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On a trip to Chikkamagalur, I met myself, the coffee lover

BY Chaitanya Chitta

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This is not a story about coffee. But it so happens, it is difficult for me to not talk about coffee in any story I tell, including the one I am about to tell you.

This is a story of how I met an interesting side of myself on one of my excursions. On a dreamy weekend getaway in Chikkamagalur, I found myself searching for good food and beverages, as one does after settling in their chosen place of relaxation. Being a fan of south Indian food, I was glad that the fare was exceptional at the hotel I was staying at, satisfying my culinary senses. As luck would have it however, the cup of coffee I received was nowhere near a good one. I wondered, “How hard could it be to make a good cup of coffee? How do we manage to get the simplest recipe wrong?”

As you may have guessed by now, my opinions about coffee are just as strong as my affinity for strong coffee. I did think of ordering in from somewhere else, but it never is hot enough for my liking by the time it reaches me. Forgoing the idea of ordering online, I set out to seek my fix on foot.

It made sense to employ my own two legs to go on this expedition, as I could make the most of the idyllic sights of Chikkamagalur on the misty hills and meandering paths that zigzag through lazily. Still hankering for a piping hot cup of good coffee, I reached the marketplace and noticed just how different lives are from my own ultra-urban existence. Every person behind the counter or even on the street knew exactly how to make a sale without having to resort to various ornamental ways one thinks of what they call marketing. A kid selling second-hand books managed to sell me a one I probably did not even want in the first place! Fancy education and experience had nothing to do with his exceptional skill.

As I strode along thumbing the edge of the book in my hand and still searching for my ideal coffee, a new idea struck me. I absentmindedly sat on the bench where a street vendor served me some delicious coffee from the sprawling plantations of Chikkamagalur and it is safe to say, a new story began there. What if we could bring exotic and handcrafted gourmet to coffee aficionados everywhere on demand, at the click of a button?

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