International Coffee Day on October 1 celebrates one of the most popular beverages in the world — coffee.
The first thing I do every morning — I’m up at around 5:30 — is make myself some coffee. I use filter coffee powder sold by the Coffee Board’s Indian Coffee House restaurants in Kerala. I don’t like instant coffee, and I make my coffee in a plunger, a French press. I’ve seen others using elaborate and expensive coffee gizmos in their kitchens. I’ve drunk from them too, but I don’t think they taste any better than what pours out of my simple French press.
I sometimes use a bit of milk in my coffee, but no white sugar. Doing so makes me taste the sugar and not the coffee. Then, that’s your choice. Indians usually add sugar, unlike most coffee lovers abroad.
India does not figure in any list of top per capita coffee-consuming nations. Even so, we are the world’s seventh largest coffee producer. Brazil leads the list. With black coffee, I melt in a bit of dark jaggery, which transports me back to my childhood, because that’s the way my granny served evening kattan kaapi (black coffee) in our Kerala village. That’s how I usually have my daily 5 p.m. cup.
Mohan Sivanand is a journalist and artist. He was with Reader’s Digest for 32 years, serving as the magazine’s India Editor-in-Chief for a decade until his retirement in 2015. He teaches journalism at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.