Coffee with a familial touch
He is adept more in brewing coffee than administering chloroform. Though both the words start with the same letter, they could be heady if the mix is right...
How heady would it be? - S.V. R. Rao in action - Photo by K.R. Deepak
What a delight! An exclusive coffee bar oriented in a European style in a completely owner-participated business!
Welcome to the world of coffee at ''Gokul Specialities''! Personally concocting over 30 different types of coffee from distinct blends of over 18 varieties of indigenous coffee beans is the owner, S.V.R. Rao, who is a practising anaesthetist and a specialist in pain relief.
Why coffee then? Coffee and blending it is Rao's---Raghu to his friends---passionate hobby that was nurtured by his exposure to some of the world's best coffee shops he had come across in the UK, the US and Hong Kong.
For him, brewing the coffee and serving it personally to a customer is almost like a spiritual experience. A satisfied customer is more important to him than the money that he makes.
Started in July 1999, Gokul today has three outlets in Vizag with the main one near the busy Asilmetta Junction. While coffee and its myriad variations is the main fare, small eats like pizzas, sandwiches, etc complement the menu. There are also milk shakes, mocktails and fruit juices to make Gokul, an ideal joint for a heady evening with the family.
All orders are produced in full view of the customer and undivided attention is given to the hygiene of the product as well as that of the spick and span environment.
Powdered coffee blends to suit individual tastes can also be ordered at Gokul for brewing at home.
Familial touch and customer interaction are the USP (unique selling proposition) of this unique outlet. Rao procures roasted beans from Bangalore since the entire success of a good ''cuppa'' is on proper roasting of the coffee bean.
Close attention is also paid to the quality of milk used that can affect the flavour, and Gokul has a dedicated source for the supply of pure buffalo milk.
Rao feels that it is a matter of shame that while India also produces some of the best coffee beans in the world comparable to the famous Costa Rican and Brazilian coffee, the Indian consumer never gets to experience the aroma of these particular beans since the entire produce feeds the export market only. His impression of Vizag is that it is still a ''big village'' that has not yet woken up to the fragrance of coffee.
He is, however, hopeful that the future is bright and he is working on positioning Gokul along the lines of the Starbucks coffee bars concept in the US where raw coffee beans are transformed into a delicious brew to tickle one's taste buds. Three cheers to the Cup of Life!
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