Coffee is not my cup of tea. I look for words like ‘Assam’ and ‘Darjeeling’ whenever I am handed over a menu at any café. While my better-half likes mug full of latte, frappe, mocha, espresso and any other variety you can think of, I am happy to see tea leaves soaked in hot water, gradually showing their true colours.
I didn’t think it would be any different when we visited the Blue Tokai café (In Saket, Delhi) this evening. As someone flung open the door, a sudden gush of aroma hit me. Was it nutty? chocolaty? winy? Not able to decide, I walked down the alley with whitewashed walls lit up by long hanging lamps.
Amidst giggles, high-fives and animated talks of coffee connoisseurs, we approached the service counter. It took me some time to figure out that the café has its own roastery. Yes, this place was different. While most other cafes reduce coffee to two-line blurbs overshadowed by imaginative first names, the Blue Tokai has made people realise the love that coffee demands.
When you sit facing the roastery, it’s hard not to get curious. It whets your dormant appetite for ‘why’ and ‘how’. As you watch them roast coffee and pack it in batches, the Arabica starts working on you, even though you are passively taking in its beauty.
On my left were Mata Ni Pachedi paintings hanging on the walls. I am told it is an art form that venerates mother nature. All the paintings have coffee trees as the protagonist and a couple of bulls and peacocks strewn here and there to show harmonious coexistence.
As you look little farther, coffee beans of different ethnicities—they take pride in their distinct texture yet huddled in a tray.
After a long time, I was reminded of the lingering legacy of coffee in the southern India, just like its aftertaste. Do come to this mecca of coffee even if you are a puritan tea drinker.