coffee Food

Chennai's very own coffee roastery

This Chennai-based roastery offers connoisseurs a range of fine coffee blends

Two-year-old Ananya loves her coffee. She waddles up to her parents’ table and with her little hands helps herself to their tumblers of coffee. “It’s in the blood,” laughs her mother Divya Jayashankar, founder of Beachville Coffee Roasters.

At her spacious roastery — largely barren except for a few white curtains gracefully billowing in the air — a large roaster holds pride of place. The entire building is enveloped in the rich aroma of freshly ground coffee, it just makes you want to settle down with a cuppa, some donuts and a jolly novel. “At a time we can roast two-and-a-half kilograms of beans,” says Divya, who started Beachville in Chennai, February last year.

Back when Divya lived in New York with her husband, she only knew the filter coffee that she was accustomed to every morning. “My husband introduced me to espresso and black coffee,” she says. At that point Divya was looking to do something and thought it would be a good idea to introduce filter coffee in New York. She started putting up stalls at Sunday markets and fairs. “People would come and drink but not really buy it to take it back home,” she recalls.

Chennai's very own coffee roastery

Moreover, shipping coffee from India was a hassle. So she started buying coffee beans from an Indian coffee wholesaler and eventually got into roasting coffee. She attended workshops on roasting and also brewing different types of coffee. Gradually, orders started coming in with Adyar Ananda Bhavan in Manhattan and Chai Wali in Harlem becoming their regular clients, she says. In 2015 Divya and her husband moved to Bengaluru and in 2018 to Chennai. But her interest in roasting coffee remained. “That’s how I started Beachville. I wanted to explore India for its best coffee and introduce them in filter and black coffee format,” she smiles.

Divya spends a lot of time travelling to places like Yercaud and Chikmagalur among others, all in search of the perfect bean. Hopping from one estate to another, she has tried coffee bean varieties from around 60 estates. “We currently have beans from Kelagur Heights (Chikmagalur), Nachammal Estate (Yercaud), and Attikan Estate (Biligiri Ranga Hills). The idea is to work with speciality coffees that have unique flavour profiles,” she adds. The elevation plays a role in the taste of the coffee, as does the harvesting process and storage facilities of the estates.

Explaining the various flavours, she says that Attikan Estate’s beans have a vibrant acidity and honey-sweetened taste. Kelagur’s has a fruity acidity along with notes of passion fruit and mango with a dark chocolate finish, while Nachammal’s beans are mellow acidic with a caramel finish.

Chennai's very own coffee roastery

Coffee can be roasted from 400 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, and between nine and 16 minutes, she says. “These are the two things we play with to find out what works out best for a batch. Once we roughly know, we fine tune and stick to that,” explains Divya.

Beachville orders their stock of raw beans once a year in March. This quantity lasts a year. Divya prefers to roast in small quantities as that helps her keep a check on the quality. “We are currently working with Arabica. We are looking to source Robusta too,” she adds. For now the city-based roastery offers four varieties of coffee: filter coffee blend, espresso blend and two single origins. “It’s just a two-member team as of now, but there is always enough help from my family,” adds Divya.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 7:34:52 PM |

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