Friday, October 03, 2014

Coffee in Puducherry

Nobody told us about the coffee bars of Pondicherry. People told us about Auroville, the Ashram, about the continental food, about the handicrafts and the French architecture and what not. But it is hard to miss them. They are there are at every street corner.  Maybe that is why nobody told us about them. Maybe they are not coffee aficionados.

But the coffee aficionados that we are, we decided to try them - it was tempting to say the least - I mean, how can you not? These are not swanky, not your Starbucks, not your CCD - there is no sitting room even. The price of the coffee at the coffee bar would be a small tip at either of these places. But they serve some absolutely fabulous South Indian filter coffee. The whole place runs around a specialist who makes coffee. The others, right from the order taker to the vessel washer to the milk boiler to any other thing are just enablers to make the coffee guy serve great coffee. The cups are washed in front of your eyes with hot water. And then he takes a metre of milk (hot, piping hot) whisks up a lather that would make shaving cream proud. adds a dollop of decoction, sugar and then just as the froth threatens to overflow the cup, he adds another dash of decoction. Take that you coffee chains.

And they have a few snacks (limited choice) to go with it, if you so desire.

The place frequented as the KBS coffee bar - right at the edge of Vysial street. It was so good, we did not try any other. But every street corner, every coffee bar was doing brisk business - and given that the flavour is so local, they have to serve great coffee else they would not be there. So, the next time you are in Pondicherry, try them and you will get the best filter coffee that will beat your espresso machine by a metre of coffee.

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