For approximately 24 of his 28 years, Sahil Jatana has been drinking instant coffee. But it was only four years ago, when he discovered freshly-ground coffee, that his experimentation began. Now, the telecom professional has quit his job to pursue his passion —
conducting workshops on his favourite beverage.
“I didn’t want to drink plain milk as a child, so my mom would add coffee in it,” reminisces Jatana. “But now, coffee and the café culture have really picked up in a big way. So I thought it would be great to educate people about it.”
Jatana’s brainchild, The Coffee Coach, will see him conducting weekly workshops across Mumbai and even other cities if possible. “I’m willing to travel wherever I’m invited. It could be anywhere from south Mumbai to the central suburbs and even Delhi and Bangalore,” he says.
Every session of up over two hours informs people why they should graduate from instant coffee, offering guidance on how to prepare coffee, where to source beans and raw material from, the varieties of blends and powders that are available and where to get the right equipment.
For those interested, the workshop is available in two packages — the difference being provision of a starter kit, with French press and coffee powder. Jatana is also working on a website for The Coffee Coach. “I’ve often had difficulties in getting equipment and ingredients from abroad, so this page will be a coffee blog in the Indian scenario, eventually evolving into a full-fledged online store for everything from powders and beans to thermometers and mugs,” he promises. His ultimate goal, though, is to start a café, serving gourmet coffee, which he will pursue in the next couple of years.
Although his workshops will begin only towards the end of the month, Jatana has received enquiries even from corporates. “Many of them are sick of having coffee from machines in their offices. They can’t always make the effort to go to a coffee shop,” he says. And being active on Twitter for over a year now, Jatana has made several friends, many of whom he has invited over for a cup of coffee, and who have shown interest in his project. “They stand by my side and watch me prepare the coffee,” he smiles. “I know they are interested and appreciate it.”
Coffee powder is the most important, and you must understand what suits your palate. Most Indians like it really strong — so a chicory mix with 35-65 per cent arabica and chicory is ideal.
If you are using a French press, be careful of crema (thin layer of foam at the top of an espresso cup)
The kind of mug you use makes a big difference. Using porcelain gives you a proper feel of drinking coffee and keeps it warmer for longer. China cups are not ideal.
Avoid using skimmed milk, it ruins the taste.