Caffeine blast from the past

Founded by Narayanan Nair, the shop has been selling coffee roasted and ground fresh in front of the customers.

author_img MS Amritha Published :  27th June 2022 02:37 PM   |   Published :   |  27th June 2022 02:37 PM
Jayakumar with the grounding machine, which was imported from London in the 1950s  | A Sanesh

Jayakumar with the grounding machine, which was imported from London in the 1950s | A Sanesh

The invigorating aroma of pure coffee wafts over Leela Coffee Works at Valanjambalam. One of the oldest outlets selling freshly-ground coffee in the city, the quaint shop has been in business since 1957.

Founded by Narayanan Nair, the shop has been selling coffee roasted and ground fresh in front of the customers. The vintage roasting and grounding machines, which are still used at the shop, were imported from London, says K Jayakumar, 50, who took over the shop from his father.  

The coffee used here is the Arabica variety, and is sourced from estates in Karnataka. While Leela Coffee Works has always had its regular individual customers, the shop has also been catering to restaurants and hotels such as Anandha Bhavan, Gokulam Park, Riviera Suites, The Avenue Center and Anugraha.Customers can choose their own blends here. 

While hotels prefer 80:20 ratio (80% coffee and 20% chicory), individual customers take blends such as 60:40, 70:30 and 90:10. However, there are people who prefer plain coffee as well, says Jayakumar.  Among its list of patrons, Leela Coffee Works has director and actor Renji Panicker, screenwriter S. N. Swamy, and classical dancer and actor Urmila Unni, he adds.  

Despite the proliferation of new-age cafes, Leela Coffee Works continues to charm coffee lovers in the city. “We have youngsters among our regular customers, too. There is a general trend of going back to the roots. So many youngsters come to us for the authentic blends.” says Jayakumar.

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