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Updated: October 21, 2011 16:36 IST

Decoction decoded

A. SHRIKUMAR
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COFFEE KICK: Brew expert Sam Rozario giving the demo. Photo: A. Shrikumar
The Hindu
COFFEE KICK: Brew expert Sam Rozario giving the demo. Photo: A. Shrikumar

Walk in as ‘kaapi-lover’ and walk out as coffee-expert at The Coffee Festival

Mornings in this part of the country are incomplete without a cup of that filter kaapi. Good old grandmothers and mothers knew the secret formula to brew such mind-blowing coffees. And the Maduraikarars must have sipped the ubiquitous ‘karupatti kaapi’ at least once in lifetime. But here’s a different deal for coffee-lovers to also know more about their favourite drink that has taken a suave avatar over the years.

In an effort to share the art of coffee making with customers, Café Coffee Day (CCD) has launched its coffee festival in town.

“Our objective is to help consumers indulge in this fine beverage and take home a different café experience,” says Sam Rozario, Coffee Evangelist and India Barista Championship winner in 2009 and 2010. “Coffee has become a part of our daily lives from just being a morning drink. People can learn authentic coffee making and the different facets of coffee.”

According to Sam, there are two commercially viable species of coffee – Arabica and Robusta, while there are 62 varieties of coffee in total that are usually referred to as ‘strains’. “Coffee can be made in numerous blends, but the four main blends we teach here are Dark forest, Arabica, Perfect and Charge,” he says.

Light blends without chicory are Dark forest (single origin coffee from Baba Budan hills in Chikmagalur, Karnataka) and Arabica (blend of coffee beans from different estates), while Perfect and Charge are strong versions with 80 and 65 percent chicory respectively. “More the percentage of chicory, stronger the coffee becomes. But the percentage of chicory can never be more than coffee. All these powders are coarser than the instant ones in the market,” says Sam. “Hence they can’t be made the way the other local varieties are made.” Strong coffees are thick and coat the cup and give a kick while lighter ones are more flavourful.

Coffee in a jiffy

He introduces two coffee-brewing kits – ‘stove top’, a three chamber filter (used for light coffees) and ‘French press’, a glass cylinder with plunger (used for strong varieties). With these state-of-the-art coffee-makers you get coffee in a jiffy (three minutes if hot water is used).

“Three cups can be made in these with 15 grams of coffee and 225 ml of water. The freshness and strength of the decoction is not lost in this unlike the filter where the aroma gets evaporated. Coffee is volatile and you got to be careful in not losing its flavour” explains Sam.

Consumers can also buy coffee making kits and powders from the cafés. Packets of 200 gms of the four blends cost Rs. 150, 85, 75 and 65 respectively. Stove top comes for Rs. 299 and French press for Rs. 275.

Apart from the live demo, you can also have a hands-on experience, try out brewing and walk home with a certificate that calls you ‘brewing expert’. The festival is on till November 19 at both the CCD outlets in town -- HIG 24, Anna Nagar and K.B. Towers, Reserve Line.

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