This is where it all STARTED...

Published: Thu, 10/01/2009 - 07:18 Updated: Mon, 07/27/2015 - 10:41

Akash Bisht Bangalore

The streets of Bangalore are filled with the irresistible aroma of freshly brewed coffee, with locals lining up outside small eateries for their early morning cuppa of strong filter coffee. The city has a coffee culture parallel to none in the country. Since most of the coffee estates are in Karnataka, the city never runs out of the 'magic powder'.  It is here the magic began.

The Coffee Board of India, headquartered at Bangalore, opened its first branch at Avenue Road in August 17, 1957.  Soon it opened its chain of coffee houses, depots and coffee vans across the country. It was soon closed down due to new policy changes. AK Gopalan, a communist party stalwart, then set up the All India Coffee Workers Cooperative in 1958 and the country's first branch of Indian Coffee House was opened on MG Road in January that year.

The city has given birth to many coffee houses, from the likes of the legendary Indian Coffee House to the modern café chains such as Café Coffee Day. Numerous other snazzy cafés are also mushrooming in the city. But, the 50-year-old Indian Coffee House still charms people with its strong affordable coffee and its delectable side eats of eggs, crispy cutlets and lip-smacking dosas. However, due to legal complexities it was shifted from MG Road to Church Street. To keep in step with the brewing competition it was given a facelift. When the coffee house re-opened it witnessed a huge crowd of old patrons, coming to taste their coffee and inhale the familiar environment.

Since inception, the coffee house on MG Road has been attracting people across all age groups and from different sections of society. It was frequented by young Mount Carmel girls, theatre personalities, writers, poets, politicians, retired professionals, couples, software engineers. People love to while away their time here. The laziness that permeates this small joint compliments the laid-back laziness of the city.

What makes Indian Coffee House's coffee unique is that the coffee powder doesn't contain chicory - a coffee substitute. This is the only coffee powder in the country available in its pure form for Rs 8, coffee served by the septuagenarian waiters wearing the familiar white dress with a red waistband. "Bangloreans love nothing more than a hot cup of strong filter coffee. Coffee house is synonymous with its culture and history. It reminds us of how Bangalore was 50 years back," says Vikrant Rathi, a frequent visitor.

This story is from print issue of HardNews