Monday, March 05, 2012

Coffee Culture

Russians in Goa aren't known to be a polite lot. They fly in directly from russia, strut around in their speedos and ignore everything that doesn't influence their immediate needs. For that reason it was a surprise to hear the call of 'Fresh Turkish Coffee' from a Russian gentleman at the Lamuella boutique on beach road in Arambol, Goa. Intrigued by his setup and shop front open seating, I tried two consecutive days to catch him in place and try his wares but to no success. Either I was too late or he was visiting elsewhere. Fate seemed to be playing a game. Finally on the evening of third day I parked myself on the outside stool with a mind to wait out his return. As he got back his face showed pleasant surprise to see a ready customer. To start with he offered peanut coconut mini cakes on the house. He had me won over at that moment itself but the best was yet to come. Brewing the coffee painstakingly in a steel mug over hot sand, filled the store with an invigorating smell. His display brought in more customers, all of us eagerly awaiting the much promised cuppa.

What finally arrived was a porcelain cup of black gold. The coffee was nirvana. Full of body and character yet smooth and sinful. It glided down the throat like honey with flavor of berries on the tongue. My companion who never fancied black coffee thought it to be most delicious and became a convert. Suddenly he asked, 'Which country are you from?', and as I answered "India" he became so happy, he declared my cup to be absolutely free! Just because I was the first Indian in his 5 day old shop and broke his impression that Indian's don't drink coffee. The fruit of my patience over days couldn't be sweeter and the generosity of a stranger made it even more. In a way it justifies travel and my need for it.

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