The first time we met, we met through the efforts of others to get a cup of south Indian filter coffee together. You see, our elders were progressive enough to let us meet away, in private. She chose the coffee shop and was already there, sipping on a steaming cup, when I walked in. All I remember from that first meeting was how beautiful she looked, the steam rising from the cup and the aroma of decoction in the air. Thus began our humble yet special courtship. God knows how many coffees we had between us before I told my parents that she is the one.
We got married in a blur of technicolour events – engagement, mehendi, reception, the actual nuptials, honeymoon, countless dinners and lunches. And then real life set in. We rented out a tiny but cute one-bedroom apartment and jumped head-on into our careers. We proved to be each other’s lucky charm. We got promotions and new projects. And with them, new responsibilities – a bigger home, bigger EMI, paying the bills, running after deadlines and family commitments too. There really was no time to sit down and enjoy even a cup of filter coffee with each other let alone have a conversation.
But this is why my wife is a smarter person than me. She planned an entire holiday and asked me just to show up. We went to a lovely coffee estate in Coorg where the verdant green seemed to come alive. The plantation owners took us on a tour around the estate and even allowed us to join in with the workers. The raw coffee beans had been plucked off the coffee plants and laid out in the sun for them to dry out. Walking on the beans resulted in sticky beans stuck between our toes, and we laughed hard as we tried to balance ourselves and failed. The owner also gave us an in-depth lesson on the different varieties of Indian coffee beans and how the roasting process affects the depth and flavour profile of the Coorg coffee we drink.
After a long day of trekking throughout the estate and a hearty Coorgi style dinner, I woke up late the next day with sunbeam streaming through the muslin curtains, koels singing sweetly in the distance, and the aroma of coffee wafting through the air. I stumbled my way into the kitchen to find my wife straining the milk into the decoction, preparing two cups of steaming hot coffee. We sat together on the verandah, not saying much in golden silence, gazing at each other, enjoying our coffee.
That day, in a coffee estate in Coorg, we made each other a promise. No matter how tough life got, or how many bills had to be paid, we would always feel at home with each other to enjoy a cup of Aromas of Coorg coffee. No matter what, we will always have coffee to remind us of the important things in life.