Join the race for amazing prizes and everlasting glory and submit your finest photos to our ongoing competitions such as Chasing Dreams with Dagurreotype Achromat Art Lens. Good luck!

The Kaapi Project: The Best Filter Coffee in Bangalore - Episode 1

2011-12-20 3

Two lomoheads go searching for the best filter coffee in Bangalore, India. This is the first in a multi-part series.

It’s been well over a year since I moved to Bangalore, in the southern state of Karnataka, India. I belong to the north-central part of the country and I’ve spent practically my entire life in that region. My local Bangalorean friends would probably (half in jest) refer to me as a roti-eating, tea-drinking Northie and they wouldn’t be too far from the truth!

Opposites attract, they say, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve taken to coffee like a fish to water ever since I moved here. I still drink tea at home, of course, but when I’m out and about on the streets coffee is my drink of choice. And not just any coffee, mind you. It has to be the bitter-sweet, milky concoction that the southerners call Kaapi (percolated, not brewed or french-pressed, the traditionalists will insist).

Coffee is all around you in Bangalore, in much the same way as tea is ubiquitous in Delhi where I come from. No big surprise, since the hills of Chikmagaluru, about 200 kilometres from Bangalore, is a prime coffee growing country. Cafe Coffee Day, one of India’s most well known coffee-shop brands has extensive plantations there and is headquartered out of Bangalore. It wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that coffee runs like blood in the veins of most Bangaloreans or is, at least, an integral part of Bangalore culture.

For most Bangaloreans, the day starts with a freshly percolated tumbler of coffee (just like grandma used to make?). Practically every self-respecting Bangalorean family would have a generations old, brass coffee percolator that feeds on roasted and ground coffee beans and spews out that sticky, bitter, rich brown liquid known as decoction (don’t ask me why). Take a small shot of this decoction top it up with oversweet, frothed milk and voila- you have Kaapi! Any time of day (or night, in some cases) the percolator is always on and kaapi is always available if you happen to visit.

But the coffee ritual also extends out beyond peoples’ homes. Kaapi is a vibrant social ritual in Bangalore. You can’t be meeting up with a bunch of friends or taking a break from work unless you’re doing it over a steaming tumbler of kaapi! Everywhere I look, on the streets, I see coffee in one form or another. Coffee roasting plants in the heart of the city, merchants in 100 year old shops selling beans and blends that haven’t changed in ages, tiny roadside bakeries that don’t bake anything but where you’ll always find a tumbler of kaapi if you have but a minute to spare and a multitude of Darshinis (uniquely Bangalorean fast food joints, stand-up room only) where no meal is complete unless you follow it up with your favourite cuppa.

So me and my better half (sahilkarkhanis) got to thinking that there may be no better way to get to know this city better than through its coffee! We intend to scour every nook and cranny of this city, over the next few weeks, in our search for the best filter coffee this city has to offer. We’ve been told of tiny shops in the older parts of the city that have been serving kaapi for over 5 or 6 decades! And, of course, everywhere around us we see fancy cafes bursting with the neo-rich sipping on elegant, bone-china cups of coffee.

Our mission is to settle (or start afresh) the question once and for all. Tradition or modernity, kaapi or coffee? We’re hoping we have a decisive winner for the title of ‘Best filter coffee in Bangalore’, but if not we’re still going to have heaps of fun travelling around the city with our two Lomography La Sardinas, snapping pictures and drinking tumblers of delectable coffee! So keep your eyes glued to this space for steaming updates in the days to come. Cheers!

To be continued…

written by nishichauhan on 2011-12-20 #food #nishi-chauhan #local-cuisine #culture #lifestyle #drink #india #filter-coffee #bangalore #coffee #sahil-karkhanis

3 Comments

  1. katse
    katse ·

    I love our coffee searching story. If i could be in India i would join you!

  2. nishichauhan
    nishichauhan ·

    @Katse Sure! You are most welcome :)

  3. t-ash-xander
    t-ash-xander ·

    Hi, I'm desperately seeking Lomographers in Bangalore... What kind of camera do you have and you absolutely have to go to India Coffee House on Church Street.

More Interesting Articles

  • Instantly Optimal: Night Photography

    written by Lomography on 2016-03-11 #gear #tutorials
    Instantly Optimal: Night Photography

    The second in the series, this tipster article is here to demystify the dark! Pick up a tripod and your Lomo’Instant Wide and let’s go explore the night.

  • Vintage Camera Reviews: Kodak Bantam 828

    written by Mark Hannah on 2016-06-01 #gear
    Vintage Camera Reviews: Kodak Bantam 828

    I first discovered vest pocket cameras while searching for folding cameras and I fell in love with the design and compactness of them. By far, my favorite vest pocket camera is the Kodak Bantam 828.

    2016-06-01 4
  • My First Lomo Affair: Jmcedo and his LC-A+

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-09-13
    My First Lomo Affair: Jmcedo and his LC-A+

    Joan Manel Cedó is an avid fan of extreme sports. He has been a rock climber for two decades and has also gained interest in kitesurfing over the years. In both sports, he tries to incorporate his passion for photography. In this instalment of My First Lomo Affair, he talks about how he chance upon the carefree style of shooting with the LC-A+ and all the adventures that followed this discovery.

