Thursday, July 16, 2009

Espresso Americano...

Yesterday in the cafeteria this new collegue of mine unknowingly pressed the Espresso button on the coffee machine. Only after it filled his cup to brim with black coffee, did he realize what Espresso was and he poured the entire contents into the sink. That reminded me of an incident where I was in a similar circumstance like about a decade ago.

Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) outlets were very new in town those days. With a lower middle class upbringing, all I knew about coffee was the ubiquitous 5 rupees worth south Indian filter coffee that we used to order in restaurants "by two kaapi kodri". I was curious of what other kinds of coffees existed, so I went to take-away counter of CCD on Brigade road. The guy at the counter handed over a small menu, I must confess that I couldn't make out a thing of what was written in the menu...Cappuccino, Mocha, Late, Espresso...everything sounded Greek-and-Latin, didn't even know how to pronounce those names. I had to an "eena, meena, mina, mo" to decide upon something.

I confidently asked him "Gimme an Espresso please", as though I was some kinda Coffee Connoisseur. Probably I said it right, he understood it in the very first attempt and said, "Sure, just a moment". He half filled a big paper cup with the darkest coffee with the strongest smell I had ever seen or smelt in my life and handed over me the same with a couple of sugar packets, "Here you go! Your Espresso!"

Ignorance is bliss, they say, but that juncture proved the adage completely wrong. I was in a situation wherein I neither could reject whatever he gave, nor could I consume that and worse still, I had paid some 40 bucks for something which I can't drink. I made another confession and another request, "I'm sorry I didn't know what an Espresso was. I can't drink such strong coffee, could you add some milk to this?" He replied back, "If I add foam to this it's gonna get bitter, instead shall I turn this to Espresso Americano so that it tastes less bitter?" As though I knew Espresso Americano and as though I had another choice...I said "Yes please."

I was amazed by the way he made it "less bitter", he held the cup under a tap and let the hot flow profusely into the cup all the way upto brim and handed it back to me with a mocking smile, "Here you have...Espresso Americano!!!" I wanted to mock back at him, "So nice of you for having made my coffee a lot less bitter" but didn't do that. I tried to sip it till I reached the end of Brigade road, for having paid 40 bucks. It was not even half finished, while emptied the contents into an open drainage hole on Residency road and I vowed that never in my life I shall drink Espresso.
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