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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The story of Kumbakonam degree coffee

The story of degree coffee
I am a coffee afficondo
And to me the oscar in coffee always goes to South Indian filter coffee .
These days its known as Kumbakonam degree coffee
Kumbakonam is a temple town in Tamilnadu where its predominantly brahmin population have a fetish for drinking only the best in coffees
For a filter coffee fanatic anything less would be untouchable
He would wrinkle his nose on pale instant coffee imitations and to him coffee is drunk off brass tumblers and if they just arent found possibly in steel ones
Porcelaun cups are literally outcasted
Paper styrofoam cups are an insult.
So much for the costly upstart called starbucks which is known for its bucks to be spent on getting either a bitter rancid concotion or a pale sweet cappucino
So do its cousins pale into insignificance when met with the elite filter coffee .
The name degree has many stories behind it
Some say its because of the lactometer used to asess milk with degrees on it
Some say it was because of a decree passed by a British official that he should be served with nothing less than the finest of filter coffee .
The filter percolator is used to prepare the coffee

The coffee seeds are actually roasted in a wooden fire in claypots and then finely powdered retaining thier aroma
The powder is kept in upper container boiling water is added
This slowly drips down into the lower container

Making the coffee too has its own steps
Sugar is added first later the filter concentrate  then freshly brewed milk with a fine foam in the brass tumbler.
The dowrah or lower portion is used to mix the coffee once or twice being careful it never loses its heat
Degree coffee cannot be drunk cold
Cold cofee baaah
Then the aroma of the finest robusta from the cold hillocks of ooty or kodai or munnar is tickling the senses to make one take a careful sip to avoid scalding
Slowly sips become gulps as the most pleasant coffee in the world washes out ones system
The eats are extra luxuries in degree joints seen all along tamilnadu highways these days costing just around half a dollar unlike its costlier but more mundane global competitors .

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