THE COFFEE BEAN
The cure for a long flight: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf reopens its newly refurbished BIA store
Colombo’s favourite tastemaker in coffee is now back at the Bandaranaike International Airport with a slicker, bolder and more contemporary look. Since it was first opened in 2006, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s airport store has been the first and longest running international franchise at the BIA.
The airport store embodies the CBTL philosophy of a home away from home – comfort and familiarity no matter where you go in the world. The franchise is one of the world’s most well-known brands, easily recognized by customers for its distinctive purple and white design. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf first opened in 1963 in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Ten years later, the Airport ‘Bean’ served its 3 millionth customer. The Coffee Bean remains the quintessential Hollywood brand- every celebrity has been snapped with a familiar CBTL takeaway cup in their hand. The Coffee Bean is known for its legendary Ice Blended range, concocted by a barista during an exceptionally hot summer in 1987 long before the advent of the frappuccino. Today, over three million customers walk into Coffee Bean stores around the world every day.
In Sri Lanka, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was one of the very first coffee chains to identify Colombo’s promise as the urban hotspot it would become post-war. The flagship Maitland Crescent branch opened in 2007 and it has remained open through some of the country’s most intensely turbulent times. “We remained committed to Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka was committed to us,” says Roman Scott-Chairman of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a subsidiary of the Calamander Group. “We were the first international brand to come into Sri Lanka during the last stages of the war and although the times have changed for the better, our customer base remains as loyal as ever-exactly in proportion to the quality of product and service we’ve maintained since then.”
The airport store reopens with a modern contemporary aesthetic. The new Coffee Bean design replaces the old darker wood with a brighter and slicker new California vibe. More grab and go food and beverages are available at the outlet. A more efficient layout has created more seating capacity and a larger kitchen with a full walk in chiller facility, ready to drum up an exciting and extensive variety of food and beverages.
The official opening of the refurbished airport store on 20th February was attended by Chief Guest Hon Nimal Siripala De Silva – Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Guest of Hon. John Amaratunga – Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs, Saman Ediriweera – Chairman of Aviation Services Sri Lanka, Ranjith De Silva – Vice Chairman of Airport & Aviation Services Sri Lanka, Jeff Goonewardena – Director of Airport & Aviation Services Sri Lanka and The Chairman of The Calamander Goup Inc, Roman Scott.