Of all the things I could write about, I chose to write about coffee today. Strange topic, I know, but since the coffee breaks have been the high point of an otherwise going -downhill-day, I though its only fair that we assign a small space to the day’s saviour. Its needless to mention here that today has been worse than yesterday. I was hoping that after the terrible day yesterday, things will start sorting themselves out and the day will turn out well. Sadly, Murphy rules the world and he had different ideas. Looks like this ‘bad day’ business is not a one off event, it’s gonna be the trend for the entire week.
My relationship with coffee goes back a long way. Initially issues regarding coffee drinking almost always met with long drawn arguments with family members. As a ten year old I was always told that coffee was something I should substitute with Bournvita (ok, tolerable, but not the best choice) or worse, Horlicks (yuck!! Why do parents even suggest something that tastes so awful??). Flavours available in both these drinks were limited to chocolate and elaichi. I liked neither. Chocolate wasn’t chocolate-y enough and elaichi was rather bland. It didn’t matter if both manufacturing companies and elders in the family claimed them to be ‘healthy’. The bottom line was that they didn’t taste good. And in no way did they enhance the already bordering-on-yucky flavour of milk. Naturally I tried to explain to the people at home, how nice it would be if they added a teenie weenie bit of coffee to the milk. It would make the tall glass (yes, the glass was always tall especially if my grandmother served it. She didn’t understand why anyone would serve a kid less than 500 ml of milk at one time. So 500ml it was. Whether you liked it or not. No arguments. ) so much more tolerable. It would taste better, smell better and would make the process of drinking it so much less distressful. I assured them that the time spent on each glass of milk would be reduced from 30 minutes to 10 minutes (Please refrain from expressing shock. You already know how non-fussy and easy I was as a kid when it came to food). Try as I might, no one would listen. ‘Coffee isn’t good for kids’ was the prevalent belief and so in keeping with that, I was served with any of the following options:
*milk with bournvita
*milk with horlicks
* tea flavoured milk( it sounds strange but tastes pretty good)
*plain milk, sometimes with a hint of crushed elaichi.
*cold milk with roohafzah (remember that bright red, sweet, viscous liquid that smelt a bit like rose?)
If the raving and ranting went on for long enough, or if someone in the house was in a benevolent mood, I would be treated to a dash of coffee. Oh how I loved that!! Unfortunately, these treats were few and far between. On regular days I just had to find strategies to gulp down the weird smelling light brown coloured liquid. Summer vacations were a relief. I stayed away from my parents and I discovered at a young age how to get on my grand mom’s good side and to badger her into doing what I liked! I would get her to make me cold coffee with lots of ice and a little bit of coffee. So what if I had a sensitive throat and would routinely get a sore throat? Cold coffee was fun! If you let the glass stand on the table for a few minutes, you could see tiny droplets of water appearing. Then, you could use your index finger and write your name on the surface. What fun!
As I grew older getting access to coffee got easier. As a family we continue to believe that bourvita/ horlicks/ proteinex /drinking chocolate are superior options but we are also more tolerant to personal preference now. So if you want coffee, you get coffee.:) No questions asked. Who said there were no benefits in growing up!!? The Baristas, Qwiky’s and Café Coffee Days are to be given due credit here. the last few years coffee drinking has become the thing to do. With so many cafes sprouting all over the city , you are bound to walk into one someday. And if you like what they serve, you will be compelled to visit again. (It hardly matters that my dad’s main motivation to go to a place like barista is the calorie loaded sweets available. He believes black coffee goes very well with a wedge of chocolate cake dipped in chocolate sauce!)
I am the kind who likes my coffee with a reasonable quantity of sugar and milk. Black coffee is not for me. There are many ways in which coffee can be prepared. But below is one of the easiest, quickest and tastiest preparations known to me. Since this is a drink I make with approximation and change depending on my mood, I do not have exact measures. So you may need to make a few alterations of your own. The recipe makes three cups.( three is an odd no. I know, but I have a family of three!)
*3 heaped teaspoons of sugar
*1.5-2 teaspoons of instant coffee (any will do. Nescafe is what I generally use)
*1.5 cups of water
*1.5 cups of milk
*Take the coffee and sugar is a mug. Warm about a tablespoon of milk and add. Using a spoon, beat this mixture still it changes colour from dark brown to light brown and become light and fluffy. Sometimes this may take a little while (up to 15 mins.), so alternate hands to avoid overtiring one hand. Or pass on part of the work to someone else, if that’s possible!
* Mix the water and milk and being to a boil.
* Divide the coffee and sugar mixture into three equal portions and put each portion into a mug( you should get about 1.5 tsps per mug).
*Pour hot milk in each mug, stirring continuously and your aromatic, frothy hot cuppa coffee is ready! The home made version sure beats the coffee machine one any day!
Btw, visit http://www.horlicks.co.uk/.%20Pretty Pretty cool.
I realise that the title of this post doesn’t quite make sense. But I got the ‘bean’ from coffee beans and I just thought the title sounded so cool! Couldn’t resist using it !:D