Speciality coffee Food

Why the same old coffee?

Speciality coffee, with its varied flavours, methods of brewing and roasting, is the next big thing in Hyderabad

This is not your average cup of coffee. Hyderabad, known for its Irani chai and biryani, is embracing a new culture of speciality coffee places. Coffee lovers have the chance to pick from cold brew, cold drip, and nitro cold coffee among others, depending on their mood and demands of the weather. Clearly, one’s caffeine fix need not be just a piping hot cuppa.

It’s hot 9from left) Pour over preparation, barista Kalpana Behara, inside Sentido Coffee Breweries By arrangement

It’s hot 9from left) Pour over preparation, barista Kalpana Behara, inside Sentido Coffee Breweries By arrangement  

And if you thought these drinks were for only seasoned coffee lovers, you are clearly mistaken. Baristas say young visitors at cafés are the ones who are increasingly experimenting with cold brews. Some even go for the cascara, which has nothing to do with coffee notes or flavours.

So, if you are a coffee drinker tired of mocha served with a truckload of the usual whipped cream, it is time to try the affogato or experiment with coffee from different beans with varied roasts. “Why just coffee, it is also a good idea to look at techniques,” says Mahadev Krshna, who recently opened Bottega, a speciality coffee shop at Chalet. “Forget coffee from espresso machines. Try those made with pour-over technique, the aeropress, and siphon. Technique and roasting play an important role in unravelling the character of the coffee bean.” According to Harsha Reddy, who started Sentido Coffee Brewers with his partner, that the taste of speciality coffee is controlled by the roaster depending on what brew it is used for, also makes it unique.

Even breweries have jumped onto the bandwagon by making coffee-flavoured beers. These cafés, apart from offering customers various options to choose from, and the opportunity tolearn about coffee, are also creating employment opportunities for those who want to do more than just serve coffee from espresso machines.

Why the same old coffee?

“Earlier, we either drank coffee off machines or bought instant coffee; the purist drank filter coffee in the comfort of their homes,” points out Nishant Sinha who started the city’s first speciality coffee shop, The Roastery Coffee House, in 2017. But now, more and more people are looking for freshness in their average cuppa. “Coffee farming too wasn’t as focussed,” he adds. “Coffee beans were harvested, processed without much thought. Which meant ripe and raw beans were processed together. Coffee came with the notorious allegation of being bitter. But coffee farmers soon decided to pay attention to their beans; they started boutique cultivation within the farms, thereby changing coffee’s profile a lot more differently.”

The change in the way coffee was grown triggered the third wave in coffee. While this is not new to places like Bengaluru, Hyderabad took some time to catch up. “But once we did, people have started walking in with the intent of knowing their coffee. This helps me to a large extent. Most of them are either well-travelled or are curious epicureans,” adds Nishant.

These initial curious lot, according to baristas, are now loyalists responsible for inducting more people into speciality coffees. “In a regular coffee shop, we might make just one or two coffee varieties, but in speciality coffee shops, there’s a lot more. This, in turn, helps us to interact with customers more,” says barista Kalpana Behara. “Here, they are more aware. Customers know their coffee and the technique of brewing as well. I have also observed the type of brew one orders also varies with the time of the day they have it.”

Apart from well-travelled coffee lovers, the popularity of speciality coffee in Hyderabad can also be attributed to some extent to the opening of a popular American coffee brand in the city. Harsha however, says that he is not a fan of beverages there.

The methods of engagement with coffee also play an important role in pushing the beverage to become a hot favourite. Coffee brewing and roasting workshops have brought hungry Hyderabadis closer. “As consumers become more aware, the more they are drawn to the beverage,” adds Nishant.

What next with coffee? “Food pairing could be the next big thing,” sums up Harsha.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:20:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/the-roastery-coffee-shop-mahadev-krshna-sentido-coffee-brewers-bottega-nishant-sinha-hrasha-reddy/article31047553.ece

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