Just like wine and whisky the world of coffee is intense and complex. With endless versions and infinite ways, learning every trick, every brew method and every mix sounds like a serious cliche’ but you’re never late to stoke your passion for those easy peasy beans.
Tune in to coffee making -the complex Indian way for a start. A stellar coffee experience, it will turn you a connoisseur — in less time than you may think.
If you’re creative, shy and introvert kinda morning person, then odds are you prefer coffee over tea.Rather I would say, you are a typical coffee loving person who looks for it’s zing first thing in the morning!
And, what if it gets you to make more money and more pay raises? People in Britain and elsewhere now rally behind the notion that your fondness and choice for morning cup could actually uptick your personality. It pushes you more as a productive, significant and an affordable hand at work!
…in turn your pockets get deeper alright!
More than the ‘tea people’ who are usually pensive and look for tea’s relaxing qualities…. coffee fans are easily likely to say they’re “always” on time.
Latte, Mocha, Italian or American…Like most ‘Coffee persons’ do you also fancy morning cuppa to be black, plain and simple?
Myself a coffee aficionado? No!
I am not a coffee buff nor I eagerly look forward to it. I would rather have tea over coffee. No particular reason… don’t get me wrong! I do like coffee and espresso, including lattes and cappuccinos, but my morning go-to favorite is a steamy cup of sweet fragrant tea.
I have been a caffeine skeptic for quite some time but it doesn’t mean that I have no nose for it. It’s just that becoming a coffee weirdo takes time. It’s equal to becoming a wine or a whiskey sommelier. I think that it takes passion, love for the beverage and the desire to know everything there is to know about it.
And with so much happening in the atlas of coffee making, it’s no easy feat!
I know I have the rush to appreciate the magic of beans and might some day start working my way forward. Still, I respect those who take me for a ‘coffee snob’. And… I understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a coffee geek at heart!
The point as I see it, is that till you get to explore the world of coffee making and learn the ways to brew it the correct way, people will frown and the cup you think you love might not be even cutting it close.
Hand beaten or frothy- I wasn’t too fond of it until…!
Like everybody else you know much about coffee. You are aware of the different roasts. You know of the different types of beans, where they come from. You know various flavor profiles and you know of all the fêted ‘decoctions’. In fact you are on top of every new coffee trend that comes your way!
But if you know the beans, flavors, and brew styles so well, are you aware that there are more than one ways to beef up your brew’s flavors and aroma?
No!.. I am not talking about some plain simple morning pick-me-up kinda drink any more, but a hand crafted brew of tropical roasted grounded beans that has enough richness, flavor and complexity to shame even the Starbucks’ favorite.
An overall caffeine sceptic, for long, I was confident of my health when the people talked about anti oxidants and balanced diets. No.. I am no health quirk but it never occurred to me that I was missing anything nutrition wise. Good healthy food, stimulating beverages…just about everything! Tea was also doing fine, till I fell seriously ill in the fall of 2017.
I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis!
And nobody could actually determine the cause for this mortal condition! Everything changed thereafter. The recovery was slow and painstaking. The attending surgeon was fussy and stern…and warned me to go easy with tea.
So I started looking around for shortcuts to improve my gut health. Like many things that I loved to eat and drink but had to let go, I decided to go blind with tea as well. I had realized that it was merely worsening my infirmity.
To cut it short, eventually it all ended up with me becoming a black coffee drinker! Of course I get to add a teaspoon of sweetener (usually white sugar) to my coffee.
It was while I was convalescing and looking ways to less complicate my caffeine intake, that the story that went into coffee making caught my attention.
Search me… it’s interesting!
Legend has it that the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi was the first to discover the stimulating effect of coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a certain bush. Curious, he too chewed on the bright red berries himself. Roused and exhilarated, he brought the berries to a nearby monastery. But the monk disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire. A seductive enticing aroma billowed out that drew others to come and investigate. The roasted beans were quickly raked out from the embers, grounded and dissolved in hot water thus yielding what was World’s first cup of coffee!!
The story is largely believed to be apocryphal; probably because it surfaced some 800 years from the time when it supposedly took place.
Okay, so maybe you already prefer a dark roast brew…
That’s good, but if you were to ask me, you ought to experience every type of blend that exist before you get to decide which one you love most..and which ones a tad less! Once you learn to savor your drink, you’ll have a newfound respect for your local java shop.
Spoon into your perfect coffee bliss: It’s not blah anymore!
While the beans you grind are essential for the flavor profile of your cup, how you brew it is just as important. To call yourself a coffee barista, you need to know all that there is to different brewing methods from different parts of the World and how they affect the taste.
So, here’s to some lip smacking ways to whip yourself a cuppa good coffee.
Pour-over, hand made and without machines, try it the way they do in India! Smooth frothy and beaten up, the Indian cappucino is a powerful espresso that comes topped with a sweet foam laced with some fresh cream and a sprinkle of bitter cocoa.
My pick however is a more trendy go-to-spice one. I tried the spice-laced one once and got hooked up instantly; flavors aside I thought-the benefits are worth it. Now I almost always add cinnamon to my coffee. The zing of this piquant candidate perks up my mood in no time, whenever I don’t feel like using cocoa powder straight.
