I love my morning cup of coffee. Or rather used to. Now I just drink that pathetic coffee from a cafetiere, that too sometimes after about an hour or so after its made. I remember being fussy about my morning coffee and I also remember having to let go of that fuss just because making a decent South Indian style filter coffee was just too much work, first thing in the morning. This way, Ro makes us both coffee in the morning and I just gulp down that watery concoction without any complaint. Well I did complain about my lack of a decent coffee once in a while, and my request for one of those fancy Nespresso, cappuccino makers fell on deaf ears. Instead, me and my girl pals go and indulge in an expensive cup of coffee at one of those artisan coffee shops once in a while. No its doesn't solve anything, rather it just makes things worse because you'd know what a good coffee actually tastes like.
I get this coffee fetish from my mom i suppose. She makes the best coffee and I kind of miss that now, especially because I got to enjoy it almost every morning last month. She likes it super duper strong with loads of sugar, and what do you know..i like it exactly that way too. This coffee drink, very similar to a cappuccino in taste, was made quite regularly this time. If decoction coffee was not available (since it takes a while to make), this was the coffee of choice. I learnt how to make it, for those evenings you crave a good cup of coffee and of course, to remember home where everything was just perfect.
The trick is to froth up the mixture and the quantity of milk makes that happen. Keep adding a few drops to start with and slowly increase, if you feel its needed to get the mix going. It loosens up after a few stirs and so add only after you do so. There is no particular recipe for this coffee, its more like a do-as-per-your-taste kind of a thing, but just for keepsake, here's an outline of what goes into it. Really, try this out and you wont ever need a fancy machine at home.
PS: A special thanks to my good friend Rashida for sourcing that gorgeous chai carrier from a chai wallah. I know she went through quite a bit of trouble to get the authentic one and I am so glad I have friends like these who absolutely understand my prop obsession.
A big hug to Manjiri who brought me tea glasses from Mumbai to complete the whole look. Thanks darl.
And lastly, a group hug to my mum, my aunts and my neighbours back home who I harassed non stop for those thin cut glasses (the one you see in the foreground) that are extinct in Kerala (apparently), and to the old uncle who let me raid his shelf to find 2 that fit my imagination perfectly well. :)
Makes 2 (strong) cups
Instant coffee powder/granules- 2 tbsp (reduce it if you don't like your coffee too strong)
Sugar- 4 to 5 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Milk- 1 1/2 cups (at least 4 % fat)
Water- 1/2 cup
Tip in the coffee powder, sugar and 1 tsp cold milk into a cup large enough to handle 2 cups of liquid. I used my measuring cup for this.
Using a spoon, vigorously mix it all up, like it stirring motions. The mix would be dark, almost blackish in colour when you start off and as you keep mixing, the colour would lighten and slowly start getting creamy and frothy.
Keep stirring (vigorously being the key word) till the mix turns to a light brown colour.. I wish i could explain this better, but you'll understand when you see it. It would be significantly different from what you started with.
Keep this mix aside.
Bring the milk and water to a boil a saucepan.
Give the coffee mix one last proper stir and into it pour the boiled milk..slowly.
Mix gently, do a taste test for sugar , pour into individual mugs and enjoy.
Notes: As you can see from the picture, my coffee was really strong which invariably means I need more sugar. You know how much sugar and coffee you need so add accordingly. The only thing to remember is the milk. Add just a few drops, enough to get the mix moist. If there's a lot of liquid then it doesn't foam up too much.
A milk frother should be able to make the stirring a bit easier. Haven't tried it, so don't take my word for it.
You can do the same with cocoa, sugar and milk too
I've said at least 4% fat is a must. But if you are using low fat milk, then make that 2 cups and omit the water.