Saturday, March 19, 2005

Buffaloes and five best brews

I actually wanted to write and complain about something today, but it just did not work out for me. I woke up early for a Sunday morning (8:30), shaved the first thing when I woke up (I am back to looking like a troll, from a hairy, unshaven troll), me and wife decided to go and have some coffee and sandwiches and-- this actually being the reason for maximum joy -- we found a parking spot on M G Road!!! Let there be celebrations.

Anyway, here I am, in geek heaven -- logged onto the internet through a Reliance cellphone connection, using my wife's laptop and running on the coffee shop's power outlet. It just is not possible for me to gripe about anything right now. Not even the buffaloes. "What buffaloes?", one may be given to ask, and rightly so. Buffaloes don't exactly fit into geeek heaven, not even if they use GPS for travelling between their stables and pastures. I am talking about this herd of huge, black hairy beasts (no, I am not talking about the traffic policemen) which ply every morning from stables near Sachpir street, via M G Road, to some unknown destination in the cantonment, and come back via the same route every evening. Their timing is impeccable; come rain or prime minister, they have to go their way when the tummy rumbles. In fact, it is quite a sight to see vehicles, which would normally not stop for ambulances carrying their own wives in labour, have to give way to twenty odd slow moving animals which keep on chewing their food while they walk home, oblivious of people's hurries.

The second reason why I don't feel like reflecting negatively on life's caprices is because I just had a very fulfilling cup of my favourite cappuccino. I have the same feelings for a good cuppa as Smeagol had for the ring. So, while I sip on my second cup, let me recall the five best bres I have tasted in life.

  1. I, along with Sam, went to Palghat for trainin a client on our software. Sam and I are both known to be eccentric, maybe him more than me, but that is my next post. We decided that life was not worth living if one did not taste the best filter coffee ever brewed South of Bombay, We stopped over in Coimbatore for a night and hit the streets in search for the elusive decoction. We tried a nice, swanky restaurant first, but were terribly disappointed. Then, using our combined wisdoms (and thereby reaching an average level), we decided to go to the most delapidated place with the largest crowd outside. Voila! It worked like a charm. We both had two cups each, and I still remember the taste, the atmosphere of the place, and the satisfaction of having succeeded in our endeavour. Number one -- filter coffee from the roadside dhaaba in Coimbaore.
  2. I worked at Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, in the fall/winter of 2000. Towards the end of my stay there, it got very cold and started snowing. I really used to enjoy walking through the falling snow, wearing my windcheater with the hood covering my head, one hand in a jeans pocket, the other holding a warm mug of my favourite Mocha bough from Pete's cafe. Pete's cafe in Evanston made the best Mocha I ever had. I tried the same from their outlet on Pittsburgh airport, but it was not very good. Number two -- cafe Mocha from Pete's cafe in Evanston.
  3. For a short while I was in Ithaca, New York. Stella's bar in Collegetown was where my short affair with cafe Latte began. Walking back to my apartment through the icy cold breeze, holding my steaming Latte (with whipped cream on top), enjoying the view of lake Cayuga, marvelling at the natural beauty (Ithaca is probably one of the most beautiful places I ever lived at) is a memory etched permanently in my head. Number three -- cafe Latte with whipped cream from Stella's bar, Ithaca.
  4. When I travelled to Brussels in 2003, I flew Alitalia (cheapest option), via Milan. The flight was marvellous, with a grand view of the Swiss Alps through the aircraft window. But the high point of the trip probably was the Cappuccino at Milan airport. If I am not wrong, Milan is famous for Cappuccino, and I know why. Number four -- Cappuccino at Milan airport. I have to try one in Milan city someday.
  5. This position is still vacant. Though I have at least one coffee at Barista everyday, I don't yet have a favourite. They make very good coffee, but it is not rankworthy. Sorry folks! If you read this, please don't spit in my coffee. Number five -- up for grabs.

Now, if you folks will allow me, I would like to go back to drinking my coffee. You've been such a lovely audience, I would have really liked to take you home with me.


At 2:24 AM, Blogger eM said...

I love coffee too... only not having travelled as much as you have I stick to South Indian filter coffee and home and whatever North Indian crap my office canteen serves up and sometimes an overpriced mocha with too much milk.
*sigh* What's a girl to DO these days to get a good cup of coffee?

