Coffee war: Costa to open in Amman’s Mecca Mall

Costa at Mecca Mall

Another Starbucks alternative. Good. (I’ve been promising myself to write a major Starbucks post but keep putting it off!). Anyway, yesterday I saw the Costa logo on the facade of the Mecca Mall extension. Costa is a UK based brand that was started by two brothers of Italian background in 1971. I actually like Costa’s brand a lot. It’s not as powerful as Starbucks’, but it is a strong contender in the market.

Let’s see how long it will take the other players in the region to come to Jordan: The Californian The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Canadian Second Cup. Let the coffee war begin.. :)

I wonder how the local coffee houses will respond. Flavours and Blue Fig come to mind. Blue Fig’s main Abdoun branch definitely has a unique architecture and atmosphere (not to mention a bar) and a legacy of customers, but I am not so sure about the viability of their Mecca Mall presence. Flavours (flavours.jo domain is registered but, alas, no web site!) has been going into all kinds of different directions with it’s brand (cinnamon rolls, pizza, etc). So really, there are no strong coffee oriented local brand names in the market. This leave the market open for strong global coffee retailing brands.

Starbucks seem to be doing well and already have 5 outlets (2 in the airport, Sweifieh, Abdoun and Mecca Mall). The more focused coffee contenders now also include Barnie’s (a US-based chain).

I am sure that the ‘Struggle Against Globalization and Capitalism Society’ will not be happy about all of this :) . But I have a word of consolation for them: Tche Tche, a Jordanian brand of cafes (with some leftist branding?), has opened a number of branches around the region (most recently Oman).

And as a wise man once said:

“If the world invades us with its gourmet lattes, we’ll invade it with our hubbly bubbly”
Ahmad Humeid


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30 Responses to “Coffee war: Costa to open in Amman’s Mecca Mall”

  1. raindrop Says:

    most of amman’s coffe shops became too damn crowdy and full of kids, i’d love to drink coffe in quite place, away from teenagers! i hope a new place will open with these specifications.

  2. Lina Says:

    For the record, I hate Tche Tche! Not my atmosphere, not my cup of coffee…

    One place I wish there was more of all over Amman is “Coffee ‘n News”, but then again, I guess the whole concept of that place is the small cozy feel and the relationship between the waiters and the regulars as you sit on that coffee bar to read the newspaper. If there was one close to where I work, I would go there every morning.. if only!

    I also love Blue Fig, amazing creative distinct concept…

    Anyways, I would definitely love to see more alternatives to Starbucks, but I will not deny that part of me wishes there were some more local contenders! Oh well..

  3. Abu 7amarneh Says:

    “The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf” and “Second Cup” are great,, we should have them in amman

  4. Khalidah Says:

    I love Costa much more than Starbucks

    I guess I will go and treat myself to one of their yummy latte’s or Cappuccino with cinnamon ..

    Thanks for letting me know :)

    Tche Tche is also great .. I used to go to Dubai Branch only to feel that I am in Amman .. because this is the kind of feeling you get the moment you step into the cafe … it used to give me a taste of home when everything else around me felt weird and out of place :)

  5. Pheras Says:

    Oh, I thought Barnie’s was a Kuwaiti investment ( I think the group is called Hyatt something).

    As you’ve mentioned Blue Fig does have a bar, and I don’t thik that many people go there for a coffee, been tehre several times for lunches and everybody was guzzling beer like there’s no tomorrow!

    As for Flavors and Tche Tche they both attract Gulf visitors and people who reside in Amman, since Tche Tche has a franchie in Kuwait, and such Argileh Venues attract such groups.

    Second Cup is a nice place, I used to prefer their coffee over Starbucks, and they already have several franchises in Beyrouth which work great there. But I wonder if people here know it…

    Bel Mondo is doing really good, they have a great location with nice decoration (never been to the place, but it’s nearby). So I assume they’re doing well.

    I think the players with the key locations and good advertisements win, Starbuck’s coffee SUCKS (or maybe cause I’m not a fan of coffee) and people are all over it like crazy, so people here chase the brand really.

    Also, you’ve neglected one thing, why Starbucks is doing well? cause there are plenty of kiddies in Amman with no place to hang out, and they can’t enter Bars or Cafes that serve Argileh, so they’ll head to Barnie’s and Starbucks.

