Creamy Hand Beaten Coffee

Till last summer, I used to visit Costa Coffee for a daily cappuccino fix to jostle me out of sleep and get me through my work day. Come July, I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy Costa's cappuccino like I used to. It's not like their coffee brewing had suffered a blow or something. It's just that my husband's version of it resulted in coffee which was so much creamier and earthier.

This "desi" coffee making technique has been around for a while but I started following it just a couple of Winters back. For me though, it had always been a special day (more like special people) coffee, given that it takes considerable amount of effort. On one of these special days, I made this for my husband (who mostly stays on Oil Rigs) and he took to that taste, texture, frangrance and process in such a strong way that not only did he want to have it all the time, he also wanted to be the one making it all the time. So from a special day coffee it transcended into an everyday staple. I suppose our love for this recipe is rooted in the kick we draw out of beating the heck out of that coffee sugar mixture and then finishing off with artistically stirring it into warm milk creating a creamy and silky coffee that's closer to a dessert than a beverage and that everyone loves.

I strongly recommend using a good coffee (I'm a fan of Nescafe Gold; it has a beautiful aroma and very earthy taste) although any kind of instant coffee will do. The proportion in which i like the ingredients is 3/4th cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 3/4th teaspoon of Nescafe Gold for every cup of coffee. I also cannot stress enough on the importance of beating the mixture. You need to make it rise in volume. Also, in the last step, be very gentle with the froth - this step would actually determine how well the coffee turns out.

Makes: 4 cups
Time: 20 mins

Milk 4 cups (not filled to the brim)
Sugar 4 tea spoons, level
Instant Coffee (Nescafe Gold) 3 tea spoons, level

In a glass, mix together coffee and sugar with a tea spoon of water so that you get a moist mixture. Now start beating the mixture with a tea spoon. Initially, you would feel some resistance but in a minute, the mixture would yield a bit more. Key is to start with very little water, beat it till it starts turning light in color and once it reaches a paste form, add a few more drops of water and beat it like you would beat an egg, incorporating as much air as possible into the mixture. Add some more drops of water after the paste has almost doubled in volume and keep repeating till you feel completely satisfied with your hard work. For finishing off, divide the fluffy light paste into 4 cups and gently pour milk over it. The paste would rise to the surface. Now comes the tricky part - you screw this up and your effort would go in vain. Dip a spoon through the paste and into the warm milk and stir twice or thrice. Bring out the spoon and stir in the paste strictly keeping to the surface as if to make swirls out of the creamy froth on top. The end result should be a rich silky coffee below and a thick creamy foam on top.


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