Headquartered in New Delhi, Barista currently has espresso bars across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Middle East. It was established in February 2000 by the Barista Coffee Company Limited. A 34.3% equity stake was sold to Tata Coffee in 2001. C Sivasankaran bought the remaining 65 per cent in Barista from the Amit Judge-controlled Turner Morrison in 2004, and his Sterling Group also bought out Tata Coffee's stake later. In 2007, the Sterling Group sold Barista to Lavazza. Barista Lavazza is currently owned by Lavazza. The coffee is supplied by the Indian roaster Fresh and Honest, headquartered in Chennai, which is also owned by Lavazza. As of 2009[update], the chain has 200 stores in India, with an estimated annual revenue of 2 billion.
In 2014, Lavazza sold the coffee shop chain to Carnation Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.
Barista was the fastest brand to make it on the list of super brands and is ranked among the top 50 phenomena that changed India.
- Cafe Coffee Day – As of 2011[update], out of 1400 coffee shop retail outlets registered in India, 1016 belong to Cafe Coffee Day (CCD). To increase CCD's market presence in India and abroad, Coffee Day Holdings, the parent company of CCD, has secured investments totalling million from UK based firm Standard Chartered Private Equity Limited and US based private equity and venture capital firm New Silk Route Partners. CCD is expanding their market reach through brand extension by launching mineral water, cookies, and chips under their brand name. Barista has added a variety of cookies, chocolates and ice creams to their offerings under the same principle. While CCD's competitors like Barista Lavazza and Costa Coffee focus on the top 20 percent of the Indian consumers, who are able to afford over per espressso drink, CCD caters to all except the lowest 25 percent.
- Costa Coffee – Despite Costa Coffee having only 40 outlets operational across the country as of 2010, Barista Lavazza is facing stiff competition from Costa Coffee. Costa Coffee is an urban chain and location plays a crucial role in its business plan. Although it made a few mistakes such as replicating the UK model in India and opening stores at expensive locations when it came to India in 2005, it has managed to bounce back. Their most profitable venture is from off premise business wherein they set up kiosks at marriages, seminars, and meetings. In the last quarter of 2009, Costa saw a profitable 24 percent growth.
- LiveMedia and Barista Coffee Company have a strategic alliance, where 200 Barista Lavazza outlets across the country will have LiveMedia screens on their premises.
- Barista Lavazza has a tie-up with Visa to allow withdrawal of cash up to 1000 daily in all its outlets without any charges levied on the cardholders or any obligation to purchase. As part of this association, Barista Lavazza also offers 30% discounts on customised meal deals on all Visa debit card transactions.
- ABN AMRO and Barista Coffee Company have jointly launched a credit card, "ABN AMRO Barista Credit Card", by which customers can avail discounts at its outlets.
- Barista Lavazza has formed an association with Mattel Toys (India) Private Limited for the launch of the first edition of Barista Lavazza Cafe Scrabble 2010.
Barista is the first coffee retailer in India to start a loyalty programme, Bean-o-holic, to attract and retain customers.
Barista Lavazza received the Times Group and Business Standard 'Brand of the year' award in 2002
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- "Awards". Barista. Retrieved 17 April 2012.