High on antioxidants and anti-fungal properties, even cayenne pepper, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, lavender, star anise, clove, pumpkin spice and gingerbread spice mix-all in small quantities- are inching out that square of dark chocolate from coffee these days!
Am I asking you to take a blind shot at this unusual blend? Is this an easy way to stomach those beneficial spices and fiber right through your coffee cup without having to open multiple containers?
Probably ‘ Yes’.
Spices work just great when added to grounded coffee or to dark beans and have significant health benefits.
And it doesn’t taste gross either!
The ways of Beaten coffee
I think this whole coffee craze is a bettered version of a new beverage trend that has coffee recipes popping all over social media.
The Indian filter coffee-southern style is one bodacious rage that is getting heads turned and attentions arrested!. Simply put, it is an easy and absolute fad among the coffee lovers who have chanced upon it.
This decadent Indian style coffee is somewhat similar to cappuccino in that it uses both espresso and steamed milk. The name ”beaten” comes from the process of whipping up the silky smooth and thick mixture that sits atop the brew. By hand beating instant coffee, sugar and water you always end up with the delicious brief.
Making it is simple and takes little to prepare. Brewed coffee using standard drip maker or French press is topped off with the mix of steamed milk (no scorching hot one please!), instant coffee, sugar and warm water, all beaten earlier till the mix turns golden brown and thickens into a smooth frothy mixture.
The aroma and flavors are simply a coffee connoisseurs’ delight and absolutely irresistible!!
South Indian filter Kappi: What an utter delight!
Filter kappi, filter coffee, South Indian filter coffee; call it by whatever name, it is easily every coffee lover’s sigh of contentment.
Do you know why?…
It has one single characteristic that caffeine fanatics love to lust over; the unmatched blend of taste, flavor and the aroma. Even if you are not a coffee addict, nothing would better your mood than to wake up to a cup of freaking good, steamy, aromatic coffee- filtered and made traditionally the South Indian way!
Am I getting ahead of myself?
No… you wouldn’t dare rip through me, once you get to taste a pour of freshly roasted, grinded and filtered punch. Every cup’s a delight and the proper way to awaken your senses first thing in the morning! You’ll love the aroma as you sip away the traditional Madras belter.
For not long ago, I wouldn’t know anything of how to brew a good cuppa! I wasn’t eager enough to rush for it either. Not until I figured out how to make a humble brew into something so atrociously good and overbearing.
I got to travel down South last year on vacation. And there the curiosity trumped me.
I somehow got hooked to filter coffee!
Till then whenever I had attempted to do something with those dark beans, the brew would always end up being too watery. Every time I attempted, it turned out dreary; so much so that I could easily pour half a cup of brewed coffee into half cup of milk and still wouldn’t get it to be as ‘strong’ as I’d like it to be.
It’s only from the by lanes and streets of Chennai (erstwhile Madras) that I learned the trick to make some really good stuff. It was some serious technique that led to some seriously good coffee in the end!
South Indian coffee requires only an indigenous coffee filter to make it right. You might think that plenty of them are lying around or one could be fashioned out; but this one is different; nothing like the regular ones! To taste authentic South Indian coffee it needs to be brewed through this unique stainless steel contraption; believe me; filtering effects are nearly impossible to replicate.
Consisting of two nested cups sitting atop each other; the one at the top holds the grounded coffee and has pores to allow the coffee to pass through while the other one is meant to store it.
Filter kaapi when served in a traditional tumbler-davaraa, all swished a couple of times between the two to produce delicious foam on the top, smells and tastes heavenly. A davaraa is a small cup shaped like a jug with a curved lip. (In some Udupi joints it is fondly called Meter-Kappi and is poured into the glass from a meter’s height to perk up maximum foam).
But you really don’t need one for a genuine Indian filter coffee. Any pair of mugs or cups would do. I wouldn’t approve of swishing though, for those who love it steaming hot. The disadvantage of swishing is that your coffee gets cold easily.
Heads-up! A storm of #coffee stories might be coming your way.
If you are with me just for the coffee and earnestly care about how your cuppa coffee should taste, then jump for a traditional Indian percolator with a clean filter, put 2 heaped tbsp of coffee powder and press it down with a spoon. Gently pour fresh water brought to a rolling boil and get an even concentration of decoction in the end. Mix a little bit of chicory and fill milk to 3/4th of the glass. Stir constantly and you have just made yourself a unique filter style complex and aromatic smooth cup of coffee.
Mild or strong- you get to enjoy the aroma and flavors with every sip. Add sugar if you wish and enjoy!
If I were you I would figure out ways to hold back things for tomorrow and start fishing around for a percolator ASAP -just the right one and get my coffee fix each morning-the Indian way!! Believe me, every cup is a delightful and legit way to awaken your senses first thing in the morning with an intense sensual kick.
Still unsure if that would be anything close to a third wave coffee shop?
Make no mistake- you are no pinhead; you’re right there. Just remember, ‘You can never be a wine connoisseur without ever being to a vineyard.
So, reach out, grab a perfect cup of that bold Indian filter coffee and feel a huge uptick happening right away!
Yup!…I won’t judge you!!