Barista Lavvazza's new winter menu has some off beat, experimental and unusual items on offer, perfect for a chilly day.

The aroma is irresistible and can uplift one's spirits no bounds when a warm, frothy cup of coffee is placed in front. It acts as an elixir for many souls. As Chennai experiences its low intensity of cold winds, Barista Lavvazza launches its winter menu to entice coffee lovers.

Enter a Barista and the most common sight will be of young boys and girls chatting about almost everything under the sun over a cup of coffee. From friendships to courtships to business deals, a coffee shop witnesses all of this. So when Barista Lavazza announced its new winter menu, expectations and excitement rose. Being a coffee lover myself, I braced myself up to try it.

New tastes

As usual the bold hues of orange invited me inside at the outlet at Nungambakkam with temperatures inside set optimally to enhance the experience. Without much ado I asked for Café Tiramisu and a spicy creamy chicken sandwich both priced not so reasonably at Rs. 115 and Rs. 205. The service was quick and a delightfully rich looking coffee was placed on my table.

Topped with whipped cream and a tinge of tiramisu tingled my taste buds and warmed me on a pleasant evening. The mixture was creamy and frothy and the whipped cream enriched the whole coffee drinking experience. The same cannot be said about the chicken sandwich. It was a regular chicken sandwich filled with chicken and mayonnaise which was hardly tangy or spicy; credit should be given for the wholesome amount of chicken filled into it though. It would burn a hole in my pocket to pay Rs. 205 plus taxes for it.

The grandiose and fancy names given to the drinks makes you crave and expect even more. But Caffe Amaretto which claims to have been flavoured with dark rum and almond biscotti had anything but that. The first few sips with whipped cream are a delight but after that all it leaves behind is a lingering taste of bitter almond taking you back to your childhood days when our mothers used to forcibly make us eat almonds and a single piece of bitter almond was enough to spit everything out. One could call Café Gianduja a “good looking”' drink as it was immaculately layered with warm chocolate in the last layer, whipped cream in the middle and frothy coffee in the top layer with just a hint of hazelnut; it was worth a shot for Rs. 115.

Another off-beat introduction was Chai Latte with nutmeg sprinkled on the top activating my olfactory senses. Although way too milky for my taste and the nutmeg slightly overpowering the taste of the exotic flavour of chai, it was indeed a selective preparation.

The cheese and chicken calzone is neither worth a try nor its price tag of Rs. 89. As if on a treasure hunt I was constantly looking out for chicken and cheese but could hardly find any. Not recommended.

Hot cake

The beetroot and raisin cake which seemed like a delicacy and was supposedly selling like hot cakes as it wasn't available in the Nungambakkam outlet or the other one nearby. They make only eight pieces per outlet everyday! I have kept it in reserve for my next visit.

The quick bites are anything but new but yes Café Tiramisu and Café Gianduja are worth a try. I missed out on the beetroot cake but you shouldn't. So go out and catch up with your friends over a cup of coffee at one of the nine outlets of Lavazza in Chennai.

Barista Lavazza in association with Spectranet is all set to enable free Wi-Fi connectivity across all its cafés.

Kuhika is a student of Asian College of Journalism.

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