bpb Review: The Sleepy Owl’s Cold-Brew Coffee Shop, Shahpur Jat

A hip cold-brew delivery service opens a café at their office.  ♦

Something brews in Shahpur Jat with no boil nor bubble. The charm firm and good on tap at Sleepy Owl is cold-brew coffee, in which grounds are immersed in room-temperature water—Sleepy Owl infuses their Chikmagalur for 22 hours—slowly imparting their flavour without the acidity of a typical cup of joe.

We discovered Sleepy Owl delivering their bag-in-box coffee last summer, in packaging complete with graphic illustrations and recipe suggestions to convince you that coffee is meant to be drunk cold. With business taking off, the company has found a perch in Shahpur Jat from which to run operations, and now has a barista counter and a tiny open space for onsite caffeinating.

Some Like It Hoot

Cold-burn skeptics, be at ease: on a compact menu is a small range of hot coffees, brewed conventionally in an aeropress. For our part, we approve of the “smooth black”, Sleepy Owl’s solid foundational cold brew—the base beverage available in boxed form, although lovers of intense coffee may enjoy this more without the ice with which the café serves it. Vietnamese coffee, which has added condensed milk, retains the flavor of the beans. It’s a little too sweet for our taste — cold brewing brings out the coffee’s natural sugariness — but by no means saccharine. Our favourite turns out to be the “Malaysian” coffee, a heated version of the Vietnamese, because the subtle flavours of the immersion process are more perceptible in its warmed aroma.

For icing, a handful of available desserts all pair nicely with the drinks. A slice of apple cinnamon cake is wonderfully moist; by contrast, the double chocolate cookie is very hard, but delicious and perfect for dunking. As for the Nutella chocolate-chip cookie sprinkled with sea salt—it’s a real hazelnut-cracker.

This roast…er, roost feels more like a crow’s nest, with three seats between an indoor ledge table, and a small round one on the narrow balcony outside, both of which overlook leafy trees and a dusty parking lot. It’s perfect for people-watching (also birds and dogs), which might distract you from the hour of quiet work or relaxed chat you actually came for. 

We’re not entirely ready to quit the acid burn of regular coffee cold turkey, but Sleepy Owl’s brews are already promising to go a long way in dispelling the Delhi summer blues.

Getting there: Sleepy Owl Coffee, 86B Fashion Street, Shahpur Jat, second floor. Call 99304-12762. www.sleepyowl.co. Coffee and dessert for two about Rs 500.

This story was originally published on Brown Paper Bag.

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