    2015-09-13 2
  • Shop News

    New Item: iBlazr 2

    New Item: iBlazr 2

    Light up all your shots with this light-weight, versatile and wireless LED flash! Works best with any iOS and android platforms.

  • 11 Beloved Toy Cameras

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-12-09 #gear
    11 Beloved Toy Cameras

    For some, it marked their first foray into the wonderful world of analog photography. Others consider it a trusty, go-to camera despite having a massive camera collection which sometimes include some of the best gear there is. Whatever the case may be, toy cameras will always hold a special place in the hearts (and shelves) of analog photographers everywhere, quirks and all.

    2015-12-09 1
  • The Konstruktor Project by David Townsend

    written by Lomography London on 2015-11-18 #people
    The Konstruktor Project by David Townsend

    One Christmas, David Townsend was given the Konstruktor by his wife. It sparked an idea in his head, taking inspiration from Jack Lowe's Lifeboat Station project and his love for photography. He built and beautifully customised the Konstruktor and has just embarked on his own long term analogue project, because a camera is for life, not just for Christmas. Learn more about his project in this interview.

    2015-11-18 1
  • Bad But Good: An Interview with Patrick Tsai

    written by Sunshine Reyes on 2016-08-03 #people
    Bad But Good: An Interview with Patrick Tsai

    Patrick Tsai is an American Photographer based in Japan. In this interview, we get to know more about him and his latest photo project, Barnacle Island. It's his third installment to his photo diary series about rescuing an abandoned dog on the beach and moving to a remote island in Japan.

    2016-08-03 1
  • Shop News

    The Lomography Bazaar

    The Lomography Bazaar

    We constantly search far and wide, meticulously seek out, hunt down, and hand-pick some of the most experimental and alternative gear out there - and we've now gathered them all in one easy to browse shop category, ready for the picking! In the Lomo-Bazaar, you canalso be part of our process of collecting fresh new products, rare treasures, and crowd-funded creations to sell on the shop - after all, they’re all for you! Get in touch with us to share your suggestions for amazing gear - go on, we’re all ears!

  • Cameras in Depth: Handling a Pocket Camera

    written by sirio174 on 2016-07-07 #gear
    Cameras in Depth: Handling a Pocket Camera

    After two articles about viewfinder comparison, now I'm writing about ergonomics, providing some tips for choosing the camera that best suits your needs. In this article I concentrated on ergonomics of some popular pocket cameras.

    2016-07-07 6
  • Newcomer of the Week: skyler_burkhart

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-20
    Newcomer of the Week: skyler_burkhart

    At first, Skyler only visited the Lomography website to take a look at sample photographs taken with different point-and-shoot cameras. Seeing the immense focus given by the community to film photography and experimentation, two things she absolutely loves, she immediately signed up and started her own LomoHome. In this interview, she talks about her go-to camera, the difference between digital and film photography and more.

    2015-12-20 1
  • A Salute to the Masters: Bare Soles in Como (A Tribute to Christopher Anderson)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-11-07
    A Salute to the Masters: Bare Soles in Como (A Tribute to Christopher Anderson)

    The young artist and Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson published on his agency's website an awesome photo series, one of the images in it a great symbol of freedom, joy of living outdoors, purity, innocence, candor, and girlhood: the bare sole of a female lifted up, taken at the Central Park in New York. Like many other great Magnum photographers, Anderson explored this interesting body part through photographs. For this tribute, I chose a series of bare feet images I took along the promenade of the lake Como. Take a look!

    2015-11-07
  • Shop News

    LC-A+ & LC-W Accessories

    LC-A+ & LC-W Accessories

    Combine your LC-A+ or LC-W Camera with great, fun Accessories and get 15% Discount on all Lomography Accessories when bought together with the Camera!

  • Photographic Pairs

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-27
    Photographic Pairs

    When a photographer encounters a pair, an instinct rushes in, "Is this a special, intimate moment I just stumbled on?" Or else, those accidents of two objects, two birds, two swaying plants camping together especially for your photo. This might not be the case, but it's still a pleasant thing for patterns and quirks to find their way into an everyday shot.

    2016-01-27
  • Faaabii's First Impressions of the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    written by Fabian Schreiter on 2015-11-16 #gear
    Faaabii's First Impressions of the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    Faaabii took the Minitar-1 Art Lens on a trip through the city of Stuttgart and tested it with his analog and digital camera. In this review he describes his experience and shows his first results!

    2015-11-16
  • An Interview with Film Director Papajay

    written by kasim-lks on 2015-11-11 #videos #people
    An Interview with Film Director Papajay

    Papajay is a Hong Kong-based film director who joined the LomoKino Festival in 2013. An expert at shooting movies using film, Papajay still shoots using Super 8 and Super 16 cameras for his film projects. This time, he tried a very rare medium for film-making — LomoChrome Purple 16mm Motion Film.

    2015-11-11