Print Length: 185 pages
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Ebury Press
It’s been a while since I picked up a book written by an Indian origin author; my previously finished book was Monisha Rajesh’s Around The World In 80 Trains. If you have a passionate love affair with coffee or prefer it occasionally anytime over tea, then reading An Extreme Love of Coffee: A Novel by Harish Bhat shouldn’t be skipped on your never-ending list of TBR. Now get your steaming (or chilled) cup of beverage and keep on reading to know why.
I stumbled upon this book first while scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, where PRH India advertised it with a question—What is your coffee persona? Minutes later, I bought the book and it was well on my way to be sipped through quickly. The story opens with the protagonist Rahul Kamath, a regular drinker of elaichi chai who has recently found his new obsession with coffee (strong caffè americano being his go-to favourite amongst other orders). He works at an advertising agency in Mumbai and loves to brew his ideas seated in a Starbucks café at Horniman Circle.
When an advertising script written by Rahul turned out to be a massive hit, Haroon Sawant, Rahul’s boss offered him fifteen days of paid vacation to refresh his creative mind before working on his next project. To his surprise, Rahul informed him that he would like to visit Coorg and spend a relaxing coffee holiday with Neha, his girlfriend. Neha Sharma is an inspiring food blogger and an equal admirer of coffee. Neither of them knows what this trip entails—a coffee ghost named RG, a treasure hunt with clues set up by a Japanese monk, stories of special Indian coffees and two Japanese brothers with swords stalking them in their search for treasure. This book is entertaining, witty and has a mix of magic realism and facts entwined into a delightful story. Through the lenses of Rahul and Neha in their coffee filled adventures, I was introduced to South Indian coffees (kaapi) like Bellada, Aaraku, Annapoorna, Monsoon Malabar, Madras filter coffee, Mysore filter coffee and Kumbakonam degree coffee.
Beautiful rituals of selecting the beans, making the blend, roasting the coffee, powdering it fresh for the day’s filter coffee, rituals of visiting the neighbouring coffee works, small shops that grind this powder for us, with love and care. These shops know their coffee very well, as they roast and grind it to such perfect colour and shape. And then, finally, the aroma diffuses in your kitchen at the break of dawn, as the coffee drips into the filter. I tell you, coffee is as glorious as the rising sun.Rahul
With brief descriptions about the variety of coffees and coffee beans roasted to play with your olfactory memories, and details about aromas that it imparted in the first sip—this book successfully made me drink more cups of coffee than I intended to have in a day. It is not only a fun-filled adventure that the couple find themselves entangled in, but it also explores the coffees of Southern India which I found immensely fascinating. As the story progresses, the relationship between the couple also strengthens with their shared taste for this beautiful beverage. A recent convert from milky sweet coffee to french pressed brew—I enjoyed learning about Indian coffee varieties that have become sought after.
If you are looking for an entertaining, fun and quick book to read, I would recommend this. Make sure to sit down with your cup full.
Since this is my last post before the clock strikes 12 and new year begins — May it bring you more good health, happiness, love and prosperity. Wishing you a very Happy New Year 2020!
Thank you so much for reading this post. Cheers!
Buy your copy: An Extreme Love of Coffee: A Novel