Delhiwale: Coffee fit for a president
Don’t get fooled by the plastic cups. India Coffee Centre has an exclusive clienteledelhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 11:02 IST
Such fresh aroma. Such rich flavour. And so cheap — just ₹20.
This is a steal.
We are talking of a place in Connaught Place, the unavoidable shopping district where most coffee places can set you back by a few hundred rupees. It is true they serve you coffee in horrid plastic cups here but would you really care if we tell you that this coffee is the one supplied to the kitchen of the president of India? The 5-star Ashoka Hotel is another long-time customer.
The government-run India Coffee Centre is rather discreetly tucked behind PVR Rivoli. Coffee beans are ground here daily. The powder is sold for ₹400 per kg.
Originally opened by the British in 1943 on the nearby Tolstoy Lane, along with a coffee place in Janpath, the purpose of the place was to create a market for the country’s new coffee plantations. Twenty-three years later, the coffee house shut down but the coffee centre, run by the Coffee Board of India, has stayed alive.
Today, in the age of coffee chains, this corner landmark lies unnoticed. We have walked past this place so many times, little knowing that the people inside are grinding and packing the coffee initially roasted and blended in Bangalore. The coffee is grown on the estates of Chikmagalur in Karnataka.
Though there are five more outlets in Delhi — Sansad Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, South Block, North Block and Jawaharlal Nehru University — this one, being on a market lane, is the most accessible to us commoners. If only it were as easy to spot.