Hyderabad's Roastery Coffee House makes sure you are at home brewing
"We had access to cafes and good cups of coffee, but with the lockdown, everything changed and people who couldn’t live without drinking coffee were left high and dry," says Nishant Kumar Sinha, founder and MD, Roastery Coffee House, Banjara Hills.
Nishant was flooded with calls from people asking if they could deliver. "Once they bought the beans or ground coffee, they faced issues on how to brew, hence, we started online brewing classes," says Nishant. They conducted 50 classes online in the two lockdown months. "We would guide them step-by-step," said he.
Is coffee making at home intimidating? "No," said each of the homebrewers we spoke to. Saying it was as easy as making instant coffee, they said all that was needed was a little patience. "Don’t get discouraged if you don’t enjoy what you make the first time. Coffee is like wine, not every roast or type of bean is for everyone," says Divya Bhargava, a home coffee brewer who took a barista class in Australia.
With many coffee brands coming with a guided recipe, you are just a step away from that perfectly brewed cuppa.
All my brews are manual
I have been brewing speciality coffee for over five years now and got into the hobby of exploring origins of coffee and experimenting with different brew methods over time. I used the lockdown to create a cold brew recipe guide and shared it on Instagram.
I was amazed to see so many people use the video guide to brew their first cold brew coffee. All my brews are manual, as I don’t have an Espresso machine yet. I started with Aeropress and soon got into pour-over coffee.
During summer, I brewed iced pour-over, cold brew, and also experimented with vacuum pot coffee. Pair a delicate coffee with floral or fruity notes with breakfast, or as a first cup in the morning, and pair a medium or earthy coffee with lunch.
My favourite is butter croissant with a good cup of coffee in the morning. If you have a French press or Moka pot, start with what you have, or if you are willing to explore richer flavour profiles, begin with an Aeropress. Always buy fresh beans instead of ground coffee/powder as coffee oxidises and loses its character within a few hours of grinding it.
Rohith Rao, image maker, Hand on Heart Studio
Follow the guide and it’s easy as ABC
I’ve been brewing at home for a while now. The intensity of brewing increased due to the lockdown. I get my coffee from Roastery Coffee House. My favourite is the honey sundried, while my husband loves monsoon Malabar, both Arabica coffee, filter roast. It is easy to brew as long as you follow instructions and know how long to brew it for.
Also, while using a French press, do not compress the coffee and wait for three minutes to let it brew. I love to have my French press in a big mug paired with dark chocolates. My husband prefers a slice of apple pie or croissants with his French press. I use two different French press or coffee plungers, one from Roastery, and the other from Starbucks.
Nikita Supreet Singh, student
I excel in cold brews now
If you call five months recent, then yes, I am a new brewer! It was the lockdown and deprivation of stepping out to my favourite café that led me to brew coffee. I started with Aeropress, but it was too complicated for me. So, I started with a cold brew.
I occasionally use the Bialetti Moka pot and a French press. I proudly say I have excelled in cold brew. I make jars of it when I have friends and family over. If you love coffee, brewing is easy. Play around, you may sometimes end up adding more water, in which case you can avoid ice, put in the freezer for a couple of minutes so its extra chilled, or add more ice if it’s too strong.
I have tried my coffee with a hint of cinnamon, orange peel, with cream, honey and cranberry juice. Next is going to be gin and cold brew. Desserts go really well with cold brew. It also works well with pizzas and pasta, hot pakoras and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Satpreet Kaur, public relations manager, Hidesign
Start experimenting to understand different flavours
My mother has been using the Indian filter for about 10 years now, and we haven’t gone back to instant coffee. During the lockdown, I invested money on good coffee beans and equipment. I also experimented on the food that goes well with the coffees – low-carb snacks, and sugar-free desserts.
I use the Indian filter decoction as an espresso substitute to make cappuccino, and latte mocha, and the French press if I want to have my black coffee diluted with water. I also do cold brew in summers. When you start brewing, you begin to understand there are numerous ways to have a coffee.
