'Knowledge of brewing must be shared'

Coffee special

Having completed a degree in hotel management and looking to become a chef, Felix Daniel went on to emerge as a coffee brew master, 12 years ago.

“As part of my previous company, I started to understand and work with coffees a lot. Coffee was a completely new experience; Every time I brew a cup of coffee, I learn something from it,” says Daniel who feels it is important to understand the connection between the three aspects to making a good coffee – the blends and tastes, the machines, and the artist or the brew master.

Daniel went on to research on coffees and represented India in many coffee championships including World Barista Championship consecutively in 2008 and 2009.

“Brewing is an art; to find the right combination of the brown and white ingredients meaning the coffee and the milk. The natural taste of coffee is strong and bitter, but you should not let that overwhelm you. Roll it in your mouth. The aftertaste is the real flavour of the coffee,” informs Daniel who is currently in the Dunkin’ Donuts (DD) product development team for beverages.

“The job of a brew master does not stop at making the coffee. Making it visually appealing is an important aspect. The different designs that you might have seen on the top of the beverage like a leaf or a heart is made through free hand pouring,” says Daniel who has experimented with adding spices like cardamom and cinnamon and different chutneys to coffees.

That is how, he says DD’s new launch of coffee came about. “From the survey and research that we did in terms of the preferred types of coffees, we introduced four.

Bangalore start-up coffee – a 100 per cent Arabica roast coffee beans decoction, in piping hot milk, inspired by South Indian filter coffee and the start-up culture; Tough Guy Cappucino - the triple shot of dark-roast expresso with a tint of brandy; Therapeutic Cappucino - a fuzzy mix of hot chocolate and coffee, with whipped cream and cinnamon; Dunkin’ Black Coffee - a straight up black coffee minus the bitterness. The idea is to keep innovating and experimenting,” Daniel tells Metrolife on the sidelines of the recently held Dunkin’ Culinary Experiential Coffee Workshop.

He sees coffee making as an intricate art that is yet to become a proper profession in India. “In Europe and US, baristas are valued in their own right. Very few people are aware in India. So it is important to make the brewer aware and the knowledge of brewing must be shared,” says the 35-year-old.

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