CHENNAI: Coffee is not just a beverage anymore, it’s a cultural experience,” starts Manessa Raghavan, and I could not agree more. Whether it is people from across the world sharing their recipes online and adopting those of others; meeting someone on a first date; taking work breaks to connect with colleagues; or getting to know a neighbour — coffee brings people together; just like it had at Citadines OMR Chennai, where International Coffee Week was celebrated yesterday. “Every region has their own version of coffee,” continues Manessa, the marketing manager, “And we, at Citadines, are having events throughout the week to celebrate International Coffee Week.”
A modest group of 20-odd people had gathered in the lobby of the apartment to learn more about coffee and try their hand at making one. The thick scent of coffee grounds was doing my hunger no favours when barista Manova Patric gave us a little introduction to coffees. “There are two types of coffee — robusta and arabica. The former is cheap and high in caffeine, while the latter is smooth, expensive but low on caffeine,” he explained.
We were working with a blend (70 per cent arabica and 30 per cent robusta), attempting to make our own latte with foam art on top. Patric guided us through the entire process — instantly grinding coffee beans, extracting the espresso, frothing and pouring the milk with a little leaf-like foam on top (mine looked more like the map of Australia). Even with very little sugar, the coffee was not overbearing, very mild and nutty. While we proudly sipped our creation, Patric prepared some Vietnamese cold coffee, a concoction made of espresso, condensed milk and ice.
Finally, we began the mug painting event. Armed with various shades of paint, we were all hard at work on our white mugs. While a toddler with pink splotches on the crisp white was the clear winner, I thought mine — a diluted recreation of Starry Night — wasn’t too bad.
But this is not the end of the celebration; there are a few more events planned, according to operations manager, Prashanth Rajkumar. “We have a dalgona coffee making workshop on October 7 for the staff and we will be giving them magnets with quotes about coffee. We also have a competition for the staff and guests where the person with the best photo of them and a mug of coffee will win a prize. And we have a caption-writing test and a trivia contest too,” he shares.
Coming up next
There are more celebrations planned for the staff in the coming days — a dalgona coffee making workshop on October 7 and a photo contest seem to be points of interest.