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Java Lounge, Colombo’s largest coffeehouse, enriches urban coffee-meeting culture

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Bringing in a fresh experience to Colombo’s growing coffee culture, Java Lounge recently launched its latest outlet in the trendy neighbourhood at Barnes Place. It is the largest coffeehouse in the city to date, and has 144 seats across two floors, where an interesting mix of coffee drinkers including 30-to-40 something working professionals, teenagers, young entrepreneurs, families and groups of friends, meet often for social and professional reasons. To Dulith Herath, the founder of Java Lounge coffee chain, this is precisely what he was aiming to create for Colombo. Dulith, who created Kapruka.com, found that growing urbanities need public spaces that blur the boundaries between social and professional interactions for a very special reason: This is fuelling the entrepreneurial and start-up culture that gives rise to new ventures, fresh ideas and young energy to actualise in the business realm. Dulith, who is a passionate entrepreneur himself, recognised the need for such spaces in Colombo, which led to the discovery of Java Lounge. “One thing I love personally about Java is the flock of entrepreneurs that it attracts. I often see startup teams and young entrepreneurs discuss their ideas and have meetings with one hand on their laptops and a coffee in the other. This is exactly what I would find in a coffeehouse in New York or San Francisco where a healthy entrepreneurial culture brings in new energy to the city economy. It is this distinct energy and mood that I wanted to create in Colombo, because I see it contributing a lot to the city in the long run,” he said, highlighting the vision behind Java Lounge. 

However, it’s not simply the ambience or the culture that draws in crowds to Java Lounge – it is also the quality of the coffee and the food offered throughout all outlets. Java Lounge sources its coffee carefully, going for bean varieties that preserve strong aromas and flavours. This meticulous care towards the coffees is rooted in its belief that great coffee is what is at the heart of a great coffee culture. Java Lounge believes that urban coffeehouses carry a particular mood and energy which is distinct from restaurants, and excels at maintaining this with their eclectic menu choices that have been especially curated to work with coffees. This is what has allowed Java Lounge to retain its authentic vision and stay uniquely different to most coffee shops or café’s in Sri Lanka that have turned into restaurants. The new outlet at Barnes Place brings Java’s classic favourites like the Bombai-Motai frappe as well as three new frappes that are being introduced to Colombo.

Beyond the coffee, Java’s next priority is the food. Java Lounge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is known for exceptionally good coffeehouse food. The common practice at most cafés in Colombo is to purchase their cakes, pastries and breads from bakers; but, the food served at Java Lounge is always cooked in their own kitchens. This allows Java Lounge to control the nutrition and the taste of their foods, preserving the quality of their menu to perfection. “This is because we believe in maintaining the same ethos and quality in everything you experience at Java. It’s about staying true to what you set out to do in the first place – people recognise this,” the Java Lounge representative says.

The latest Java Lounge outlet at Barnes Place takes forward this philosophy in every way. From its sheer size that allows large meetings, the energetic urbane mood, to the generous amount of space that allows a sense of semi-privacy despite the crowds, defined smoking and non-smoking areas including a large outdoor area, it is the ideal space for social-professional interactions. Java Lounge Barnes Place is now open as Colombo’s largest coffeehouse, and joins Java’s successful string of cafés at Jawatte Road, Fort, Bambalapitiya and Ramanayake Mawatha. 

Visit it at 76 Barnes Place, Colombo 7 (unlimited municipal parking available).

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