My mysterious relationship with coffee
For as long as I can remember, I have been a tea lover. When I was a student waking up at 3am in the morning to study or now before heading to yoga, I need my cup of ginger tea. When the rest of the household is fast asleep, my tea cooks as I water plants, roam around, play my bhajans and try to catch the Sun rise from its slumber. Whatever time I get back from work, I again get my tea ready. The little things around change – I answer work emails, check on the plants outside and sit back thinking of my day at work. However, I always had a relationship with coffee.
This part of my relationship is called knowing coffee.
Most North Indians who are as ignorant as I was when growing up, do not know what filter coffee is. We know only one kind and that’s Nescafe. It’s instant and served when someone important pays a visit. Or you know you are important if you are offered one. Making this cuppa needs extra muscle power. You add sugar to the powder and few drops of milk and beat it for good half an hour. That’s when it turns beige. You need to get the perfect color. While you are beating it, do not forget to roam around the house, talk to the guests or fill water from the purifier. Be patient. That’s the way to make this coffee. When beaten, add milk and serve. When my brother and I requested, we were given a glass of milk with a pinch of coffee and that’s how I know and remember this beverage.
This part of my relationship is called avoiding coffee.
I was a 17-year-old when I developed arrhythmia. It was hard to manage the super fast heart beats due to sudden noise or physical activity. Coffee somehow triggered it. That was when I was told to avoid coffee. A sip of coffee and I would go giddy. Pants and then those heart beats that I could clearly hear with all the quiet around. At that age I was also handling a lot of pressure of getting into the right college, pursuing engineering and all that comes with the competition of grabbing a seat. That’s how I ended up avoiding coffee for close to 10 years.
This part of my relationship is called befriending coffee.
When I came to Bangalore, I saw and experienced that coffee was not a coveted beverage. I also got to know that the filtered sister was different from the instant sister. I added a few words to my vocabulary and they were – decoction, brew, beans, steel tumblers and strong or light kapi. With a little extra sugar, this beverage never hurt my health again. Maybe it was the years in between that did the magic. The arrhythmia was gone along with the stress and the love for tea was intact. That’s how I made friends with coffee.
This part of my relationship is called ‘you are part of my life’.
Over the last few years, I have tried making a decoction at home. I have almost bought the chicory and yet stayed away from buying. I have ordered my hot and mild version of the beverage at all darshini stores. If I am not having my ginger tea at home, I can be found looking for coffee somewhere. Feels good to say that coffee is a now part of my life.
I have not yet understood the black coffee tricks, what espresso is or how to smell and tell which coffee is better. However, if it’s not the filtered sister, cousin cappuccino works too. Mocha is preferred over latte and a little savory as a side dish is that perfect combination. I continue to be a tea lover with coffee in close competition.
Writing for yeahwrite #295 today.