Brewing, blending, blooming - Ways to make your coffee more fun

  • Samreen Tungekar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2016 15:52 IST
With the concept of roasteries also picking up, getting your daily, quality fix of caffeine is not that difficult anymore. (Shutterstock)

The coffee culture in India is evolving, and more people are learning that it is more than just a beverage. With the acidic instant coffee fading, the focus shifting to different blends. The good news is that good blends are now easily available on supermarket shelves.

With the concept of roasteries also picking up, getting your daily, quality fix of caffeine is not that difficult anymore. Companies are beginning to provide well-roasted and ground coffee, even coffee beans for those with their own grinder.

Beyond the French press

Coffee experts understand the caffeine kick needed at work and know that a fancy Cappuccino from a high-end coffee shop cannot do the trick. They believe in the Aeropress to give you coffee on the go. The Aeropress, being versatile, takes just 30 seconds to prepare your cup and isn’t messy in the least. “You can carry your Aeropress to work, we all do!”said Ajit Joshi, a barista with Blue Tokai Coffee, a roastery in Delhi.

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Then, there is the pourover coffee, made by pouring hot water into a paper cone with coffee inside, and dripping it into a mug through a filter. As you pour water evenly over the filter, the coffee will start to bubble and bloom. The fresher the coffee, the larger is the bloom. “However, you need to be careful to not pour boiling water as that will give an over-extracted, bitter flavour,” said Ajit.

The coffee-water ratio is important. Adding a little water to the cup to weaken coffee is okay; but make sure to not overdo it. (Shutterstock)

The channi coffee is also a favourite, as it needs nothing more than a tea strainer and a cup. Rhea Sanghi, community manager at Blue Tokai Coffee, said it is the equipment to go to when moving from the preservatives of instant coffee to something more real. Add coffee to your cup, pour hot (not boiling) water and let it sit for three minutes. Once done, pour it through the tea strainer into a cup and your beverage is ready. Those who prefer milk in their coffee can switch hot water with hot milk and get a delicious creamy consistency. Easy, isn’t it?

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Kunal Ross, founder of, prefers the South Indian filter coffee, whose equipment is not only easily available but is also well known. “When I want my coffee with milk and sugar, there’s nothing like the South Indian filter coffee. The extraction level is good, it is slow drip, and is perfect,” he said. However, he also favours the Aeropress when it comes to a quick and strong cuppa.

Coffee and comfort food

Cookies, muffins, cake. Sure, they make for a yummy snack but they are hardly a healthy choice. It’s important to balance your coffee with the right snack. “Coffee keeps you away from central nervous disorders. Coffee reduces high blood glucose levels, which is beneficial for people with Type-2 diabetes. However, diabetics must remember to use no sugar and low fat milk for their cuppa,” said Sneha Sadhwani, clinical nutritionist and diabetes educator. She added that a healthy individual could consume two cups of coffee a day and gave the following list of guilt-free snacks that complement the beverage.

•Boiled or steamed eggs

•Grilled chicken

•Paper dosa

•Multi-grain pancakes

•Peanut butter or almond butter with bread

•Slices of apple sprinkled with cinnamon powder

Robusta is a relatively low quality coffee bean, but is stronger than Arabica, which is bigger and known for its flavour. (Shutterstock)

Cuppa for the summer

With the summer just about here, you can turn your drink into an iced pourover, cold channi coffee and/or an iced Aeropress. The method of preparation largely remains the same for all. For pourover and Aeropress coffee, add some ice cubes to your cup brew as usual. With channi coffee, use cold water, leave the coffee for eight to 12 hours and strain it.

Cheat sheet

•There are two types of beans – Robusta and Arabica. Robusta is a relatively low quality bean, but is the stronger one. Arabica, on the other hand, is bigger and milder. Robusta has strength, Arabica has flavour. Makes it easier to choose your bean, doesn’t it?

•If you buy your coffee from a roastery, they will grind it according to the equipment you use. Finely ground coffee can be more bitter than usual, but coarsely ground can be flat. Ideally, coarse grind is meant for a French press, while an Aeropress would use medium grind.

•The coffee-water ratio is important. Adding a little water to your cup to weaken your coffee is okay; just make sure you don’t overdo it. recommends 1-2 tablespoons of coffee to every six ounces of water.

•Lastly, and most importantly, never re-use coffee powder. It just doesn’t make sense.

Enjoy your cuppa!

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