Listen to your nose – Gourmet Coffee from Sunbean

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I was part of the promotion of the gourmet coffee Sunbean by ITC.  With the top digital influencers present, it could be called a star studded affair  🙂

The whole concept starts on the premise that coffee is one of the oldest drinks in India and we have not been made aware of the subtlety and complex nature of the coffee beans. Also that some of the best coffee beans are grown in India.  The Sunbean gourmet coffee blends and best of India with the best of rest of the world. There are two brands available. One called Nicomalai which is a mix of beans from Nicaragua and Anna Malai in the Nilgiri hills and the other is called Panagiri which is mix of beans from the Panama and Baba Budangiri in Chikamangalore which is again famous for coffee.

There is an interesting story about Baba Budan who smuggled 7 seeds of coffee from Yemen (punishable by death at that time) and grew it in the Chikamanglore area which now bears his name.

These were the interesting trivia that was covered in the start before the group was split into two. One group for the tasting of these fine blends and the other group for caffe art. Yes actual painting using coffee decoction in various strengths to get art 🙂

I was part of the first group and the Barista engaged us with the process and nuances behind making that perfect espresso which is the base for all other kinds of coffee drinks.  My favourite among this was the Nicomalai espresso. The aroma and taste of the coffee has an ability of getting through your defenses and bringing in an unusual explosion of flavor that hits all of the senses in a beautiful way.  These beans were fine grounded and then tamped to perfection by the barista for getting the right balance of moisture fot he perfect flavor. If tamped too hard, the water does not seep into the coffee and if not tamped seeps and destroys the flavor balance and profile. Yes it is an art itself to just grind and tamp the coffee ! We also tasted dome unique creations with honey and cinnamon with a side of whipped cream. There was the ever favourite cappuccino artfully prepared and decorated by the  Barista.   It was a heady experience no doubt

We then went for the art class. Let me start by confessing me and art are polar opposites. I cannot draw or paint to save my own skin let alone others. So the fact that I was to paint filled me with embarrassment and dread that I had to do that with a roomful of people.  Apart from that when I saw some works by the previous group, I felt all the more insecure. Lovely paintings that almost took my breath away. Anyway I did what I had to do and you see my childish result.

when we were asked to pose with the painting, for a moment I was not even sure which was the right way to hold my painting 😀

After a fine lunch which ITC always nails (especially the dal bukhara), the event ended with prize distributions for small competitions for most likes of for a coffee art, best coffee art, most tweets etc.  .  I got a goodie bag which had Nicomalai pack.  Excellent !!

Since the event started with the premise that India does not appreciate or know  it’s coffee, I felt if the workshop covered a little more coffee appreciation, it would have helped. E.g How to brew a perfect cup of coffee at home and do justice to the powder, what is the right temperature to brew a simple coffee considering not all of them can afford a professional coffee machine.

All in all a lovely affair and I was high on all of those caffeine 🙂   If you heading to ITC do try out these blends. They are premium and certain to take your senses on a trip…

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