An Ode to Filter Coffee

Farasha Pharis, III Year B.A. Economics

Dear Filter Coffee,

I know it’s been a while since our last cup together, but I hope you’re doing well, and I hope to see you soon. I write this letter to reminisce our time together and to tell you that I miss you dearly. The first time I saw you, it was entrancing. You sat still for a moment while you were moved from the kitchen to the table, after which you began the beautiful dance. From the cup to the saucer, or miniature bowl if you must. It was definitely the most enticing, long-drawn movement I had seen. No spillage or a drop wasted; who would want to waste you?

You are not a luxury, you are royalty. You have earned your place in this world, in your own right. From the verandas of Iyengar households to the Saravana Bhavans in the United States, you remain humble yet pleasing to everyone who lays their eyes on you. The smell, sight and taste that lingers long after the cups are cleared away, it evokes memories for anyone who grew up with that smell.

Even with the advent of Starbucks and other coffee houses you should know this, those skinny soy vanilla and hazelnut lattes, they’ve got nothing on you, darling! You remind me of home when I am homesick and you remind of a world left unconquered when I am home. You, my love, are the best thing that happened to this great city. You’ve given it an identity that dates back so many years and will be its identity in the future.

You make monsoons a dreamy time of year, whether they come in as light showers or floods. You give us hope, hope of something better. You are quite cheeky too, at times. First comes the smell from the kitchen that sends me into a trance, then the sight of your dance makes me so restless and finally, the ever pleasant taste that always leaves you wanting more.

Whether you come as a part of ‘tiffin’ or alone, you make my heart happy. Stay the same, darling.

Whether you come in the form of Mylapore Maami’s hot coffee or Amadora’s ice cream, you will always be my first love, because Madras is home and there is no Madras without you.


[Photograph Source: Wikipedia]


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