THE COFFEE WEEK
By Prakriti Bhat
Coffee is the gasoline of life. For most of us, life begins after coffee. Le Meridien recently organized a Coffee Week from 22nd-28th June covering seven countries and exploring their coffee culture. 26th june was the date set apart for India. Going by the spread they had for us, they sure took their research seriously. From Latte art to coffee mocktails, they had it all. Coffee inspired artwork and sketched coffee cups set the mood for the event. Add to this, beautiful paintings by acclaimed artists and you have an evening of fun.
The opulent interiors of Le Meridien and the aroma of coffee give you an ethereal experience. The event co-organised by Palette Art Gallery had something for everyone. There was latte art where the barista created beautiful designs right in front of us. These were local designs of a peacock and the number five in numeral and devnagri script, marking the fifth day of their tour. Also, they served small coffee shots with a dash of cardamom. One the opposite side was a counter where you could make your own éclairs, kind of éclair art! Chef Divyank taught us how to fill the éclair shell and then decorate it as we like while Chef Vikas talked about the various flavours used for the éclair filling.
The famous French pastry, Éclair was prepared in various flavours. It was a perfect amalgamation of Indian and French cooking with local flavours like Darjeeling tea, jaggery and rose being incorporated into this popular delicacy. This led to four different flavours being presented at the event- Darjeeling Express, Rose and the classic ones like chocolate and vanilla. The Coffee mocktails came in three flavours- African Queen, Arabian Sunset and Spice trail. African Queen had banana as its dominant flavor while Spice Trail had a strong taste of cinnamon. Arabian Sunset was the only mocktail which had a perfect blend of coffee and the other ingredients like honey and cocoa powder. With so much of coffee and sweet éclairs, your taste buds definitely need a change. There were other snacks like croissant shaped sanwiches, salmon bagels and spicy tartlets. The spicy tartlets were like a westernized version of our Aloo Chaat, only with smaller potato cubes.
The organizers seemed to have done a thorough research in looking for local flavours to be integrated into the dishes and mocktails. They did their homework and they did it well! This effort was visible in the unique products that came out of all the trials and eerrors. Where else could you have got a Darjeeling tea flavoured éclair and a cardamom or cinnamon flavoured coffee mocktail? These ingenious ideas are worth appreciating.
Feel anything? Yes, that’s coffee calling out to you! Brew yourself some happiness!