Much before Barista and Cafe Coffee Day invaded the Mumbai coffee lover’s life, in a time when espresso was ‘expresso’, and cappuccino was unheard of, the only coffee worth having was the kaapi at Coffee House. It was the original house of Coffee and Conversation.
The establishment was and is largely South Indian, as is the coffee. The clientele was and is varied – bankers, brokers and anyone who happens to be around Horniman Circle at the time. The ambience isn’t about to be featured in Society Interiors.
But the coffee – the coffee is strong, hot and plentiful. Oh, and absolutely goddamn delicious too. I mean, even a cold coffee there, tastes exactly like the name – cold coffee – not like a bloody whipped cream calorie-fest of a milkshake.
My romance with the place is old. And it’s left behind a trail of memories over the years. Memories of walking from Xavier’s (not my college) to Fort in the middle of a typical Bombay thundershower, just for a cup of coffee. Which turned out to be completely, fantastically worth it. Memories of days spent researching godknowswhat with goddamnher, which ended with god’s-own-country-coffee. Memories of walking from Churchgate to the British Council Library via Marine Drive, of getting drenched in the rain and the sea-spray, of teeth chattering in the AC library, which stopped only after the first hurried gulp of coffee at guess where.
Memories almost as sharp as the smell of freshly roasted beans. That’s it. I think it’s time I bought me the pretty coffee-filter I’ve been eyeing.