At 6:16 AM, Anonymous munna said...

are kya bolta hai coffee coffee
i can get high on toffee
ghatiya ghatiya maroonga
log bolenge maafee maafee

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous munna said...

here are some shots of naked portafilter to bring you orgasmic delights.

"A really lovely espresso pulled from a "roast blend" of the Sumatra Gayo Mountain. Very rich and creamy, with nice earth notes and great stonefruit flavours up front."

seems like coffee is headed the way of the wine.. soon there will be a
coffee equivalent of sideways.

anu baby you can be the hero in that if i direct it.

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Senthil said...

Heheh... I remember the buffaloes, but had no idea that they were doing a routine trip :)

As for coffee, things are very complicated thanks to Barista and whatnot - earlier, it used to be just "one coffee!" barked at the waiter. Now it's Cafe Mocha, Cafe Latte, Cafe Caramel, Espresso Americano, Ethiopian Qahwa, et cetera, most of which I cannot differentiate between (I know, I know, I have NOT taste in life), except probably for Americano, which happens to be black :)

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

eM: Try the Macchiato at Cafe Coffee day. It is an espresso shot served with milk foam -- strong, bitter and not milky at all. Coffee Day's Mocha is bad, though. Anyway, you stick to the South Indian filter; I love it.

Munna: Don't ever leave your day job to be a poet. Don't. :)

Senthil: Another thing I could teach you about and charge you a beer for. But this is the basic knowledge:

Mocha: Espresso shot mixed with foamed milk and chocolate syrup.

Cappuccino: Espresso shot, supposed to be 2 parts foam and 1 part milk. Some people prefere equal amounts of foam and milk.

Latte: Espresso shot with one part foam and two or three parts milk.

Americano: Espresso shot with warm water.

I don't like anything with Caramel, so haven't tried Cafe Caramel. Qahwah I have heard of a lot, but never tried. I once tried Coffee with pumpkin flavour in Evanston (what was I thinking?)

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous munna said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Senthil said...

Er... Anurag... hmmm... *blush*... it's the taste of each brew I cannot differentiate is pretty much just coffee to me... sigh...too much beer, methinks... and I can't differentiate between the taste of Kingfisher and that of Fosters, either...

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous munna said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous munna said...

o lover of coffee! why you fail to mention the pleasures of a white russian, the intoxication of an irish cream. pleasures of two worlds in one cup.

Tell me why,
Aint nothing but a heartach
Tell me why,
Aint nothing but a mistake
Tell me why,
I never wanna hear you say, I DONT want it that way

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Mint Chutney said...

Hey, I live in Evanston! What a small world!! I need to go downtown today so I'll stop at Pete's and have a mocha in your honor.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

Hey Mint C,

That is some coincidence. I hope they still make the Mocha as good as they did then. Does your husband work at A T Kearney, by any chance? A batchmate of mine was employed there...


At 6:50 AM, Blogger Mint Chutney said...

No, he is Director of IT/ Network Engineer for a local suburban municipality. (I married an Irish American). I work in pharmaceutical research. I grew up in Evanston and decided to move back here after I got married. If you ever have a chance to come back, we'd love to have you and your wife over.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Mint Chutney said...

Well, will wonders never cease. I read over your previous posts and came across the beautiful one about the song Emily.... My husband and I love that song so much we named our daughter Emily. Wouldn't it be weird if we were somehow related?

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

Mint C:

Well, well! Small world, full of coincidcences! I would know you if your name were Priya V., a batchmate of mine living in Evanston. But then, she didn't grow up there.


At 11:54 PM, Blogger Vignesh said...

Hey ! I think I've had coffee at Pete's at Pitt Airport. Didn't like it too all that much either. My fav coffee is a secret recipe involving many a ingredient. Cannot divulge. Will say it might definitely be a contender for Number 5 !!

And MC and you, talk about the strangest of coincidences ! I had one a while ago... meeting someone I hadn't seen in about 7 years through her blog !

At 3:40 AM, Blogger Anurag said...

Vignesh, so your coffee recipe goes to the grave with you, huh? Talk about dark secrets.

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Simon said...

I've just found your blog about coffee cups whilst I was looking for more information to add to my blog about coffee cups. You've got a great blog going here. It's always good to have more information about coffee cups. I've just started my own blog about coffee cups if you would like to take a look.
Keep up the good work.


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