Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gloria Jean's in Pakistan

I hate to admit this, because it sounds so very "Western" of me and undoubtedly comes with the label #firstworldproblems:

I have a latte addiction.

I need lattes like the third world needs air-conditioning.

It's pathetic, and I am ashamed of my pampered existence, but I need it. Seriously.
To make things worse, there is no substitute for a latte in my mind. Not black coffee, or tea, or any other drink can suffice. I need a damn latte.

Nothing made this more apparent to me than the first  three days I spent in Pakistan, having latte-withdrawals. During this time in Karachi, I had only left the house once - to visit the pani puri cart, but from what I had seen I was convinced that Pakistan was a latte-less country. Resigned to this idea, I agreed to go to the mall to look for juice. Juice in Pakistan is great by the way, but it's not a latte. To my surprise, there was no juice to be found at the Dolman Mall in Karachi...

But there were lattes!

Gloria Jeans in not native to Pakistan, but it is one of the only (or the only?) coffee chains in the country. 

And guess what?
It's awesome.

The counter with baristas

Pakistan is among those few countries in the world where there is no Starbucks. This doesn't surprise many people in the  U.S., but what  may surprise them is that Pakistan's Gloria Jean's stores are every bit as modern, as delicious, and as air-conditioned as any Starbucks.

beautiful seating

The Gloria Jean's in the Dolman Mall in Karachi  is especially classy. It not only boasts abundant indoor and outdoor seating, but also has beautiful views of the beach. I didn't even realize that Karachi had beaches until I saw them out the window!

views of the beach in Karachi!

After experiencing this Gloria Jean's, I demanded - well, politely requested - that my hosts in Lahore and Islamabad take to me Gloria Jean's in those cities as well. I was never disappointed. Although the other Gloria Jean's did not have ocean views, they were all remarkably clean, well decorated,  and cool! 

My drink of choice was the Creme Brulee latte in all its many forms. I had it hot, over ice, and blended.  
Thank you Pakistan for this wonder memory. 
Thank you Gloria Jean's. 
But most of all, thank you Pakistani friends, for putting up with my annoyingly American obsessions. 

Hot Creme Brulee latte
Creme Brulee latte over ice

Creme Brulee latte ice blended

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