April 12, 2005

Aroma of philter kaapi....

Am back at my favorite topic again -- raving about filter coffee.
I don’t know how many of you remember the Narasus coffee advertisement with 'Thengaai' Srinivasan explaining the preparation mode for filter coffee to his wife 'Chachu'…that particular variety of filter coffee, I crave for it! As such, there was no dearth of such a wonderful coffee for me when I was in Chennai.
A fantastic coffee would always be brewed at our home - thanks to my amma and wife. Most importantly to Saravana Coffee in Triplicane - he knew what ratio of chicory-peaberry went into mixture for our home. They knew I needed that caffeine drip down by blood thrice a day and knew the timing as well.
Morning -- Nothing like sipping a fresh coffee, breathing in the aroma of decoction and drinking that coffee from a super hot level to a mildly warm level - it takes min 30 minutes, mind you, to complete that session of coffee…accompanied by that day's HINDU or Ananda Vikatan or some Sujatha novel - Madras A/Vividhbharathi channel in background on radio. After that, like the Cheshire cat effect, a tinge of bitter coffee taste will be waddling in the inner tongue - enough to keep one motivated to go to work!
Afternoon -- Best had around 3:30 or 4 pm, when I am on the brink of falling asleep after a good lunch.(Having a ceremonious lunch is the item for a new post altogether!!) This coffee wakes me up. Tough to get the same home-level-quality while at work, but nevertheless, something better than a Nescafe!
Evening -- back home around 7pm or so, I would delight myself with a mildly hot, little diluted version of morning's filter coffee. Here the essence of coffee powder would have blended nicely into decoction. This settled down (mature???) coffee is apt for a relaxing evening ahead. When my work schedule started getting heavier, it is this evening home coffee that started getting affected. I needed a nice, frothy filter coffee someplace nearby, so that I could have it and get back to work again for another hour or so.
Hotel Saravana bhavan was the only place that catered to this varying taste levels of mine. Then it became kind of habit that whenever I used to pass by Saravana Bhavan, I will simply have a cup of coffee.

Back to present. I came to UK bravely armed with 1Kg of Saravana Coffee Works filter coffee powder with chicory mixed. I even got an eversilver filter to brew the decoction. It lasted for 3 months. In the initial fervour, I would invite colleagues to home and proudly serve a cup of authentic filter coffee. But when the dwindling started, and I couldn't generally find someone who was willing to get me another KG of filter coffee powder from Madras, it was a complete debacle. I started getting desperate. Nescafe Gold Blend came a bit close, but not close enough.
Highly unsettling!

Cut to the future...
HOTEL SARAVANA BHAVAN is opening two branches in LONDON, UK -- next week. One at East Ham and another one at Wembley Central.

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