Meter-Long Coffee

Meter-Long South Indian Coffee

India is justly famous for its chai – known in Starbucksland by the just-in-case-you-didn’t-get-it-the-first-time, Babelicly echoful moniker “Chai Tea Latte” – but in South India, coffee rules the streets. It is both repast and entertainment, as coffee-wallahs (how do you say “barista” in Tamil?) serve “meter-long coffee,” so called because the dense shot of “filter coffee” and sugary boiled milk are mixed cup-to-cup at full arms’ length. (Not all practitioners achieve the dramatic lengths depicted in my photo, above.)

As if to remind their patrons of the difficulty of this trick, the coffee stalls serve their drinks in the traditional steel-tumbler-and-steel-saucer combination, thereby daring one to further cool the scalding beverage by repeatedly pouring it from one to the other. The balmy South Indian climate does little to dissipate the heat, however, and most customers appear satisfied if their dexterity allows them to escape second degree finger burns.

Meter-Long South Indian Coffee

There is a strange moment of recognition when first tasting South Indian coffee; and it is not that you are, in fact, drinking coffee. It is that you’ve discovered the source for the essence of those sweet, creamy, “coffee flavored” hard candies.

The sad trend in South Indian coffee is that the “filter coffee” tradition is giving way to instant Nescafe. Still, the best coffee stands do it right – like my favorite, at the corner of Rangapillai Salai and M.G. Road. And this soothing, digit-scorching experience generally costs about Rs. 6 (about $0.15 at the current, lousy exchange).

While we are on the subject, here’s a link to a piece I wrote a few years ago tangentially involving South Indian coffee. It takes place at the legendary Indian Coffee House, which featured in Yan Martel’s entertaining novel, The Life of Pi. Like most things worth preserving in Pondicherry, unfortunately, the ICH tradition has been forced to yield to the greed and corruption of what passes for government in Pondicherry. The establishment has recently been uprooted from its wonderful old building, which local politicians want to replace with yet another ugly, new, massive concrete building. The Public Works Department supported its eviction order with an unsupported declaration that the building was structurally unfit and irredeemable; and yet a subsequent, independent study by the Indian Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) found the construction to be absolutely solid.

O’ for the days of filter coffee, beautiful architecture, and people who appreciated the differences these things make to the quality of our lives.


8 Responses to “Meter-Long Coffee”

  1. 1 millyonair 7 April 2008 at 5:57 am

    Mmmmmmm! That coffee looks so good I can almost smell the aroma wafting out of your photographs! What a shame about that building- and I haven’t been there yet!

    Fifteen cents? That’s a dangerously low price for a coffee-addict like myself. A person could have about 30 of those for the same price as the Starbucks chai-latte-whatever thing.

    Damn, I need to go to India.

  2. 2 viral 7 April 2008 at 9:48 am

    i’ve never seen this long a coffee stream — that’s gotta be at least 1.5 meters! :-)

  3. 3 Donna 7 April 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I’m sure the air/oxygen that gets into the coffee does quite a bit for the flavor and texture. I’d love to see a show like that here in Javacity.

  4. 4 farhad zafari 17 January 2009 at 12:01 pm
    About Us

    Farhad zafari is the manager of the Company iranchef MFB

    and coffee shop sadaf and established the first insttitute in iran for teaching Coffee-Shop and

    Cocking foods management based on international methods .

    he has written the books of ‘World of dessert’

    ( Coffee books , Food books , Hotel books , teaching of coffee shop and hotels )

    Standard Coffee Shop in IRAN:

    Farhad zafari is presently the chairman of coffe shop

    keepers Union.He says: We are inteded to rate the coffee shop and their menus based om

    observation of the health standards , law perrnits nember of seats and so on .

    information coffee iran

    standard coffee shop
    farhad zafari is presentli the chairman of coffee -shop keepers union he we are intended to rate the coffee-shop and their menus based on observation of the health standards low permits num ber of seats and so on .

    iranian coppuccino
    this kind of coppuccino has been initiated by farhad zafari sadaf coffee shop such coppuccino is prepared for those people who are sensitive to milk thy foam in this kind of coffee is coffee is coffee foam instead of milk foam .the makinng way is mixing one and half of spoon full coffee with cold water and boiling them until the foam comes up. then the foam is collected out and ready espresso is added….

    making turk coffee
    a spoonful .middle size spoon..of coffee one and a half spoonful sugar and a cup of cold water should be mixed and boild until the foam begins to disappear.

    farhad zafari is the manager of sadaf coffee shop and estab lished the first institute in iran for teaching coffee shop management bosed on international methods he has written the books of world of desserts volumes 1 and 2 sadaf napkin world of pizza and sadaf treasure.

