There are a few words in the universe of words that are not merely words or names- they are an emotion. Similar to Mumbai is a city, but Bombay is an emotion. Ahh, I see a few ears tingling and eyes beaming into the screen already. Going by that, COFFEE is…no I am sorry, FILTER CAPI is an emotion. And did I forget to mention, it is of great sentimental value to the whole TamBram community.
You may argue, that I am being ridiculous, or filter coffee does not belong to only Tambrams. But dear trolls, “ekk chutki coffee ki keemat tum kya jano.” (google for meaning)🤘
My rendezvous with FC is not new. I was born with it. Every day of my childhood, I woke up to the aroma of FC at my house. Pleasant memories of FC tumbler in hand and the very horrific episodes when Paati would say, “coffee podi theendhurthu 😱(Coffee powder over)” still ring in my ears. I am not exaggerating, but the love for FC and the proud patent for it is in our veins.
Family is your first teacher and this is where the love for FC is nurtured. Not only do the households brag and dig into it, but every TamBram household maintains a round table conference as to which brand or coffee shop beans are the best. Houses have been destroyed on this. I remember my relatives discussing about a saas-bahu who separated coz the fight started with which coffee is better. As for my maika goes, my Paati was hell-bent on buying only Mysore concerns coffee from Matunga till her last breath. (I am not their advertising or PR agent). At a point in time, this shop started selling their coffee at local outlets in the nearby suburbs. But my Paati would rubbish them saying, they are fake and order my father to buy it only from Matunga. The tradition continues to date with the pandemic mongering on our heads. Now, in my sasural too, they are very particular on the brand of coffee. Wherever they go, whichever house they visit, once they are back home, they have only one point to say – FC was not up to the mark in their house.
TamBrams live and die on FC. Again this isn’t a pun intended statement, I have proof. (wink wink). My Thata lived on 4 tumblers of coffee a day in his last days. If we asked him, “Thata, please eat something. Will you eat some thayir saadam?” His only answer would be “cutting coffee” He liked calling it that way.😁
The world of cinema did not leave a dearth in celebrating TamBram love for FC. Every Tamil movie with a TamBram character has atleast one scene, showing a mama in veshti. On one hand, he will hold the newspaper and in the other a tumbler of FC. Every tamilian will also relate to the famous Narasus coffee dialogue, “besh besh rombo nalla iruku (wow wow very nice it is – literally). (Though my Paati would say -Narasus saata, thala narachidum 🤣- if you drink this coffee, your hair will go grey)
Now, this reminds me of one extremely important component. Again, it is a disputed ingredient to our beloved FC – Chicory. Many believe it thickens the coffee, giving it a strong taste. But some, like in case of my family, chicory is like an unwanted guest. He brings in bags of goodies but is in the wrong place for all the wrong reasons. If at all you suffer from acidity, the whole family will blame this fellow, (I mean this ingredient). If your hair, skin, excreta, anything at all in your anatomy changes colour or odour, you can point your fingers to this culprit.
From blending peaberry with plantation types A, B (they actually sound like blood types), to adding our killer mama (chicory), to carrying a luggage full of capi podi to San Jose – A TamBram has been there, seen that, and done that. So whoever feels that FC is a product of their love, I have only one thing to say to you, “Aap humse hamari zindagi maang lete, hum aapko khushi khushi de dete, par aapne toh humse humhara guroor cheen liya” (Hindi theriyum da, Tamilan da)
Maika: Parents house
Sasural: In-laws house
Thayir saadam: curd rice
TamBram: Tamil Brahmin
Disclaimer: The write-up is written purely for fun, not intended to hurt anyone. And I am not a TamBram fanatic.
(The little one photobombed , now FC is boiling in anger).