Storm in a coffee cup

This has appeared in today’s Mumbai Mirror.
Expresso in my childhood days meant a frothy coffee with milk, halfway between a cappuccino and latte, that used to be served in movie halls and theatres. At home too, this was made on special occasions as a treat and like the new Bru ad, the fun was in getting the froth all over your face. Growing up, I then learnt to appreciate the dark decoction that Amma used to make, with milk and sugar, at least 10 shades better than similar stuff available in the Udipi joints in Matunga.
Traveling abroad in the mid-90s brought me in touch with Starbucks and I slowly learnt to differentiate my espresso from a ristretto. My all-time favorite drink however, remains the caramel macchiato, a signature Starbucks drink. Though, all the coffee I otherwise drink is black, without milk and sugar, the caramel macchiato, with vanilla, milk and caramel is the one exception.
Somewhere down the line, heavily influenced by Starbucks, came the Barista chain. The outlets were an immediate hit, with well-trained baristas who knew their coffee intimately. The Shivaji Park outlet has been my favorite. Sitting out, watching the world go buy, while sipping one Doppio after another, used to be a favorite past-time. This was the nearest Barista, until the one at Sion came up, a few buildings ahead of Sion Hospital. Despite this outlet being so near, it never had the ambience of the Shivaji Park outlet and the baristas were also less knowledgeable and though it hoped to be a coffee pit-stop for those on the way to the suburbs and beyond, it was never open early in the morning, when you were going to Lonavla or Pune and the take-away coffee, in any case, came in horribly thin cups, often too hot to hold properly, with lids that didn

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared.Required fields are marked *