Friday, 8 August 2014

Single-Origin Coffee with CCD - 'The Square'

‘Let’s Talk over a cup of Coffee’ or ‘How about a cup of Coffee?’ or ‘Coffee with K….

Coffee has now become our most integral part of general meeting joint. I, being a South Indian, my day starts with an aromatic cup of filtered coffee. The aroma of filter coffee actually brightens my day. So, when I got an invite from Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, for the launch of ‘The Square’ Café Coffee Day, I was obviously thrilled. ‘The Square’ introduces you to a thriving Single-Origin, freshly roasted & grounded coffee. Though I am a coffee drinker I had never tried single-origin coffee, so wanted to give it a try. 

Entrance to 'The Square'
This was at the CR2 Mall, Nariman Point. Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal welcomed me with open arms and then introduced me to other bloggers present there, which made me feel comfortable and at ease. The ambience was warm and vibrant, with two different types of seating arrangements. There was also a Huddle room for corporates or any small private get-togethers.  

In a little while the session started by Rushina who briefed us on her love for coffee and her involvement with CCD since past two years. We were to taste 7 different types of single origin coffee and Rushina had already planned the pairing with each one of them.

Coffee & their pairings
Rhicha Sinha, Senior Manager and Beverage Consultant of CCD took us on a ride of Coffee. Her love and dedication towards coffee was depicted by her knowledge that she shared with us. Rhicha Sinha explained that the reason why 'single origin' coffee is named as they are grown and produced from a single geographic region and the taste is related as per the climatic and environmental condition of that region. She informed that the real taste of single-origin coffee is by brewing it in mineral water. She further explained that the taste changes as per the equipment used in brewing e.g Metal coffee - filter, French press, Buono Kettle, Stove Top Espresso etc…

Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal  and Rhicha Sinha
We started with the Ethiopian Sidamo known as the birthplace of coffee. It’s a small medium, greenish, grey bean grown in Sidamo, in south Ethiopia. Each tree is fertilized, pruned, weeded and harvested by hand, to deliver a bean of an exceptional quality. This had citrusy, strong and bitter taste. Rushina had paired it with Mexican Red Hot Nachos. 

Ethiopian Sidamo with Mexican Red Hot Nachos
Next was Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold, the specialty beans of Indian Arabica Coffee. These beans are originated from Yeinoorkhan Estate in the Bababudangiri range of Chikmagalur, Karnataka - also known as the birthplace of coffee in India. The unusual name (Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold) of which ‘Nuggets’denote the precious similarity to ‘Gold’, while ‘Extra Bold’ speaks of the bean’s large size. This was brewed in the French press kept in front of us on the table. We were informed that the coffee should be infused for 3-4 minutes and then pressed slightly. This creates a vacuum between the coffee and decoction and thereby getting its complete flavor. The taste was subtle, delicate, smooth and fruity. This was very similar to the filter coffee and very much familiar to my daily coffee…Hence; I was very easily taken by it and it was paired with Chocolate Cookies with whipped cream.

Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold paired with Chocolate Cookies with whipped cream
We then moved on to the third variety of coffee Indian Kathlekhan Superior. The name Kathlekhan is derived from the word ‘Kathle’ meaning dark and ‘Khan’ meaning forest in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka. This coffee variety had a very interesting story linked to it. Its been said that the bean directly descended from the 7 seeds brought to India secretly by Saint Baba Budan and planted around his hut in the mystic Bababudangiri Mountains. This was also brewed in the French press. It had chocolaty-fruity mild taste which blended well with the Choco Fudge Fantasy. 

Indian Kathlekhan Superior with Choco Fudge Fantasy
Our fourth tasting was Rajgiri Pearl, known for its mysteries of Bababudangiri Hills in a cup. Rajgiri is known as the King of Mountains and these Rajgiri beans are grown at the peak of the famous Bababudangiri range and are influenced by neighboring cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and shoal tress. This was paired well with Pizza Margarita, which washed down the strong, robust and very bitter taste of the coffee… Not my favorite. 

Rajgiri Pearl paired with Pizza Margarita
 We gathered in the huddle room for the next three varieties of coffee tasting- Guatemala Antigua, Colombian Supremo and Costa Rican Tarrazu. These were brewed in french press and espresso machine respectively. Guatemala Antigua and Costa Rican Tarrazu were more bitter and stronger. On the other hand Colombian was mild, smooth with slight sweet undertone and nutty flavor. These were paired with Chocó Cookies.

Now the most awaited part of the evening - Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal's cooking demonstration. She showed us delicious Coffee Barbecue Sauce that can go well with any sort of meats and veg dishes. This was spread on the thin crust pizza and served to us. It was sweet, tangy and slightly spicy with mild flavor of coffee. It was absolutely YUMMY ……
Rushina Demonstrating her signature Coffee Barbecue Sauce

Rushina's signature Coffee Barbecue Sauce

Rushina's signature Coffee Barbecue Sauce served on thin crust pizza
After our coffee tasting spree, snacks were circulated and we had the advantage of choosing anything from the menu. I went for Artic Sun from their signature coffee, which was indeed true to its name. I and my blogger friend ordered for chicken wings to go along with it.

Other snacks served post the session

Chicken wings
By evening I had learned a lot about coffee and also discovered that slurping the coffee is the best way to get the aroma and flavor to its fullest. Also learnt the brewing technique, how the taste differs with each brewing technique, pairing etc. I never knew that a single cup of coffee has such hidden mystic enchantments in it…. My favorites amongst all was not just restricted to one, as I was bowled over by 3 different varieties - Mysore Nuggest Extra Bold, Indian Kathlekhan Superior and Colombian Supremo.
It was a wonderful fun-filled afternoon with food bloggers, food connoisseurs, journalists, editors, writers and social media people and the event was covered by the Food Food Channel.

Group of Foodies
I came home with a wonderful experiences, knowledge and a goodie bag from CCD which had a pack of my favorite Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold and Colombian Supremo coffees, a jar of Rushina’s special spicy-coffee mix nuts and a French Press…. And a hang-over of coffee which kept me alert and awake almost for the whole night…:)