Life is brew-tiful with a cup of coffee
Like many around the world, I, too, kickstart my day with a mug of hot coffee. It has been part of a wake-up routine for the past decade or so. The aroma of the brew lifts my mood any day. But, no, I am not a coffee addict; I am just a caféphile.
On the way home from my office after a week, I stepped into the newly opened café round the corner of the street. A fairly decent place with a good ambience, it was. They had painted the walls in sober hues, and the history of all the beverages served in the café was mentioned. And my eyes fell on the history of coffee.
So, it was an Ethiopian goatherd, Kaldi, who accidentally discovered coffee berries around 700 A.D. He noticed that his goats became hyperactive after consuming certain berries and did not sleep either. So, he took these berries to a monk who threw them into the fire, condemning them as Devil’s work. The berries thus got roasted, and the entire hall got filled with a pleasant aroma. Another monk mixed these roasted berries with water and consumed them. This water helped him stay up the whole night, thus aiding him in his meditation. The word spread, and so did the beans, and now the entire world was agog over the newfound ambrosial drink.
Interesting story! I placed my order at the counter and resumed reading the history to see how this wonder berry came to India. It was brought to India in the seventeenth century by one Baba Budan, who smuggled seven beans from Yemen and planted them in the hills of Karnataka. As they say, rest is history! And today, India ranks sixth in the world in cultivating and exporting coffee.
Sipping my hot cuppa by the window-side, I read about the coffee varieties cultivated in our country, Arabica and Robusta. The drizzle outside only added to the extra zing to my coffee. Yet, even in this beautiful backdrop, an awful thought struck me! The human mind is so cynical sometimes! Plantation means there would be pests too. And what pests can do to any crop, we all know.
It was a sheer coincidence that Raman, my friend working on the coffee board, joined me at the café for some grub. I shared my pest apprehension with him. He immediately quipped, “You are right. There are coffee pests. In India, white stem borer, coffee berry borer, shot-hole borer, mealybugs are a few. And very soon, all coffee plantations would become history in our country because of this pest menace!” I was aghast!
He then gave a booming laugh and added, “Just kidding, just kidding. Do not worry. We have wonderful pest management, and that is the only solution, too, to take care of all these problems and to ensure your continuous supply of coffee.” I heaved a sigh of relief and, at the same time, felt like punching him on his face for this prank.
Today Raman has invited me to his house to relive the coffee made in his household. And that is, his “Amma’s filter kaapi, second to none in this world”, in his words. So, here I am, getting ready for his house to have coffee and some hot tiffin to go with it.
“It’s amazing how the world begins to change through the eyes of a cup of coffee.”-Donna A. Favors