    Anyways, I really couldn’t care less about coffee houses, as I’m not a big fan of them, though I would really appreciate it if Mrs. Fields opens next to school!

  6. Phree Says:

    There’s this place in Jabal Amman, 1st circle, I think it’s called “Coffee n’ News” I can’t remember, me and my friends we just call it “News” . Anyway, you didn’t mention it above so I thought I’d do as that’s what a your local down the street coffee house should be like the way I see it.

    PS: Who the heck said that? Seems like a wise guy to me as opposed to wise man. :P

  7. Hala Khalaf Says:

    I found one more Starbucks in good ol’ Jordan….they have a branch in Le Meridien Hotel! Strange but true!

  8. Nas Says:

    I don’t think Second Cup has franchises anywhere other than Canada. Neither does Tim Hortons (except for a few in the US).

    I dont know why I love them but hate Jordanian cafes. I think it’s just the atmosphere and also the culture of “everyone has to go to this cafe because it’s the place to go to”

    anyways

    anything other than starbucks.

  9. Hala Khalaf Says:

    Nas, there’s a Second Cup in Beirut – I don’t know how it got there, but it did!

  10. Batir Wardam Says:

    Hey guys you all forgot the classical “Farouqi” in Shmeisani. For me it still has a value.

  11. Nidal Hasan Says:

    thank you, this is really a very good and useful post, especially that it opens the doors versus the yukky Zionist coffer starbucks, or “starsucks” according to this interesting post:

    http://khobbeizeh.blogspot.com/2006/04/starsucks.html

  12. raf* Says:

    dear ahmad,

    there are a few nice, quiet coffee places around – cafe de paris opposite the french institute in jabal l-webdeh, two artsy places in jabal amman on shari’a rainbow, and – of course – books@cafe.

    are they too far away from abdun & shmaysani for anyone to actually consider going there?
    —raf*

    www.aqoul.com

  13. moey Says:

    Nas:
    2nd cup is in kuwait and their chillate is the cheapest.

    plus all the cafes mentioned above.. even Tche Tche, coffe bean.. but no flavours.. even blue fig.. and cup-chinos, bella.. and more like lina’s and cafe najjar, la maison de cafe..

  14. Expat Says:

    The Meridien Starbucks is basically new.

    Bear in mind that Starbucks is a great business model: great spaces, clean, good atmosphere, and NO SMOKING. This combination of things is impossible to find anywhere else in Amman. There is no good alternative, but I’d like there to be. That aside, Books@cafe is great, apart from the smoking, and the best alternative to ‘bucks is the Paris Library in Jebel Weibdeh. It has great food, decent coffee, free internet, decent lighting and a good atmosphere. Some seats are too low for some tables if you’re writing, and there’s no shortage of smokers. But it also has… beer! And it’s always quiet. Recommended!

    http://parislibrary.com/

  15. Sira Says:

    hi everybody.. i like this interestting sub. i like to say that starbucks should not be in our arabic world anymore,, can’t we force ourselves to not deal with Israel,, cant we stop supporting them,, its unbelievable that we still go and pay money to these ppl, dont say the owner is Jordanin and weshould not buycut him,, yes we should why he brought this brand to our market we dont want it, we can do our own, we like the idea right? dont we have investores to spend there money in this investment! yes we have but they dont trust us coz we always look to the American and Israeli brands,, lets give our market a chance,, it will be a chance for us the youth of Arabic country. wake up guys wake up and smill the coffee, lets not make it the american coffee coz it doesnt wake us up but let us go deeply sleep…

    wake up..

  16. Omar Says:

    Second Cup is my Favourite Cafe. This is the place where my friends frinds me in Dubai.

    Its has a great coffee & a more great atmosphere. The quality of coffee & the beans flavour there beats Starbucks, Coffee-Beans&Tea-Leaf & Costa.

    Costa is well well known for the quality of its deserts; Order Tiramisu their & ed3ooli

  17. Abu 3li Says:

    Hey all,
    Im a coffeholic since 1990,
    and should drink 2 liters of this black magic of many types to get my day working on,
    Ive tried many kinds of coffee places in Amman in the last 16 years, and believe me, the right cup of coffee with the most suitable atmosphere i found was in Coffee”N News,
    its a brilliant idea with the perfect Ammanian social atmosphere,
    Why do i say that?
    You should try to know the answer….

