18 January, 2021

Raagam Filter Kaapi

The golden brown brew lives on amid exotic interventions

Raagam Filter Kaapi

Minutes before he passed away many moons ago, my father asked for a pen and a piece of paper, scribbled a cryptic message ("BBC, P50, PA50, C34, X-5"), thrust it into my hands, mumbled 'Somesh', and breathed his last in a scene straight out of The Da Vinci Code.

In a way, the chit was the holy grail. BBC was short for Beere Betta Coffee, a tiny Mysore store named after an estate in the hills of Coorg. And the jumble of letters and numbers was his recipe for coffee the way his old friend mixed, roasted and powdered the beans. P50 was 50 per cent peaberry, PA50 was 50 per cent plantation 'A' and C34 was 34 per cent chicory. X-5 is a secret ingredient I can reveal only at the risk of being ostracised, but that is the depth of passion filter coffee invokes in South Indians. It's thicker than blood—and vatha kozhambu.

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