Filter Coffee Time Machine.
Trip down the memory lane on how coffee moved our lives.
…I still remember with vivid details of my coffee buying experience from school days backhome..
My hometown – Mayavaram – where temples, river Kaviri and a host of festivals define almost everything (for me it was Cricket too), there was Kamala Coffee Works. Tucked in the middle of row of shops with terracotta rooftops it was a quiet non-descript business establishment. But what it was selling was an absolute specialty. Something that was at the core of every household’s portfolio for hospitality. Coffee.. Great Fresh Ground Coffee.!
Twice a week my Mom will give me money in the morning – I think, two rupees and fifty paise usually a note and coin – on my way to school to buy ground coffee from Kamala Coffee works.
Buying coffee for me was a whole different experience compared to buying anything else like vegetables. There are many reasons why, foremost is the fantasy that it comes from far away green foggy mountains. Places you see in pictures and hoping to embark on an adventure for visiting them someday. So just looking at those green Coffee beans in as native form as I can find in my town ( which far away from the mountains) is an excitement in itself. Vegetables don’t offer the same level of excitement.
Fact that our town is on the banks of river Kaviri makes the imagination even more colorful as the coffee I am seeing here could have come from the same mountains where she originates. Talakaviri in Kodagu Hills of Karnataka. At an age where someone fixing cycle tube is an exciting sight to watch, looking at something that seem precious from far a far away place is certainly a spectacle.
While waiting when order gets ready, the unforgettable aroma of roasted coffee, very sight of rusty looking bean roaster, grinder and hopper with coffee spilled all over, the knack of him mixing it with Chicory, and the way he packs and slides a neat packet in front of me all will feel like magic. I can smell the coffee all the way riding back home in my bicycle.
My mom will brew it right away and it will be ready when I am ready for my after school stuff. Whether it is going out to play cricket or watching TV or reading for exams. There was always a great cup of frosty filter coffee before that. Sometimes if my mom had to go to attend something when I get home, house keys will be left with the neighbour. With the keys what would be waiting is the coffee she made for me before she left. There is usually something, a couple of biscuits or so for me to have it with Coffee. Usually, she waits and if I miss her by the whisker, the coffee will still be warm. Home.. Sweet Home..!
Filter coffee was an essential part of hospitality in every house. I grew up in days where there were no refrigerators or microwaves. TV and LPG Gas stoves were a luxury. So when a guest shows up (Usually unannounced as there was no telephone), the best thing you could offer them fresh, quick and respectful is a cup of coffee. Quality of coffee will tell the guest if they are welcome (or not 🙂 ). All conversations from enquiring about a relative’s health to the status of someone getting married will all be discussed over the coffee. Travel stories, family feuds, harvest, festivals, rain kids education. All will be discussed. Asking for a second serving of coffee right after the first one is not uncommon.
Moving to the US for me changed Coffee experience upside down. Back home Filter Coffee was the hero of any scene, in many cases, coffee was the scene. From that, it became an accessory to a conversation. A set property to a scene. Focus moved away from the taste of coffee to a brand. Most of us accepted the western style of coffee drinking mostly black coffee, including myself. But once in a while my strong ties will show up and would make a filter coffee at home and enjoy it. It felt good everytime as it always took me back in time.
One issue is that the mass-produced coffee that we find in groceries stores did not taste the same as the ones from Kamala Coffee. Trying imported Indian coffee did not help either. Don’t think the freshness and quality can not be exported. So we decided to create our own blend from the best quality coffee beans available here in the US. Working with some of best roasters in the world based in Dallas, we attempted to create THAT coffee blend that you enjoyed back home.
Every Coffee drinker knows a tasty cup of coffee is the key to refreshing senses by going down the memory lane. For me a good South Indian filter coffee is that Time Machine. Wanted to share the experience with everyone and “FreshIndianCoffee” is an honest to attempt to do just that.
Hope you like it.
Image: Thanks to Wikipedia