Frothing Filter Coffee

Ask any South Indian Brahmin who loves his coffee about Filter Coffee and you will catch him at his explanatory best. The rambling man starts his coffee train with enthusiasm and stops at no stations – no Sir! Not till he has exhausted his considerable coffee knowledge can he stop. Then, there are those who love the coffee but not really the talking type: the Grunters – these men have produced nothing but grunts as responses all their life, but the filter kaapi makes them blossom. They love it and will show you what grunt love is. I don’t suppose anyone has spent any time studying Grunt quotients (they should), but if they did, they’d notice some grunts have a certain amiability to it, while others are clearly signalling you to shup up. I digress to the topic of Grunters when in fact I want to talk about Filter Kaapi.

Point being that I am married to a coffee lover. While he does not insist on his cuppa in the morning, I can see the joy he gets when he spots a steel tumbler full of the frothing filter coffee.

I don’t blame the process. It is designed to titillate the nostrils and get even the non-coffee lovers to get just a little interested. That is why I put up with it. The coffee filter I mean. I will say this though – That blasted bit of twisted metal is designed to test the limits of patience on Gautama Buddha.

Before I get him the coffee frothing at the top like this:

I am frothing at the mouth like a bear whose honey comb just bit him:

By the time the coffee made its way to his mouth, I have only sustained the following injuries:
1) Slopped burning water over at least one finger
2) Spoilt my dress with a teeny bit of the mucky mixture that is coffee powder and chicory and boiling water.
3) Burnt my fingers while trying to dislodge the top portion of the coffee filter with the bottom portion
4) Bruised my ego with the fact that I can’t make coffee without making the kitchen counter look like a war zone when I can pull off whole meals with half the mess.

Here is the process: (For those interested :
1) Wiggle nose at coffee powder
2) Take a bit of coffee powder and put it in the top portion of the filter.
3) To be truly successful, one must never be complacent and so it is with the coffee filter. If it sits smugly on the bottom, it won’t drip. So, it has to ‘sit on one butt’
4) Then take scalding water and slop it down over the top and half close the filter. Fully close, and the top part may get comfortable. Make sure that the lid will get some of the mucky mixture to spill over (onto your finger holding the filter preferably).
6) Gently tap a number of times with a spoon till you hear the steady drip-drip from within. If you don’t hear the drip-drip sound, holler at anyone talking in the near vicinity to keep quiet and try again.
7) The flaming coffee decoction is now ready. You can now use the liquid in the bottom to make coffee. But before that, you have to surmount the task of holding the insanely hot filter with a deathly grip and twisting the top and bottom portions.
8) If you are sufficiently undamaged after this, just pour this and some milk to prepare coffee.
9) Wipe that grimace from the face and give coffee.

I like Tea.

Heralding the Vegetable Orchestra Era

Something tells me this is going to be the next ‘in-thing’ at South Indian Brahmin weddings:
Chinese vegetable orchestra

Let us list the potential positives:
1) It has vegetables and no meat. “We are very chaste you know?” a Meenakshi Maami or Chachu Maami will proclaim as they swallow a burfi whole (with the silver lining).

2) The first set of weddings to have it will be talked about in glowing terms till the next wedding has the same thing. Then, that wedding will talked about in glowing terms and so it goes.

3) I am sure paying these artists will be expensive and therefore, tie in nicely with the unnecessary-exorbitant paradigm. Maybe James Band can diversify his talents in the direction. Who is James? And why his band? (Please go here for answers:

In short, James Band was the illustrious band that performed at my brother’s wedding, confused music with noise and received glowing tributes from one and all.

4) There is no active participation of the audience required. One can flit like butterflies or flies near the show, smile vaguely and flutter away towards the edible end of the hall.

5) In general, we like things that knock the wind out of ya. This one has wholesome yams & potatoes.

6) It has a wind instrument touch to it that appeals to South Indians – one can make it loud and also ignore the artistes and turn to look at the cut vegetable show on the side. A simple Google search throws all of these different things one can do with vegetable cutting. I must also point to the fact that weddings now have a vegetable show where one is allowed to go and see the creative pursuits of the wedding contractor’s vegetable carver. Of course, the v.carver is never there to see/hear the appreciation, but a true artist does not wait for them apparently. He has the next set of carvings to get to.

Given that our food decoration wonders stop at the star-shaped carrot like in the dish below(The mother made the dish for the Cancer Institute Foundation fundraiser, but we were tasked with decoration and we pulled off the only thing we are adept at ), we can but marvel at the ingenuity while listening to the vegetable band:

7) The whole lot of the ‘instruments’ can make its way from Srinivasa Maama’s wedding to Vaidyanatha Iyer’s wedding and then morph into kootu at Pataamani maama’s daughter-in-law’s seemandham.

It will be nice to be able to look back at this post a few years from now when the vegetable orchestra is the in-thing.

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