Sit, relax and enjoy coffee. Jammin’ Java is ‘Happy Coffee Hour!’
By Marian Sharaf Joseph
Lahore has undergone a complete revolution in the past decade. From fashion outlets sprouting everywhere to fancy hang outs, the lifestyle of every Lahori has become ultra mod. Foreign investors opening their franchises in our local market have changed the way we live. The recent years have witnessed the ‘Coffee Culture’ taking over the city. Jammin’ Java is one of the pioneers in introducing the coffee fever to Lahore.
Initially opened near Kalma Chowk, Jammin’ Java discovered a large number of coffee lovers. This was about five years back around the same time when Hot Spot (ice cream parlor) and Dunkin Donuts (doughnut place) came about. A brainchild of Shahzad Baig, Jammin’ Java has a deep story behind its origin.
As Shahzad says, “There was a desperate need for something different in Lahore. We had chinese, we had fast food and on top of it we had countless desi spots in town but there was not even a single place where one could go, sit, relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee. Since I am a coffee lover and I take special interest in this brew, I though why not have a coffee house of my own? That’s how it started. ”
But the story about the creation of Jammin’ Java doesn’t end here. The story is deeper than it seems. It was after a lot of brain storming he came up with the name; sitting casually trying to think hard, listening to Bob Marley’s Jammin’ his friend came up with the first name. Shahzad being an IT person suddenly came up with the name Java. “Initially, I began my career in IT business. There is this JAVA application that was created by an Indonesian Software Programmer. I always thought it strange that the application had a coffee mug as its logo. Then I discovered that Java is one of the top coffee producers in the world from Indonesia. So since this programmer came from Java he chose coffee mug as the application’s logo. That’s where I derived this name from because in modern dictionary Java is a synonym for coffee.” Thus Jammin’ Java was born meaning ‘Happy Coffee Hour.’
Jammin’ Java is in two of the most happening places of Lahore; DHA-T Block and MM Alam Road Levi’s outlet basement – the Kalma Chowk branch closed down a few years back. “That was a good location,” Shahzad continues, “because we wanted to be in the market and yet not be a part of the main restaurant avenue in Gulberg. Otherwise we’d be mistaken as a restaurant too. But after sometime that plaza started renting out its place to small businesses that made the ambiance uncomfortable for our customers. So we had to close it down but we had the DHA branch and MM Alam road one later on, so no loss!”
Jammin’ Java is a perfect spot to have coffee, smoothies and drinks. This isn’t all; they’ve got steaks, Italian cuisine, risotto and fast food. Plus, it’s also a sheesha house. Yet, what adds to this café is its interior. Personally speaking for some people like me who seek cafés as an escape from the daily hectic mayhem of life, a café should be a place to breathe in fresh air, a quiet place where one could read a book or chat with friends and hang out with family. This place, however, is perfect for teenagers, sheesha lovers and the ones who prefer spending their lunch hour anywhere but the office. The interior of Jammin’ Java is not designed by any professional. Shahzad did it himself. The pictures on the wall were done by him too. He bought them on the net and framed them. He chose tones of brown for the couches and the table to compliment the café. The cutlery is simple and easy to handle; no fragile fancy glasses – absolutely simple. While the MM Alam café is smaller, the DHA one is comparatively spacious. The MM Alam Java has one big advantage; shoppers from Levi’s, La Senza and Dockers are always attracted to sip some coffee at Java. For those in DHA, it’s the prime spot for its residents and LUMS Alumni.
This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, issue 1, May 2008.