Move over Cappuccino, Frappuccino, Mochaccino et vous tous. It’s time for the real, unadulterated coffee, The Filter Coffee! Tada!!!
|Photo credit: Ausmita Kaviraj|
By the way, I have always wondered as to why Mochaccino is called Mochaccino anyways. Maybe because it’s a mock-up of a coffee. It sure has more chocolate than coffee in it! I have always suspected it to be a hot chocolate trying hard to pass off as a coffee. Nevertheless, moving on to the real coffee on hand. The Filter Coffee is a popular variant of coffee brewed and consumed primarily by the people in the southern part of India. As my friend from southern India inform me, to most of them, Filter Coffee is the third most important thing for sustenance after oxygen and curd rice. And sometimes even more important than curd-rice!
Conspicuous by its strong aroma, the Filter Coffee gets its name from the filter, the two piece metal vessel that it is brewed in. The top half is a cylindrical container with tiny holes at the bottom that act as the filter while the bottom half is a regular cylindrical container that catches the filtrate aka the coffee decoction.
To prepare the coffee decoction, all you have to do is put some filter coffee powder, which is basically ground roasted beans, in the top container. Then pour some boiling water over it, press it down, close the lid and place it on top of the second container. Now patiently wait for the decoction to filter down to the bottom container. About fifteen to twenty minutes later you should have collected enough decoction in the bottom container to make your coffee. Filter coffee is traditionally served in small stainless steel glasses. Put some sugar in the glass, fill one-fourth or more of the glass with the decoction depending on how strong you like your coffee and finally pour hot milk into it. None of those flimsy plastic stirrer to dissolve the sugar; instead the glass is placed inside an empty bowl and served. Before you drink the steaming coffee, pour it to and from the glass and the bowl a few times. Viola! Your sugar dissolves and the coffee cools down enough to not scald your tongue as well. One sip from the glass and all your lethargy goes scampering away as this ain’t no fancy pansy “not-so-sure-if-I-am-coffee” coffee. It’s coffee served neat,and it gets to work from the word go.
Sounds easy enough to prepare right? Wrong! Now I ain’t no Masterchef or anything that remotely resembles a chef but I did fancy making a cup of filter coffee all by myself. As fate would have it, after several botched up efforts, I gave up. I suspect it’s because I lack the secret ingredient to prepare good filter coffee: the genes of the people from southern India. They undoubtedly are the Masterchefs of their cuppas ! Fortunately for me, I live in Chennai, the mecca of filter coffee. So, as I walk to the nearest source of filter coffee, I silently pray to God to give me some of those desired genes in the next birth and I shall have my nirvana. Amen!