Lifescapes Gallery

2 / Nov / 2011
Coffee by the Meter!
Meter Coffee, Coorg
Ganesh H Shankar

Coffee by the Meter!

The measure of a good coffee in South India is often a function of the ‘lengths’ to which the coffee maker is prepared to go to mix his concoction. The man seen here, nonchalantly drawing a meter-long string of decoction and milk, from one arm to the other, is a minor celebrity of sorts in the area near our Resort. ‘Ali Ikka’, as he’s popularly known, is someone who can ‘pull’ the coffee to that perfect length without batting his eyes, or allowing the flow to even stutter. This ritual is something that even the most humble barista (or coffee wallah) in South India has to master before taking his appointed place behind the boiler and filter that are the tools of his trade. While the quality of the brew depends on the blending and filtering, a good ‘coffee master’ is a showman who understands that the froth that crowns the cup is half the battle won, and that is directly a consequence of the length and robustness of the mixing rhythm. Ali’s Cafe by the Cauvery is a rudimentary shack in the village adjoining the Resort. This quaint little place, however, boasts of a rather sumptuous menu to accompany the famous kaapi. You could sit back on a rainy day sipping a hot cuppa while biting into a delicious ulli vada, or succulent sweet and savoury bondas, juicily crisp pazham-poris, or even a flaky puttu or crisp dosa if you’re game for a leisurely breakfast. If all this seems redolent of neighbouring Kerala, it’s because Ali migrated from his native Malappuram almost a quarter of a century back, and brought with him the flavours of his beloved Malabar Coast. What he learned in Coorg, thankfully, was the knowledge that the difference between a cup of coffee and an urn brimming with frothy divinity, was often just a meter!

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 at 4:55 am and is filed under Culture . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. nd filter Germary says:

    Thanks for sharing this nice article.

  2. Tarun Jacob says:

    Absolutely classic photography

  3. yaswanth says:

    really the Life scape of Meter is Fantastic and………i had that…..N joy the experience with Orange County….

  4. Raghupati Reddy Jangon says:

    Gud picture.

  5. jyoti aggarwal says:

    Nice control and balance.

  6. RAJESH says:


  7. Erin Danowski ND says:

    I love this. Thanks for sharing.

  8. shy says:

    Absolutely you guys said ‘ instant out of time’ captured!
    The whole narration makes me crave for some good kaapi( meter long ofcourse) with vada/yummmm bonda…omg pazham poris…

    thanks to my sister(who is in Travel industry) who religiously send me the monthly landscape links..

    Hopefully I get to experience your place in one of my visits to Naadu.
    God bless

  9. Lakshmi Vasudevan says:

    I can smell the wonderful aroma of kaapi from the picture and the kaapi meter is a bonus to the senses!

  10. Apu Sista says:

    Lovely photograph! Apu 🙂

  11. Vinod Kumar VK says:

    Mouth Watering Picture and Narration!! A Great Freeze Ganesh Sir!!

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