I had been hearing good things about Floc [For The Love of Coffee] for quite sometime. In fact I googled Floc and was flooded with so many articles going gaga over Floc, I reckon when I die and somehow miraculously reach the gates of heaven, I would see a Floc opened right next to them as well.

In any case I needed to have a meeting with my agency for the upcoming shoot and I needed a comfy place to have that meeting. So we flocked to Floc.

The advantage we had tonight was that it was almost deserted with only a few customers present.

My kind of place.

We literally had the place to ourselves. Not sure whether it was due to the fact that it was 9th Muharram or the place remains like this all the time. I hope it remains like this all the time because its not the kind of place you want to be around when it gets crowded.

 FLOC LOCATION:

The place is situated on 10th commercial lane in Zamzama, the same lane where you’ve got the new branch of OMG, Espresso and the evergreen Okra.

AMBIANCE:

Just like any other dainty little café.

I liked the ambiance, although I liked the food and ambiance of Mocha more, but there’s something seriously wrong with the acoustics of that place. Just get a few customers talking and the echo is so much that you can’t hear even the person sitting next to you. So Mocha’s not the best place to have a discussion.

Floc interior
Floc interior
Floc ambiance
Floc ambiance
Floc bookshelf
Floc bookshelf

It has got just a few sofas, so if you’re planning to stay for quite a while, better place your ass on them, otherwise it would be a swollen one if you sit it on one of the chairs.

They had a number of Reader’s Digests placed in a small basket in the washroom, within the arm’s reach of sitting on the WC. Very cute.

But I dared not touch them, considering how many shitty hands must have picked them up, and in the event of running out of toilet paper, probably wiped their ass with it as well.

Not a charming thought.

 

FLOC FOOD:

Being a fan of Dave Asprey and his biohacks, I had been looking for his Bulletproof coffee for quite sometime in Pakistan and finally found it here.

I asked the man manning the counter, Roland, whether I could buy bulletproof coffee beans from them so that I could make the coffee myself at home. He said he would check with the madam [who I presume to be the owner] when she came, so I gave him my number. Let’s see if the ‘madam’ calls back or not.

I naturally had the Bulletproof coffee, and at Rs.500+ tax = 565, it ain’t for the faint of heart.

We tried three things from their menu. The chocolate cheese cake, the French toast, and the chicken poppers.

The chocolate cheese cake tasted like, I don’t know, I still can’t figure it out. It reminded me of Gloria Jeans. Gloria Jeans’ sweet offerings have the remarkable ability of tasting all the same. It doesn’t matter whether you have a cupcake, a cookie, a cake slice or what have you. Which is not saying much.

Floc’s cake slice had that uncanny resemblance. It had the remarkable ability to make your taste buds take a power nap while you ate.

And the cherry on top? It costs a sizzling Rs.540+ tax.

Inside the Cinnamon Toast -Floc
Inside the Cinnamon Toast -Floc
French Toast- Floc
French Toast- Floc
Floc -French Toast sides
Floc -French Toast sides
Floc chocolate cheese cake
Floc chocolate cheese cake
Floc Chicken poppers
Floc Chicken poppers
Floc cheese cake
Floc cheese cake
Floc Bulletproof coffee
Floc Bulletproof coffee

The best French toast I ever had was at Neco’s, and nothing has come even close to it, not even Floc’s version. Although Roland assured us that they had been dipped for 24 hours straight, and they looked as good as the Neco’s ones, they just didn’t taste as good.

At Rs.700, the quantity at least is enough to clog your arteries, satiate your appetite, and give you a heart attack, whichever comes first.

The chicken poppers took their own sweet time to get prepared, and when they did, well, let’s just say they tasted more like nuggets from a frozen brand like Mon Salwa rather than an offering of a hip café on Zamzama.

The fully loaded version of Eggs Benedict would set you back by a royal amount of Rs.1000.

 

FLOC VERDICT:

Sometime back an article appeared in Dawn Images in which FLOC was highly recommended as an ideal place for freelancers to work.

All I can say is that the writer is loaded with Moolah. No way can a freelancer afford to work here for even a half day, let alone a full.

A normal meal comprising of coffee, water bottle and a snack would set you back by anywhere between Rs.1200-1500. And if you intend to spend a full day here, we’re talking about Rs.2000 and upwards.

Let’s say you’re a freelancer who works 26 days a month and half a day each day. That means you’ll likely burn a hole in your wallet equivalent to 26X1200 = Rs.31,200, or a royal sum of Rs.374,400 for the year.

I don’t know about you, but unless I’m a certified filthy rich bloke, or minting money in freelancing, the average Joe freelancer just can’t be here without going broke.

That’s not to say I won’t be going there again. Well, to begin with, I’m not a freelancer, and being on the corporate side I can afford it. But just because you and I can afford it doesn’t mean the freelance community can afford it, so let’s be clear about what this place is and is not.

It’s a small café positioned specifically for the connoisseurs of coffee who can afford to throw money at this passion. For the average Joe or Jane, a large 16oz cup of Cappuccino at Dunkin Donuts can be had for as little as Rs.280, and he or she need not spend more than 500 bucks at this joint.

I’ll be going back, it has got some interesting and unique offerings, especially those pertaining to brain hacks and optimization, like the Nitro coffee. And of course I’ve got to grab hold of those bulletproof coffee beans.

 

This is an abridged version of the article that was published on

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

It’s a big dilemma and a great business opportunity that there’s no ‘Reasonably priced’ café in Karachi. Either you have the pathan ka dhabas, or these high-end cafes. There’s nothing in between. You do have those imitators of dhabas that have cropped up in the vacant plots of DHA area that only open up at night, and even then they don’t have the basic amenities, like toilet and Wifi for instance.

If someone can come up with a concept that’s based on the premise that a coffee and a snack combined should cost no more than Rs.400-500, you’ve got a winner.

Not everyone would flock to this café because it would be the equivalent of a budget airline with only the essentials, but that still leaves a big chunk of the target market that would throng this place.

Opening up a coffee bar on Zamzama is always going to be expensive like Floc.

 

If anyone of you know where to get bulletproof coffee beans in Pakistan, please do let me know.