We Indians are primarily tea drinkers. Our Darjeeling Tea is GI tagged and most of the tea drinking populace has not tasted it. My family is no exception and they all are die hard tea drinkers except my grandparents, who drank coffee.
I remember my grandfather telling me once that he and my granny too were tea lovers and one day just quit drinking it on a whim. Now, having left with no other brew to drink they converted to being coffee drinkers. And that is how we kids grew up to the smell of chicory powder and learnt to identify the colour green from the bottle of Bru.😊
My granny would always have her cup of coffee before attending to her patients in the dispensary. She would ritually give a sip of it to all of her seven grandchildren and then drink what remained before moving out with her stethoscope. So, we learnt to relish coffee before we realised how important tea is to our nation. Even today one of my cousins and I are coffee drinkers and I am yet to taste tea. I continued drinking my mug of milk even after marriage and coffee was something I used to have occasionally, or during the monsoons or when for want of a light dinner, we would have coffee bread. Off late I have started taking my milk with coffee.
These days there’s a mad rush on the social media circuit and every one is busy putting up photos of their dalgona coffee. I wondered what it was all about and it was such a dud! The trend may have its origin in South Korea but this ‘dalgona coffee’ is what I’ve grown up drinking, our very own ‘Ghota Coffee’ that is instant coffee, sugar beaten with a little water till it acquires a camel colour. Abhay and I have spent hours debating who would whip it and also about who deserved to take the mug and who would have to be content with the spoon. I remember once my classmate and his wife had come over to stay with us. We sat chatting after dinner and someone suggested we have coffee. I asked my classmate whether he preferred the mug or the spoon and he was puzzled. I told him that the coffee in the mug in which it was whipped tasted better than in a mug with whipped coffee poured into it. He believed me only when he himself tasted the difference.
Now, there’s a fancy name to our desi ‘ghota coffee’. It is da ‘dalgona’ and I’m glad that this is how I have been having my magical cup. I remember we would whip it in the staffroom too when we had microwaves installed in the school. The coffee is the drink of the intellectuals, yet I believe in leisurely fooling over it with friends, siblings and whoever you care for.
Coffee tastes great in all of its avatars, the very South Indian filter coffee, the home brewed chicory concoction with Bru as my grandparents had it, cold coffee with or without ice cream, the espresso and the new age versions of coffee that are served at CCD or Starbucks. But nothing can beat the Ghota sorry, Dalgona Coffee.
And if you believe my father, add a little rum instead of water to whip it and it’s divine. Well! I’m yet to gather my nerves and give it a go but no one’s stopping you. Go and try it and tell me if it’s worth its drop, till then I’ll nurture my magic mug of coffee like a true barista.
PS: The featured image is my own magical mug of the Ghota Coffee and not something copy-pasted from Google😉