Ode To Abu

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Filter Kaapi Pit Stop!

Only Coffee - Essentially, a coffee shop on the way to Trichy. It serves traditional Kumbakonam degree coffee. Or filter 'kaapi' as it is popularly referred to in 
South India! :)

The owner has given it a Kerala style ambience. The entrance is dotted with potted plants, giving the whole place a green, pleasant and breezy vibe to chill out in.

With terracotta artefacts, a Ganesha idol and brass overhanging bells, the varieties of coffee powder are prominently displayed at the entrance on a platform covered in a traditional 'mundu'* style! Simple yet elegant!

This little display of a crow throwing pebbles into a pot to bring the water up to the surface took me back to my childhood days where burrowing my nose in a book on Aesop's fables or an Amar Chitra Katha was the norm. 

Harmonious music mellifluously hums in the background. The open air style of the coffee shop ensures a lovely cross ventilation of fresh air. 

An entire section is devoted to books - for children & adults. Folk takes and philosophy essentially, in Tamil & English. 

I actually found a book here that I've been looking for, for over two years!! It is never in stock at bookstores nor online as it a very old publication and reprints are rare to find, though it was a bestseller. The original book was here!! Imagine discovering it in a remote coffee stall on a highway on the way to a small town in South India! The music CDs are mostly of the classical and devotional variety.

And now on to the main purpose of this establishment! 

The coffee is prepared in front of you, on a very clean platform with a stove and other utensils, at the live coffee station, a nook at the side of the entrance. 

An ancient coffee grinder occupies pride of place here. Fresh coffee grounds are displayed in pans to showcase the different coffee blends available.

The coffee, needless to add, is delicious!! Served in brass-plated davaras, the halt here during a road trip on a hot day makes you feel refreshed and energised. 

The staff is courteous and serve you with a smile. A shelf stocks readymade mixes of 'podis'** and pickles and savouries.

The restrooms are spotlessly clean and well maintained. There is a little play area for kids.

The entire ambience has been carefully created and celebrates (and reminds you of) the simple pleasures of life - to stop and enjoy sipping a hot, tasty beverage while appreciating the open air, Indian culture, good music and good books to occupy one's mind and heart, amidst a peaceful, serene setting - while traversing the sometimes convoluted journey called life!!

Kudos to the owner for creating (and maintaining - always the hardest part) a li'l oasis in the middle of nowhere for the weary traveller!

*mundu - traditional garment worn by people in Kerala.
**podis - podi is a ready mix of Indian spice powders that can be eaten as an accompaniment to rice, idly, dosa and so on.