Australia’s First South Indian Filter Coffee
The preparation of South Indian filter coffee is an art and science that has percolated over generations, a very unique brewing method. The traditional South Indian filter coffee is a combination of the coffee decoction, fresh hot milk and a dash of sugar, giving a beautiful kick start to ones daily routine. While many still drink their morning coffee in various forms, there is a romance to preparing the South Indian filter coffee, an experience that is nostalgic to say the least.
Until recently there had been only limited imported alternatives for South Indian filter coffee, but with the launch of “Malgudi Days” on Mother’s Day this year, the coffee scene for Indians in Australia has forever changed.
The Indian Telegraph recently interviewed Aneerudh Sampath, the man behind Malgudi Days coffee, an award winning coffee roaster who, incidentally, also happens to be the first Indian coffee roaster in Australia.
Please describe your journey to the Coffee world and in particular Malgudi Days coffee?
My journey to the coffee world started while i was still working as a Banker, my love and fascination with the bean was always ingrained because our family always spoke of the farms & the journey to the local coffee roaster in Bangalore to make the much loved daily beverage. It excited me! As a roaster i love the infinite permutations that it presents to bring out so many different cups with so many varieties of beans.
I then decided to take the plunge by opening up my roastery, importing some of the finest beans, coming up with beautiful blends and started to supply to local cafes.
One day my mum out of frustration stated that she was simply not happy with the current supply of imported South Indian filter coffee that, she found it to be stale or it had too much chicory or it simply didn’t cup as specialty grade. Mum challenged me to come up with something for her. This started the Malgudi Days coffee journey, it took me many years because there were no shortcuts taken, i was aiming to source, roast & blend the finest. No compromises! We even won a medal in 2012, at the largest coffee competition in the Southern Hemisphere, but the ultimate judge was always Mum. It was made for her!
How was the name “Malgudi Days” chosen?
Malgudi Days is a popular name in our household because it is Mum’s favourite book by her favourite Author, the legend himself, R.K. Narayan. It was perfect, a real symbol that represented everything South Indian & pure, including my Mum.
What are the factors in making a good cup of coffee at home or outside?
Sourcing from a local roaster is a must, as fresh as possible is key. At home you have control over personal choices, such as strength, quality of milk etc. Outside home one frustration is not able to always get the first flush of the decoction. The other variables such as coffee to water ratio is also important. We have brew guides, prepared by Mum, which are available online on the products page. From this guide one can vary it to suit their palate.
Why is Malgudi Days coffee different?
Firstly it was made out of love for my mum. I’d say nothing can beat that! All the rest is a fusion between science, art & passion. We have focused on sourcing the finest beans (classified as Specialty grade in the coffee industry) & the finest organic chicory that India can produce. We haven’t compromised & have made it for consumers that don’t compromise on quality either. The way I see it, it is a much-loved South Indian tradition made by Indian mums around the globe, why jeopardize this beautiful traditional with anything less.
We are not a cheaper alternative, but rather focus on the beautiful experience that comes with the perfect South Indian Filter Coffee.
This has been reinforced by so many online customers already, we have received a fair few messages already, for example, recently a gentleman dropped us a message saying, “Great job folks! Finally something fresh & beautiful, made me smile early in the morning.”
Please share your role as a judge in the Coffee Industry here?
Currently i am on the panel for Choice consumer magazine, judging all things coffee related within the consumer space and providing any advise as required. We usually do 3-4 judging sessions a year, along with a number of articles in relation to coffee brewing, equipment etc.
I am also involved with Barista Basics Coffee Academy, the largest accredited Barista training organization in Australia. I provide advise & support as required.
You were recently selected to participate in this year’s Aroma Coffee Festival, please share your thoughts.
This has been very exciting and totally unexpected. It is largest Coffee festival in the Southern Hemisphere, held at The Rocks, Sydney on Sunday 24th July. Now in its 19th year, visitor numbers are expected to exceed 140,000 on the day.
Exciting because this will be something completely new to the Australian Coffee Market, and I see it as a way of showcasing another aspect of Indian Culture. Unexpected because we are a small family owned coffee roaster and out of so many applicants we got selected. We have a great spot too, right in front of the Main Aroma Stage.
Where would you like to be in the Australian/ Global Coffee landscape three years from now?
We have a clear roadmap for Malgudi Days coffee with a number of innovative projects in the pipeline. We are working with some key players in the global market so everything is still very discrete at the moment. In a nutshell we would like to be known as a true & exciting alternative when it comes to Specialty grade Indian filter coffee. We want to be a household name that creates a beautiful experience for the whole family.