I choose my coffee beans depending on its place of cultivation, kind of beans, caffeine content, and roast. I like to pair my cappuccino with a dark chocolate fudge brownie. My coffees are always without sugar, so the bittersweet taste of coffee goes well with a brownie.
On days I’m on a low-carb diet, I make cappuccino with coconut milk and have a homemade zucchini cake made with almond flour. With espresso or black coffees, I love to have a cheesecake.
Neelima Pudota, yoga instructor and fitness trainer
It’s become a morning ritual
I have been brewing coffee for almost 10 years now. I started with using a stove-top Moka pot for a cup of latte when I was living in the Netherlands and then switched to filter coffee once I moved back to Hyderabad. Over the years, I developed a liking for Americano. I recently bought an Aeropress and took a class on how to use it.
It has now become a morning ritual to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee while my baby naps. It is comforting to brew a cup at home and instruments like Aeropress make this simple. All you need is a kitchen weighing scale, food-grade thermometer, stopwatch and the Aeropress kit.
It might seem daunting to begin with, but once you taste the deliciousness of homebrew, you’ll want to try experimenting with various parameters such as brew time, amount of coffee used, etc. Being a home baker, I usually pair my coffee with a slice of cake or a cookie. I have previously paired Harley estate with my gluten-free Jamun coffee cake, and espresso with my gluten-free brown butter cookies.
The next step of my coffee journey is to start grinding coffee at home and also try the pour-over method.
Harini Challapally, stay-at-home mom and microblogger
It’s no longer an exotic drink
The curiosity towards coffee had always been there and goes back to the time when I was a child. This used to be an exotic drink that my aunt would freshly brew at my grandparents' house. When I started on my culinary journey, coffee became a habit. It has been over two and a half years since I have started brewing coffee.
A lot of the go-to places being shut led me to experiment more. It allowed me to create the @mycoffeetodaycommunity page on Insta. I developed my recipes and shared them with a motto that #anybodycanbrew. I have used various instruments like the Hario V60, Aeropress, Cold Brew French press, Chemex, Moka pot, percolator, channi, and espresso machine.
I incline towards the cold brew, the Pour-over using V60 and the French press. I like how the flavours are elevated with the Pour-over. I choose beans primarily on its notes and the source and lean towards anything fruity, berry and sweet. I tried brewing coffee with various spices such as cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg.
My most recent one is ‘Fizzy rose cold brew’ made with rose syrup from Rajahmundry. You can complement the bitter/acidic/sour profiles with sweet/nutty/cheesy dishes, while berry/sweet/citrus coffees are paired with spicy food.
Bharath Suthapalli,works with an MNC
Divya Bhargava shares pointers on which mugs to use for which coffees
Cappucino in a pre-heated bowl-shaped porcelain cup
Mocha in a 250 to 350 ml glass cup
Flat white in a ceramic cup with a saucer
Espresso in a demitasse cup
Espresso macchiatos in a glass or ceramic demitasse cup
Irish coffee mug for Irish coffee
A davara tumbler glass set for Indian filter coffee
Nishant Kumar Sinha shares tips to brew coffee
First layer: Looking to brew coffee without equipment, then try speciality coffee sachets. It’s super easy. Open the sachet and pour water.
Second layer: Start with French press and then move on to Aeropress and Pour over.
Third layer: Invest in manual grinders, and then buy roasted beans and start grinding and brewing fresh.
Those looking to cold brew can do without any equipment
You think we’re exaggerating, but just try uttering the words “instant coffee” around the new breed of “caficionados”. And brace for impact. (Hazelnut cappuccino is the intermediate level, if you’re wondering.) Whether you subscribe to the fold or not, this new wave of coffee evangelists are drawing attention to the story of the bean. Thanks to them, “grabbing a cuppa” has been elevated from the mere vernacular of a social sip to an experience involving myriad flavours and processes.