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Old 12th July 2010, 12:23   #76
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But you get tiny pillow packs for a rupee from Bru.
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Old 12th July 2010, 12:31   #77
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Sam, have you heard of Starbucks VIA?

Its supposed to be as aromatic and very similar in taste to freshly brewed coffee. They say that it took them quite a few years to come up with it. Apparently even a seasoned coffee drinker cannot distinguish between a cup of Italian roast brewed coffee and a cup of Italian roast VIA instant coffee. It's quite expensive too.. comes in "chota bru" style 1 Rupee packets, except that they are 1$ per packet (i.e. per cup). I've tried it.. tasted and smelt the same as normal brewed coffee to me, significantly different to our instant coffee.

A lot of people swear by it.

Last edited by holysmoke : 12th July 2010 at 12:34.
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Old 12th July 2010, 12:55   #78
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Gotta add my two cents after reading this.

The first thing actually starts with the coffee bean itself. There are two kinds of beans, robusta and arabica. In India we consume more robusta than arabica where as it is the other way round in most other parts of the world. This is one of the main reasons why a "typical Indian" going to the US will not like the coffee there.

The second part is on the drying and roasting. After the berries have been harvested they are normally sun dried and the seeds extrated. These are also then dried to some extent. The amount of moisture removed from them in this way is very improtant as it has a direct relation to the taste of the end product. Then comes the roasting, roast it too fast or too slow and it's goners. What we should be looking for is an evenly roasted coffee bean (hint while buying). It should be a dark brown (not black or lighter shades of brown). An other hint on buying a good bean is just pop a roasted bean into your mouth and bite it. If you like the bean then you'll love the coffee. The bean should be brittle and just "explode" in your mouth when bitten.
And finally the storing. Humidity just destroys the coffee.

Some other interesting things. When shopping for perfume, carry a little roasted coffee beans with you. Smell them in between the testing of two perfumes - it clears your senses.

Last but not the least. A lot depends on your personal tastes. So what is good to one might not appeal to the other. And just for the record - I'm a tea person .
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Old 12th July 2010, 13:29   #79
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Arrow I love this topic

From the farming side some info:

Well in India e cultivate 2 varities of Coffee
> Arabica
> Robusta

Majority of the plantations in Coorg(Kar) cultivate Robusta as its easier to cultivate and less of Disease attacks the plants s compared to Arabica. Plus the yield a acre is more than double what an acre of arabica gives.

Price wise Arabica commands a greater price as compared to Robusta.

The curing part of coffee:

As soon as coffee is harvested you could either dry it in the sun or you could go for parchment which means you remove the layer of skin out and dry it the bean on mats for a few days.

Sun drying is done for close to 20 days and the test done for ideal drying is to shake couple of beans in your hand and it has to make some noise. Something like a kids toy or n anklet.

Parchment is better quality as compred to Cherry or sun dried.

Once the curing is done the coffee grading is done.

Grades: A, B and Bits and browns

An ideal cup of coffee will usually have blend of both arabica and robust and the different grades too.

I am no expert on the blending process as the knowledge i gt is upto the drying phase.

Storage: Ideally its stored in a godown in a very warm kind of environment. Moisture content is bad for coffee.

Drawbacks for the farmer:
> Fully dependent on the middle men aand controlled by the interntional prices
> Massive problems due to Labor shortage as its fully labor intnsive process
> Disease: Bugs and a kind of beatle eats the crop from the inside leaving just the cover. Ideal deterrent for the same is not found. Different farmers use different techniques to control the same.

Thank you
Maddy
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Old 12th July 2010, 13:47   #80
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OK...
So, I got converted after reading this thread.
As such I am an avid tea guy - 10-12 cups/ cuttings/ glasses/ counters a day. At home we drink a 60-40 mix of assam and darjeeling (sourced from Kolkata - Loknath Tea House, Gariahat)with very little milk and sugar. Mumbai local tea is just awful. On the road, cutting from a crowded stall where the crowd seems to hanging around.
For coffee, I have only known nescafe - classic, gold and whatever. Tastes crap.

