and honey, lemon and ginger, chamomile and honey and decaffeinated green tea. A guilt trip to the cafe avoided most effectively.


The decaf earl grey and decaf spiced green are solutions to your caffeine- free queries about tea. Get your taste buds running with these two marvellous beverages.

Let’s come to my favourite part, CAKES and COOKIES!

Well, when you are sipping on your cup of coffee or tea, it’s rare that you wouldn’t want to eat anything with it. Unless you are not in the mood to chew stuffs that have the potential to make you binge more than the usual. Cha Bar’s assortment of cakes and muffins will make you want another!

You can choose to binge on fruit flavoured muffins like  pineapple colada or the blueberry. If you are absolutely okay with you calorie intake for the day you can gorge on the delicious double chocolate chip and walnut muffin and if you want to cheat but not cheat (just to make sure you aren’t getting carried away with the unchecked munching) allow yourself to indulge in the oats and multigrain muffin.

I love to binge on cookies on a regular day. Despite a broader waistline, I will always choose a cookie because a cookie a day keeps depression away! The naan khatai, walnut maple, coconut cookies, oats and raisins and the palmier are some amazing variants you can find at the cafe.

My personal go- to snack is any home made tea cake like the English tea cake, the nutty tea cake, iced carrot and walnut or the caramelised apple cake. The common characteristic of these cakes is the fact that they contain low sugar and seem baked, which is a lot better than the regular cakes you find. I am not a fan of pastries but Cha Bar does have chocolate rum balls, red velvet cakes, chocolate truffle, etc.


The other stuffs that might get you ordering more the bun maska, cha toast, chilly cheese toast, English tea sandwiches, smoked chicken and mustard sandwich or the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich.  I am just reminded every single time: Food is your one true love. It doesn’t judge. It understands. 

I only wish the cafe was open till 11 pm and the music was a less louder. It’s a perfect spot for people who want to hang out, for dates for otherwise.

Happy Cheating!


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