  18. Hasna Says:

    I loved costa coffee, but I did not appreciate the monetary ripoff!!Over embellishing on hospitality is one thing, but trying to pull the covers over tourists is another!! In the U.S. the customer is treated with kindness and respect because they know that ones’ image can make or break a business. I guess in Amman Jordan they don’t really worry about their image since so many of their customers told me they are used to being cheated.
    Sad commentary if you ask me.

  19. blanch Says:

    I heard a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is opening in Amman – is this true and if so do you know where it is opening?

  20. Iyad Sabbarini Says:

    Dear All

    Compliments of the day, by chance I was surffing the net searching whats new in Costa Coffee World.

    As I am the Chain Manager of Costa Coffee Jordan, I will be happy to recieve comments and try to make Costa Coffee lovers more happy.

    I will leave my private e-mail and I promise I will contact the People who loves the true Italian Hospitality of Costa.

    iyad.sabbarini@gmail.com

    All The Best

    Regards’
    Iyad

  21. Nizar Kailani Says:

    ha ha ha, Ikhs… I mis the CENTRAL coffee shop so much, you want real coffee go downtown ;)

  22. Tim Says:

    I went to City Mall today and couldn’t find a cup off coffee. Costa and Starbucks both closed. My enquiries with Costa revealed that they would only at 7 pm. I know its Ramadan, but I am a world traveller in an international city and refreshment should be available to all – even none fasting muslims. Disappointed in a disappointing city. Tim

  23. Rula Says:

    Ah,,, Saw the mention of the old “Central” and it brought back memories; my father used to frequent it a bit. I do also can still remember the smell of the roasting coffee beans at Al Farouqi. I guess for some of us far away form home it is those “real Jordanian” places that we miss the most, not the ones that you can find anywhere… And by the way, aren’t we the people whose traditions are so wrapped up in a cup of coffee? so, whats with all the foreign franchises? what happened to our version of the qahwa w argielah?

  24. Fuse Says:

    Guys, i have discovered a nice new place called Full Cup @ the fifth circle behind Al-Tahoneh bakery in the sheraton Hotel Neighborhood. It has a cool casual seating area, and the take away orders are in durable cups with solid covers and an optional tray.
    There are a lot of things i like about this place:
    1. They serve excellant coffee drinks and the beans they use has a beautiful smell.
    2. They open at 7:30 am so i can get my coffee on my way to work
    3.They serve excellant cold drinks as well like natural juice smoothies and caramel frappé
    4. They serve home made sweets and I’m addicted to their brownies
    5. They have an option of using skimmed milk and sugar free flavors.
    6. They have a stamp card that when you buy 8 drinks u get one free.
    7. They play cool music :)
    they have a big group on facebook
    I heard that its a jordanian born brand, and that they are opening shops in Dubai and riyadh within a year!

  25. Humeid Says:

    Fuse,

    I bet you are the owner of the place, trying to promote it :-) But you make it sound like you’re an “anonymous customer” who has “discovered” the place..

    Anyway, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and allowing this comment to be published. As anyone else checked out Full Cup?

  26. Boring Amman Says:

    hey guys!
    Amman is soo damn boring! Any suggestion to make my stay more interesting!!

  27. Omar Faye3 Says:

    Full cup is really great. It’s cozy, it’s casual, it’s fresh, and the coffee is really great.
    By the way, if you find Amman boring, go to uncoventional places, like downtown, Jabal amman, that’s where tourists go, right? If you’re living in London, you won’t explore it like if you’re just visiting. Same principle applies here. Try exploring Amman, or better, Jordan, with a fresh eye and you’ll be surprised.

  28. Taco Says:

    Second Cup is open and serves pretty good coffee, a little pricey but worth it. Full Cup does a good job as well – parking in annoying at both places though.

    A place I do like on Jabal Amman is called The Good Book Shop, they have a good variety of books PLUS very good coffee – the staff are pretty welcoming and very friendly – I have yet to experience a place like that in Amman.

    Cheers,
    Taco!

  29. Abo_z3atreh Says:

    hi guy`s how you doin i heard that costa was closed bad new`s but there are alternative ((Q DONUT & COFFEE))

  30. Mohamed Says:

    guys u shulf try our coffee ,
    visit Q-donuts and Coffee …. its really heaven in your mouth :D :D
    visit us in Mecca Mall 3rd Floor , also a new branch was opened in Bawabet El Ordon station , on the 7th circle … try it u wont regret

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