15+ years as avid coffee drinker, Nutan, author of the Great Indian Coffee Blog, has had a chance to enjoy diverse coffee experiences - tasting coffee beans, visiting plantations, roasteries and coffee shops, trying out coffees makers, making practices & recipes. The blog is an attempt to distill & consolidate all the wonder in the coffee world, with special attention on Indian traditional versions.
Here is an exclusive interview with her.
1. Do you think you chose coffee, or did coffee choose you? Tell me about the beginnings of this love affair - your earliest, most romantic memories.
Nutan - An overlap of circumstance and choice I should say. I picked up coffee drinking during exam times many years ago partly due to the caffeine boost But the key reason it stuck so long is the taste, there is nothing which beats a black coffee till this date. Subjective opinion, but it was/is the only hot or cold beverage which is perfectly refreshing I think Not sweet, not salty, balanced & perfect, quenches physically and mentally
2. Let's talk about ‘The Great Indian Coffee Blog’. How was it born?
Nutan - Over a period of time, the passion for coffee just got the better of me.In all these years, I drank loads of coffee, I travelled & researched too. When the recipes, know-how and ideas increased, memory gave up that’s when I took to putting all what I know into writing. Initially it was just an Evernote notebook. It overflowed and gave way to the blog.
3. What is your own personal relationship with coffee? Why coffee?
Nutan - You know what they say - A friend is always a cup away. Coffee has always been there during good and tough times, Sometimes coffee itself turned out bad but nevertheless it was always there But we have a balanced relationship I should say, as I mentioned in the blog as well, Usually I avoid coffee post 3-4pm and once in a while, Just to make sure it’s not just always the caffeine talking, I quit coffee for a few days and then restart. The restart also makes the appreciation so much better.
4. Talk to us a little about things that are lesser known, when it comes to coffee - achieving the right blends, serving accompaniment, variations worldwide of the brew, health benefits, or any other trivia that you think makes this brew a fascinating study.
Nutan - Taste is highly subjective so no one can tell what the best coffee or the right thing to do. But blends are one thing I thoroughly enjoy experimenting with, get 100gms or even lesser of the best of Arabica, Robusta & chicory you can your lay hands on. Every day shuffle up the blends of all 3, 1 teaspoon of Arabica, 1/2 of Robusta, 1/2 of chicory, feel free to skip one entirely too.
Every morning the coffee would taste slightly different as you experiment and you would automatically refine the blend to suit what you like, it would make daily coffee drinking more than just a bland ritual to something to look forward to like a present to open each dayThe icing on the cake is, one of the days you will hit a perfect note which will change your coffee drinking experience forever. You will thank me that one day :) My sweet spot is somewhere close to - dark roasted caramel-y, smoky, low on acid, and mellow.
5. What about Nutan 'the person', outside of coffee-connoisseur - what do you do for fun? To relax? And please don't say I drink coffee!
Nutan - Hmm, keeping coffee out of the answer then Jenga, travelling, gardening keeps me sane and centered.