BENGALURU: Coffee in Bengaluru has come a long way since its filter kaapi days. The city has witnessed a rise in ventures offering cold brews, pour-overs and different roasts of coffee.“We have hot and iced pour-overs, cold brews, French press, Aeropress and syphons. Each method of brewing extracts coffee in its own way and in turn, imbues a unique flavour and texture to the brew,” says Ayush Bathwal, co-founder, Third Wave Coffee Roasters, which has been serving patrons manually brewed pour-overs to flavoured cold brews. The idea, he adds, came from a realisation that India lacked freshly-brewed coffee.
For coffee lovers like Sarmad Andrabi, the biggest perk from such ventures is the ability to explore and understand different roasts and flavours. “It’s perfect for an avid coffee lover and a novice as well,” says the 32-year-old network engineer. Of the many new varieties available, cold brews, which comprise freshly roasted coffee that is steeped for 18 hours to minimise bitterness and maximise flavour, has emerged as the hot new favourite.
The extensive varieties of roasts has also gained focus with the likes of medium-dark roast coffee (with notes of dark chocolate, figs and roasted almonds), light roast (that has notes of black tea, plum and sweet lime) and medium roast (which has notes of cherry, caramel and roasted nuts) all proving to be crowd-pullers at Blue Tokai Coffee, which started as an online venture in 2013.
“At the time we started, it was quite difficult to find good quality and fresh Indian coffee. The beans were being exported out of the country and what was available domestically was either expensive imported coffee or low grade, commodity coffee,” explains Matthew Chitharanjan, co-founder, Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, which opened its first outlet in Bengaluru last year.
The demand for locally grown coffee has increased over the last decade. Tej Thammiah, a third-generation coffee farmer and co-founder of The Flying Squirrel, started off with the idea of creating coffee roasts for his close ones but the response in return led to an expansion of the brand it is today. But co-founder Ashish Dabreo claims the focus is still on providing new varieties of coffee.
Speaking on the city’s vibrant coffee culture, Dabreo says, “It’s definitely not as evolved as the Western coffee culture but there’s a huge difference when you compare it with the time we started out. The level of coffee consumers has increased and people have been open to new methods.”Agrees Sweeya Sekhar, a 19-year-old college student, who frequents such ventures since “the idea of work and coffee goes hand in hand.” She adds, “These outlets are work-friendly and the coffee is curated to a patron’s preference. This wasn’t the case in the city until a few years ago.”