You can say you love tea as much as you like, but that doesn’t change the fact that coffee runs this country.

Yes, we know that tea cafes are quickly coming up on the popularity charts, but it’s going to be a while before they knock our favourite coffee houses and cafes off their lofty perches.

If you love the rich, dark nectar of the gods as much as we do, check out some of these famous coffee hubs in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

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Delhi

United Coffee House, Connaught Place

While this stunning high-ceilinged window into the past, replete with chandeliers and an old-world dining area, may have evolved from a coffee house into a high-end restaurant, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another place so rich in history. Founded during the British Raj, in 1942, UCH soon became famous for its iconic cona coffee and the many interesting dishes that are still served to this day.

Ivy & Bean, Shahpur Jat

Everyone knows books and coffee is a match made in heaven, so why not transport yourself to your own little slice of heaven and check out this charming cottage-like café, which serves as a haven for bibliophiles and caffeine-addicts, alike? With both indoor and outdoor seating, coupled with free WiFi, be prepared to spend more time here than you had planned to.

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Mumbai

Prithvi Café, Juhu

This is one of those iconic places you can’t afford to miss when visiting Mumbai. What began as an afterthought has now grown to become one of the city’s most beloved cafes and home to a vibrant cultural scene. On any given day, you could bump into all sorts of artists, ranging from the lady in the corner obsessively sketching the faces of other customers to the old man playing a guitar under the tree. Once you’ve had your fill, you can even catch a play at the iconic Prithvi Theatre.

Blue Tokai, Mahalaxmi

If you’re the sort of person who believes that most coffee shops around the country have no clue what they’re doing, then Blue Tokai is the place for you. A coffee roasting facility first and a café second, the Delhi-based chain roasts coffee there every Wednesday and Saturday, and if you’d like to place an order just call ahead and let them know which roast you prefer from the ten different coffee estates that they source from. Apart from this, a small portion of what they roast is allotted to their in-house café, where trained professionals use a variety of brewing techniques to bring out the best in each roast.

Bengaluru

Third Wave Coffee Roasters, Koramangala

Bengaluru has officially become hipster central. The tech-driven city has seen massive changes in the last two decades and that’s evident even in the way people prefer their coffee here. This stylish café allows customers to choose their coffee and, more importantly, their brewing process in order to create the perfect cup of coffee that is to their taste. Highly recommended if you know your coffee.

Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, Basavanagudi

Let’s be real here for a moment. There’s no coffee like filter coffee and Brahmin’s has some of the best filter coffee in town. This no-frills standing-only place is an iconic landmark in a city that has been reared on amazing filter coffee. Just over 50 years old, Brahmin’s still sees thronging crowds lining up for a taste of some of the delicious breakfast fare on offer while sipping on the life-affirming coffee.

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Chennai

Rathna Café, Triplicane

Chennai’s filter coffee scene (yes, there is an actual coffee subculture in this city) is divided between the independent coffee houses and the chain restaurants. Fans of both camps have their reasons for preferring one over the other, but very few people disagree that Rathna Café serves some of the best filter coffee you’ll find in the country. And if you’re hungry, you can always order some of the lip-smacking snacks on the menu.

Amethyst, Royapettah

Occupying a colonial bungalow, with massive rooms and high ceilings, Amethyst is the perfect place to spend a lazy evening sipping on coffee and catching up with old friends. The service is slow, but sometimes that’s just what you need to find some peace of mind. A favourite with the who’s who of the city, the coffee house also has its own garden area, that’s a great place to sit in the evenings.

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