I have had my tryst with filter kaapi in Bangalore and Chennai and mostly liked it - not as much as tea, but still somewhat. I liked the CCD espresso (the small cup - which they really hate to sell you and vehemently warn that it's VERY HARD). But, I don't like the designer coffee they sell. With all this, I have been toying with the idea of starting to explore the real home coffee world for a while now.

Then comes this thread with everything at one place.
I went to a local bartan store who did not have a french press, never heard of it. But they had black and decker - so, I bought a single cup coffee maker for Rs. 900/-. The operation is exactly same as describe by Sam, very simple.

For coffee, I bought a pack of Morning java from CCD (They didn't have dark forest in stock. They had black forest, but I guess that would be far too sweet ).

I have to admit that the taste of this is really very very nice. Especially the smell. I can seriously vouch for the thing Sam said about coffee smell livening up home atmosphere - it surely does.
Meanwhile, I have got some Starbucks "Columbian Narino Supremo" imported at an opportune moment. It's way smoother (and I guess lighter) than my local morning java, but the smell is even better.

I guess this is a habit worth culturing, especially for tea guys like me. These's a lot of goodness in coffee which we generally miss!

PS - If you are like me, then you hate stirring the cup for dissolving sugar and watch the aroma escape before you can sip (or generally dislike physical work). In such a case, add the sugar (a little more than normal - say 10% extra) with the coffee powder at the strainer, you can safely escape the hassle - you coffee will drip sweet.
Once you have balanced the milk (meaning ascertained exactly how much you need for your coffee) put it cold in the receiver mug beforehand. So you won't have to stir at all!

PS2 :- We need an article on cleaning the coffee machines. Normal method seems to be to run plain vinegar mixed water 2/3 times. Expert opinions on this will be of great help to me and other newbie coffee drinkers.
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Old 12th July 2010, 14:32   #81
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Baba Budan (of the Baba Budan Hills) should have carried along arabica when he came here(Isn't it?). Chikmagalur grows more arabica than Coorg which grows mostly robusta.
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Old 12th July 2010, 15:31   #82
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A great guide to making coffee Sam !!

I have been using Bodum (we got it as a gift in marriage), and incidentally the filter is damaged, so its now back to Indian Traditional Filtering.. Which take a little more time, but as good as it can be.

Regarding the Grinding of beans, I found this brand called "Kwality" & "Cothas" which are not very finely ground, and this helps in filtration, we get the decoction faster & stronger as well, basically coffee tastes better this way. I also get coffee grounded from Kalmane, and yes, it is one of the best we can get & pretty economical for daily use. I prefer Arabica beans, but i am satisfied with Robusta as well.

I am now getting tempted to search for Bodum/french maker, thanks to your thread. I have shared it with my wife and plan already on the way to launch a hunt
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Old 12th July 2010, 16:18   #83
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"One place where you cna get freshly ground coffee powder, I am not sure about the beans though, is a shop at Matunga Central Side. I dont know the shop's name but it is next to Hotely Ramashraya which is bang opposite Matunga Railway station (rear side). I have loved the smell of freshly ground coffee whenever I pass that side and pick up some because nobody drinks coffee at my home except for me.

I will try to get more details about the shop's name."

Mansi[/quote]

Hi Mansi,

I think you are referring to a place called "Mysore Concerns"..my relatives at Mumbai swear by them, and i can also personally vouch for the smell and taste of coffee from this store.

Cheers.
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Old 12th July 2010, 21:27   #84
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This thread just made me visit CCD again. (Due to pocket money restrictions, I'm a rare visitor :P). And guess what, I saw a French Press, and the Dark Forest box. How cooler can it get ?

At 200 grams for Rs. 150, it works cheaper than my Nestle Instant Coffee (50 grams for Rs. 68). The French Presses were in the range of ~Rs. 150-Rs.300.

