Friday, April 23, 2010

How do you take your coffee?

I love coffee. I have always loved it and my 4 years of working at Starbucks deepened my appreciation for it even more. I had to do a one day training as a barista - as do all Starbucks employees irrespective of what job they hold in the company - and I learned that it is as complicated as can be bold, acidic, smooth, mellow, full bodied, bitter, caramelly, chocolatey, fruity...the list is endless. However, with all due respect, there is no coffee on earth that comes close to the way we South Indians brew our coffee. A coffee filter - something similar to the Turkish coffee press - is a must in every South Indian kitchen. The Madras filter coffee is nearly an institution - one that most thoroughbred Tamilians cannot do without. The wafting aroma of freshly brewed filter coffee heralds the new day in most South Indian homes. The ubiquitous coffee filter can be found in the kitchen occupying pride of place, creating a thick decoction that is mixed with the right amount of hot milk and sugar. When I was little, my grandmother used to roast the raw green coffee beans every night till it was just the perfect shade of brown...and then it was my job to grind them in a hand cranked machine. Does anyone do that anymore?
There are many ways to enjoy coffee, but I like mine strong, scalding hot with milk and sugar, not too milky and not too sweet.

Then I pour it in my favorite mug and sit in my favorite chair......and savor every sip!

How do you like your coffee?
Black with chocolate and a biscotti like the Europeans do
Or just straight up plain black so you taste the coffee
Or a Cappucino topped with mounds of creamy froth
Maybe a muffin to go along with it
Smooth and mellow with cream and sugar
Strong and bitter like Turkish coffee
With a book to read along maybe

Hot, strong and sweet in a steel tumbler


Images courtesy various media sources.

1 comment:

indianyarn said...

have you had coffee from 'joe the art of coffee' - they have a store at grand central, NY