A Frenchman by birth and an Indian by heart, Pranavananda Brahmendra Avadutta Swamigal is in India since 1971.

Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Our Coffee

Our Coffee


There is no doubt that drinking a hot and strong cup o'coffee gives a feeling that is difficult to describe. One can say that it is akin to drinking a good wine. Connaisseurs use superlatives such as "bouquet", "cup" to describe what exceptional taste that particular coffee has. 

It is true that once we drink it, its taste lingers in your mouth for a while and, at the same time gives you a mixed feeling of well-being as well as least this is what we feel while drinking a naturally grown arabica coffee from our own plantation. And, also in our Plantation we never use any chemical whatsoever! 

When Sarah, our devoted cook of many years at our Hermitage in Kolli Hills, brews our morning coffee, we, Sunny, our Hermitage Manager settled here for the past twenty plus years and myself are full of expectations as to how this morning coffee is going to be. 

This expectation is the more exacerbating that we can smell the effluvia coming from the nearby kitchen. 

Sarah goes through the whole process of roasting the coffee beans and brewing it. Sometimes, if she is a bit late in preparing her daughter to catch the morning school bus, then the roasting could be a bit too much. Or if, I presume, she had an argument with her husband then we find the result in the brew. It will surely be different...we can find her whole-early-morning-life story in our very first everyday morning cup o'coffee!

Nowadays, people drinking coffee are a very common sight. I am told that the number of coffee drinkers in the World is about to overtake those drinking tea. 

I must say that this small cherry has travelled a long way from the first day it was discovered by an Ethiopian Sheppard monk to the delicious cup we are enjoying now all over the World. 

Here started the Legend of KALDI dating back to the third century AD. A shepherd monk had found out that his herd of goats were vivaciously dancing after eating the cherries from a nearby bush. That was the Arabica coffee beans plant!

That shepherd monk shared his discovery with his colleagues in his Orthodox Christian Monastery. They decided to use it. It was a tradition to dance during their Mass. It helped them to get into a state of high spirit and yet let them be conscious of their actions. It also allowed them to dance for a long time and enjoy the effect of their coffee. It also helped them to remain awake during their long night time prayers and dances.

Today, sadly, we do not dance after drinking coffee but, we surely feel elated, relaxed, happy. Provided we do not take more of the right number of cups of coffee a day. It should be not more than four (taken without milk).  

As mentioned above, the first variety of coffee that was discovered 18 centuries ago was coffee ARABICA. There is also a coffee ROBUSTA. However, Arabica is sold more than three-quarters of all the coffee beans sold worldwide.

Coffee Robusta is a different variety compared to Arabica. Yes, it is relatively easier to cultivate and maintain a plantation of Robusta. This Robusta variety is cheaper. Arabica coffee beans are of a higher quality in terms of flavour. Certain Coffee Brands use Arabica coffee beans and blend it with Robusta to get a cheaper coffee. However, Connaisseurs would rather have an Arabica cup of coffee than Robusta, Arabica is much more aromatic and contains much less Caffeine than Robusta. Interestingly, Arabica contains 50% less of Caféine than Robusta and also, it is much less bitter!

Would you believe? During the early centuries, Coffee was drunk as a tea: leaves were stewed in water till it gave a black liquid and was drunk as such.

Then, the roasted coffee beans appeared ground and filtered. It then became the only way of drinking coffee. Till now,  this Method of preparing and drinking coffee is followed though in many different manners. 

From its early days of coffee being drunk for religious purpose and during spiritual ceremonies, it crossed to Saudi Arabia where it became known as a liquid to drink hot. It then spread to the city of Mecca and Medina and the whole of Mesopotamia. 

Within few centuries it also reached Egypt and Persia. Because of the Arab invasions of North Africa, it reached Spain. On the other side, it reached Turkey and the Balkans where the consumption of the coffee brew spread. It came to a point where during the eighteenth century it had spread out all over the Middle East and Southern Europe. 

Nowadays, Coffee is cultivated all over the World. However, it grows only in tropical countries with Robusta in the lower areas and Arabica in the cooler higher altidudes.

Though growing coffee beans is not difficult, unlike cardamom which requires a constant attention, it does not require too much work except, of course in providing it the usual watch on the eventual spread of some diseases or pests. Of course, a good maintenance of the land is a must. The more so that in our Plantation in Kolli Hills, South India, we never use any chemical. For Fertiliser we use only a natural one.  

Coffee beans growing is a labour intensive activity which brings income to small growers together with Pepper which they plant between coffee bushes. There are also large plantations all over Kolli Hills where we are now. It is also cultivated in India throughout the Hills of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Coffee beans is a good foreign exchange earner as it is being exported all over the World.

We cannot talk about Coffee without talking of the Caffeine it contains and its effect on humans. Many opinions, sometimes contradicting each other have been voiced regarding the effect of Caffeine while drinking Coffee. It has always been a controversial subject. Let us make a short mix of several sources of information.

Everyone knows that Coffee contains caffeine as tea does and many "cool drinks" too....what makes a difference in drinking Coffee is the moderation you apply. By the way, it goes the same for tea...

We have noted that a consensus has been reached, as I mentioned above that one can drink upto 4 cups per day without having an overdose of caffeine. However, we know that also, some people can drink coffee all day long without having any negative effects. On the other side, there are some who cannot take at all.

We think that we should also tell you about the positive effect of drinking coffee. 
Firstly, what is caffeine ? It is a stimulent of the central nervous system. It is present in coffee, teas, chocolate, soft drinks and many other preparations and is used by millions of people to increase their wakefulness, alleviate tiredness, improve concentration and focus. Doctors advise one should not consume more than 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day for adults. However, the content of actual caffeine in drinks can vary wildly especially when used in "ENERGY DRINKS"

However, coffee or soft drinks or energy drinks should not be given to children and highly sensitive to Caffeine persons, pregnant women, or trying to become pregnant or who take certain medications. Of course, breastfeeding ladies should not ingest caffeine on any form.

we cannot talk about the unwanted side-effects without talking about the positive ones!
- Caffeine is a good source of healthy anti-oxidants.
- it provides a short-term memory boost.
- it helps in preventing cognitive decline with Alzheimer's disease,
- Healthy for your heart
- Decrease the risk of certain cancers,
- Lessen the risk of type 2 Diabetes,
- enhances exercise performances,
- Control Depression, Protects agains gout, Reduce Liver Disease.
- Artificial colours, flavors and preservatives are not used in NATURAL COFFEE.

So??? Come on, lets have our Cup of Coffee and relax...



About Swami Pranavananda

About Swami Pranavananda