Of course, I'll hunt a little for beans, but knowing Patiala, and knowing north, I'm not keeping my hopes high.

So do you coco-gurus think that this would be an improvement over my instant coffee, assuming I use the Dark Forest dabbah and not the beans ? And is a French Press capable of making a latte-like concoction ? I'm not talking about the steamy(as in frothy) milk and the texture, but can it come close to the taste of a CCD latte ?

Last edited by anku94 : 12th July 2010 at 21:44.
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Old 12th July 2010, 23:26   #85
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EDIT : Just found out that the French Press can't be used with powders too fine. They seep through the filter. And since there's 99.99% chance I'm not getting the beans, I think it's hopeless. I'd love it if anyone could clarify that. Thanks.
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Old 13th July 2010, 00:08   #86
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For fine powder try the Coffee filter used in south india. One has been posted before. I used to use it and it worked fine for the coffee which i used from home
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Old 13th July 2010, 00:37   #87
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Hello Sam,

This is my take after reading your posts.
You started of on a great note about a "simple" South Indian Filter Kaapi.
And then, from Page 2, you were lost in expensive coffee makers and CCD coffee powder.
The Actual South Indian Filter Kaapi is made using a Filter like this:
If you see the below snaps, there are 2 cups in it. The upper cup is a perforated one. The below one is obviously a normal container. The Perforated cup sits nicely on the below container. Then, a blocker is kept inside the perforated cup. Coffee powder is put into the upper cup. Pour boiling water. The function of the Blocker is to make sure, the powder or water doesnt instantly pour down into the lower cup, without turning into a nice strong black coffee. The longer the coffee powder and boiling water stay together at the upper cup, better the coffee concentrate.
Mind u , You cannot drink this alone. Milk is a must.
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To prepare coffee:
1. Boil milk.
2. Pour the black coffee concentrate, straight from the lower cup of the filter.
3. Boil it again.
4. Add sugar according to your preference.

Higher the ratio of black coffee concentrate to Milk, stronger the South Indian Filter Kaapi!

Hope this helps

Last edited by pramod : 13th July 2010 at 00:41.
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Old 13th July 2010, 01:06   #88
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Well Pramod, point 3 is optional I guess, if the milk is steaming hot & hot water is being used for preparing the black coffee concentrate, boiling is not necessary.
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Old 13th July 2010, 06:53   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Well Pramod, point 3 is optional I guess, if the milk is steaming hot & hot water is being used for preparing the black coffee concentrate, boiling is not necessary.
Point no.3 is a strict no no! Very hot water is poured in to the filter after putting in the coffee powder. After mixing the decoction and hot milk, just add sugar and drink. Never ever boil it or even heat it again, you will ruin the flavour.

And the plunger in the picture goes on the coffee powder to avoid stirring it up as the hot water is being poured and also to gently compress it, it should not go in to the upper vessel before putting in the coffee powder as Pramod seems to think!

Last edited by Gansan : 13th July 2010 at 07:04.
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Old 13th July 2010, 08:53   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Point no.3 is a strict no no! Very hot water is poured in to the filter after putting in the coffee powder. After mixing the decoction and hot milk, just add sugar and drink. Never ever boil it or even heat it again, you will ruin the flavour. Agreed but many a times the decoction is made and kept for the entire day for any time coffee. in those cases you need to boil milk and add coffee or vice versa

And the plunger in the picture goes on the coffee powder to avoid stirring it up as the hot water is being poured and also to gently compress it, it should not go in to the upper vessel before putting in the coffee powder as Pramod seems to think! RIGHTLY said, this is the correct procedure.
It may feel strange but I had the habit of preparing the decoction, cooling it and keeping it in fridge. Whenever I needed coffee, I use to use the cold decoction, I found it be super strong than the immediate use of decoction.

I do it sometimes for tea too when I add ginger to it. I allow the tea to cool down and after 1/2 hr or so reboil the tea, it taste super with the ginger effect.
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