Tea, Coffee and Lasting Impression.

(This is an excerpt from my travel diary…)

Zooming through the narrow lanes of south Karnataka, eyes were on the look-out for a cafe to allay the need of caffeine. To poke fun and laugh at our unsuccessful hunt to locate one, the rain God blessed us with heavy downpour.

With no internet access, Zomato and Google Maps appeared to be mere decoration on the mobile menu. In such situations you either remember Winston Churchill with his ever motivating and super famous quotes to keep yourself going or ask the local people for help. We opted for the latter. 😀

There, someone pointed us to this small shady-looking suspicious cafe which proudly called itself “Laxmi Nivas (KT) Hotel”. On reaching the eatery, the exhaustion from our long travel doubled up. As now, we not only had to decode it’s name but also were curious to scout where did it accommodate it’s guest for lodging.

On inquiry, they were successful to convince us with a grin on their face that there was no difference between hotel, restaurant and cafe; and all meant the same. At that moment, my love and support for Teach India movement took a back seat and we consented to their explanation.

The menu non-existing in the card and no sign of any listings on the board made the anticipation more intriguing. Soon the waiter-cum-steward-cum-busboy came and stood still looking at us. His stern look and conversation through facial expression was a brilliant example of non-verbal communication.

The order was placed for tea and coffee. Surprisingly, the waiter proposed for some local snacks (Goli Baje and Buns) to go with it [PIC-2]. It was nothing short of a consolation prize to us for understanding him.

Then came the “defining moment” of the day. [***Drum Rolls*** pls… ;)] Three layered, distinctly different and visually brilliant looking tea and coffee were served to us. The bottom layer being milk, then in the middle the coffee or tea concentrate and again on the top thick cream of milk. Soon all the so-called shortcomings about the place which had crossed our mind evaporated with the hot vapours of the tea/coffee. [PIC 1]

Though this place didn’t have the kind of ambience which Starbucks would provide but it had a strong family legacy passed on from three generations. Started back in 1956, Mr. Lakshmi Narayan Holla invented this three layered beverage and severed at 25 paise each. Later it was managed by his son Mr. Narasimha Holla. Now his son Mr. Shivaram Holla supervises the cafe. [PIC 3]

It didn’t guard its kitchen secretly like the coffee giants but were very welcoming to allow me in their humble cookery. The finesse, the skill of the barista and the exhibition of their age old secret left me in awe. Witnessing the entire process made me wonder why this kitchen shouldn’t be christened as an “Art Gallery” [PIC 4]. Reading and understanding my mind the words of Mr. Holla, “You can take photos and video record if you want”, joggled me as by that time I was completely mesmerized [PIC 5,6,7].

Though it didn’t allow us to buy time to sit and schmoose as we do in Starbucks or in other cafes but it left us a memory that we would cherish and a delectable taste which would linger for a time immemorial.

Sipping on the coffee, it made me realize how often we judge people or the place by their outer appearance and fail to see their intrinsic qualities. In this situation on what parameters- Ambience, Service, Food or Cost could we rate this cafe on our famous eatery locator apps? Nah! Such establishments are far above all these. As what drives these eateries in words of Mr. Holla, is the “Commitment, passion, humility and promise to serve quality food at affordable price to the people; is the sole mantra which has been passed down from three generations.”
Encountering such situations makes us question the maxim whether “First impression is really the last impression?”

©Copyright2015-2017. ameya pejawar. All rights reserved.


To the top left corner is Tea and to the right Coffee @ Rs.15 each
(PIC 1) To the top left corner is Tea and to the right Coffee @ Rs.15 each
Our consolation prize: The famous Goli Baje
(PIC 2) Our consolation prize: The famous Goli Baje
The founding father in the top most pic. (Late Mr. Lakshmi Narayan Holla) His son in the bottom pic (Late Mr. Narasimha Holla)
(PIC 3) The founding father in the top most pic. (Late Mr. Lakshmi Narayan Holla)
His son in the bottom pic (Late Mr. Narasimha Holla)
The "Art Gallery" -Kitchen and the barista
(PIC 4) The “Art Gallery” -Kitchen and the barista
Step 1: Pour the milk in the glass.
(PIC 5) Step 1: Pour the milk in the glass.
Step 2: Pour the tea/coffee concentrate into the glass of milk using a spoon.
(PIC 6) Step 2: Pour the tea/coffee concentrate into the glass of milk using a spoon.
Step 3: Slowly take out the spoon so that the tea/coffee concentrate sinks down a bit without mixing with the milk and the excess cream/froth comes up.
(PIC 7) Step 3: Slowly take out the spoon so that the tea/coffee concentrate sinks down a bit without mixing with the milk and the excess cream/froth comes up.
The Man of the Moment: The current owner Mr. Shivaram Holla.
(PIC 8) The Man of the Moment:
The current owner Mr. Shivaram Holla.

©Copyright2015-2017. ameya pejawar. All rights reserved.

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15 thoughts on “Tea, Coffee and Lasting Impression.

    1. True that! But what makes this humble eatery different is their passion, skill and a long family legacy.
      It actually makes you realize, even in this ‘marketing driven’ world what really counts is your talent and quality. Rest is mere a decoration.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The goli baje, buns and a cup of local coffee.. is a super combo! I had a good time reading this article.. and I am sure you had a great time in Karnataka esp. at Laxmi Nivas (KT) Hotel. How I just wish this stern faced waiter would stop by my desk, and offer me a plate of buns and a cup of coffee! 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi Ameya, it was a delight reading your experience at this cafe 🙂
    True, the world judges people (I’m guilty of this, too) by external appearances.

    The photos of the cups of coffee and tea and the goli baje complimented your narrative quite beautifully.

    It’s simple experiences like these that sometimes linger in our memories far longer.

    Also, I was thinking, how delightful such family-run coffee houses are, compared to the multinational franchises. My neighbour, who’s a retired Aussie ‘truckie’ (as quintessential Aussie as you can find anywhere) once said to me that when I drive to Melbourne, I should check out the eateries tucked away in the country towns located along the freeway, rather than go to McDonald’s 🙂

    thanks..! Another good one.

    Like

    1. Thank You so much. Yes.. I completely agree with you. What separates these family run cafes from others is the legacy which they carry. Also the only thing which they can flaunt is their simplicity and quality which sadly most of the “commercially driven” eateries forget.

      Best wishes to you for your trip to Melbourne. Hopefully, you may also experience a memorable moment at such humble eateries … and obviously some yummy food as well. 😜

      Thanks once again for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

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