  5. 5 farhad 24 January 2009 at 4:57 am

    چاپ مقاله در روزنامه های ایتالیایی و مصاحبه اختصاصی با فرهاد زعفری و گزارش خبرگزاری آنسا ایتالیا

    به یاری خدا وند متعال و لطف شما دوستان عزیزم کاپوچینو ایرانی در ایتالیا بنام فرهاد زعفری هشجین مبتکر کاپوچینو رژیمی ثبت شد

    سیاهی قهوه به سیاهی شب Come scuro come la notte

    داغی قهوه به داغی عشق Per quanto caldo come l’amore

    تلخی قهوه به تلخی جدایی Come amaro come la separazione
    این متن بالارا خبرنگار و مترجم خوش ذوق ایتالیایی ترجمه کرد البته این شعار قهوه اسپرسو برای افراد مثبت اندیش بود خبرنگار هرچی اصرار کرد برای منفی اندیشان هم بگم حریف من نشد و هنگامی که قهوه را خورد و کافی شاپ را ترک میکرد به مترجمش گفتم

    Farhad zafari è il direttore della Società iranchef MFB

    e coffee shop Sadaf e ha istituito il primo insttitute in Iran per l’insegnamento Coffee Shop e –

    Cocking alimenti di gestione basato su metodi internazionali.

    ha scritto libri di ‘Mondo del dolce’

    (Caffè libri, libri alimentare, Hotel libri, l’insegnamento

    iranian cappuccino
    questo tipo di cappuccino è stato avviato da Farhad zafari hashjin quali cappuccino è pronta per coloro che sono sensibili al latte la Fram in questo tipo di caffè è il caffè di schiuma di latte, invece di fare la foma modo è uno di miscelazione e un mezzo cucchiaino pieno di caffè con acqua fredda e punto di ebollizione fino a quando il foma arriva poi la foma è raccolto e pronto Espresso è aggiunto

    standard coffee shop
    Farhad zafari è presentli presidente del caffè-shop detentori unione che ci sono destinati a tasso unico del caffè e loro menu basato sulla osservazione delle norme sanitarie permette num basso numero di posti a sedere, e così via

    turk fare il caffè
    un cucchiaio. dimensione media cucchiaio .. uno di caffè e un mezzo cucchiaino di zucchero e una tazza di acqua fredda e deve essere miscelato boild fino alla schiuma comincia a scomparire.

    Farhad zafari è il gestore del negozio di caffè e Sadaf istituito blicato il primo istituto in Iran per l’insegnamento caffè gestione bosed internazionali metodi ha scritto i libri del mondo di dolci volumi 1 e 2 Sadaf tovagliolo mondo di pizza e Sadaf tesoro

    منبع خبرگزاري ايتاليا (آنسا)(INA)

    بازتاب کاپوچینو ایرانی در خبرگزاری های چینی

    厨师farhood zafari hashjin经理网页伊朗厨师

    法哈德zafari是该公司的经理iranchef MFB








    观察的卫生标准,法律perrnits nember的席位等。



    这种coppuccino已经开始的法哈德zafari sadaf咖啡馆等coppuccino准备为这些人谁是你的敏感的牛奶泡沫在这种咖啡是咖啡是咖啡而不是牛奶泡沫泡沫。 makinng方法是在混合一年半咖啡的勺子充分用冷水和煮,直到泡沫出现。然后泡沫收集和准备咖啡添加….


    法哈德zafari是经理sadaf咖啡店和设687第一研究所在伊朗的教学管理bosed咖啡店的国际方法,他写的书的世界甜点卷第1和第2 sadaf餐巾世界的比萨饼和sadaf珍惜。

  6. 8 Sajed yaghoubi 12 November 2010 at 5:38 am

    با افتخار اعلام می نمایید . که اولین مدرس و مربی هتلداری و رستوران و کافی شاپ در ایران استاد فرهاد زعفری هشجین می باشد . که هم اکنون در سر تاسر دنیا مشغول به تدریس می باشد . و مدرس دانشگاه جامع علمی کاربردی در تهران می باد

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