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  1. #1
    Jambu's Avatar
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    Kumbakonam Degree Coffee

    Last week end I was going to various places in and around Kumbakonam after several years and tried to get that famous Kumbakonam Degree coffee But could not get it But was served with Bru instant only Please let me know where I get it. The Hotels like Kaliakudi Magalambika etc have pulled down their shutters and could not even eat in some of the hotels where we had to. Why this is called Degree Coffe? Jambu
  2. #2
    praveen's Avatar
    praveen is offline Life is a Dream
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    Here's what i could find from the net

    A term often heard for high-quality coffee is degree coffee. Milk certified as pure with a lactometer was called degree milk owing to a mistaken association with the thermometer. Coffee prepared with degree milk became known as degree coffee.
    Another explanation for degree coffee is that chicory beans were used to make the coffee. The South Indian pronunciation of chickory became chigory then digory and finally degree.
    Yet another explanation is that, when coffee is decocted for the first time, it is called as the first degree or simply as the "Degree Coffee". This has the strongest flavour and the necessary strength to mix with milk without watering down the taste. In less affluent households, in earlier days, coffee was decocted for a second or third time from the same initial load; this became the second degree coffee and naturally, is not as strong. Affluent households drank first degree or the famous "Degree Coffee" only.
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  4. #3
    RVR
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    Kumbakonam degree coffee is a favourite drink among TB community in the olden days. But mostly the community has migrated out of erstwhile Tanjore district and hence the coffee would also have lost its flavour in the area.

    Coffee powder is ground from fresh roasted beans every day in the morning. In my younger days I use to grind coffee powder in a small table fitted grinding machine which is available in most of the TB homes. The grinding is done by rotating a mechanical rotary handle by hand. Every house will have cow and fresh milk is available. Buffalo milk is not used for making coffee and only for curd, butter etc. So fresh filtered coffee decoction with fresh milk is a taste by itself which cannot be compared. In hotels such a coffee is considered as Degree coffee.

    In TB community marriages Coffee, playing cards, Kumbakonam betel leaves with tobacco and seeval are the main items. If compromise is made in any of the above, it will result in big fights.

    Now a days after migrating to the city, all these tastes have gone for a six.

    There is no wonder, degree coffee is not available nowadays.

    All the best
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  6. #4
    hariharan1972 is offline Senior Member
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    praveen,

    you deserve a padma award for you efforts in snooping down on 'degree coffee' and finding the etymology.

    i had guessed the 3rd possible reason while i had concocted 2 'theories' of my own.

    theory 1 : tb's like their coffee piping hot ; so given the blazing summer in tamil nadu (generally), perhaps the coffee of the tb's was vying with the met dept on 'degree' of heat

    theory 2 : it's common knowledge that cups of coffee keeps you awake in the night. given the linear relationship between keeping awake and the academic excellence of the tb's, more the coffee the tb's drank, the more success they had in their academic pursuits.

    one of the reasons i deserve to be banished from tb community (my father would have more compelling reasons though) is that i hate coffee....except the ones served in coffee shops such as barista, cafe coffee day et all.

    i find the home made coffee too strong which hits my nostrils even before i can take my first sip.

    also i find coffee stains the teeth much more than tea and it also has a terrible after-smell, almost akin to eating raw onion or garlic. it was also a put-off for me.

    even as i was having small helpings of coffee at home, the switchover to tea was complete when i met a colleague after college who drank, am not exaggerating, nearly 20 cups of coffee a day. he lived on coffee.

    the magical power of coffee in curing an instant headache including the famous 'otrai thalaivali' aka migraine is to an absolute, wholesome and nothing but the truth. my experiments with coffee during migraine stand testimony to this.

    next best i can think of is the 'railway coffee', the safest food in indian railways - where else would you get boiled water ? but the experience of drinking coffee in a plastic cup with the rocking of the train is amazing.

    here's my humble ode to the coffee

    Boiling water poured to the brim
    Draining life of the powdered bean
    A cuppa, it turns to, wetting your lip
    Touching your soul, as does each sip
    நன்றி,
    ஹரி

    அன்பே சிவம்.
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  8. #5
    kunjuppu is offline Veteran
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    hari,

    scientifically speaking, a hot drink taken on a very hot day, has a cooling effect on the body. a cold drink, while giving an illusion of relief, does nothing to reduce the body temperature, and hence very soon we are at the mercy of the scorching heat.

    re the various strata of degree coffee, in my home, we used to comment on the that the cook & the maid got the first decoction. then came the head of the household (male or female, depending on who wore the pants in those households).

    in contrast, my home, my mom had the first decoction. then came the rest of us. there were usually three decoctions, the final one being for the maid.

    coffee, a drink introduced to india by muslim arabs, now a lifeline & the preferred drink of choice for the tb's (except hari )

    ps. tb could be tamil or telugu brahmin
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    B.Krishnamurthy is offline Senior Member
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    Kumbakonam Degree Coffee

    KUMBAKONAM DEGREE COFFEE is still available in CHENNAI.There is a shop in MADDIPAKKAM KOOTU ROAD which markets only KDC.
    Pure coffee powder and powder mixed with Chicory are available.
    I have tasted several brands and KDC is really great.
    BK
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  12. #7
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    tbs
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    hi folks,
    still my MIL makes kumbakonam degree coffee in delhi...by using
    handy machine...home made roasted coffeepowder with fresh milk...
    she belongs to kumbakonam ...she likes first degree coffee...i think
    its tb tradition...brahmanargal saapidum idam..hahah...
    ALANKARA PRIYO VISHUH..ABHISHEKA PRIYO SIVAHA...BRAHMANAH
    BHOJANA PRIYAHHAA...thats why we always say...kaapi saapittela..?
    not kaapi kudichela...we eat coffee..not drinking? my 2 cents..

    regards
    tbs
    asato maa sadh gamayaa, tamaso maa jyotir
    gamayaa, mrityor maa amritham gamayaaa..
    om shanti, om shanti, om shanti...upanishad
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  14. #8
    sunkan's Avatar
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    here in bangalore the cothas come out with great flavors, the green and red if both mixed with one kg green to 400 gms of red the combination is great, and i am happy i can have a hot cuppa of this earl in the morning....sunkan
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    I think Kumakonam was famous for its degree coffee as well as for its கொசு Though I could not taste the degree coffee I had the painful taste of கும்பகோணத்து கொசு in plenty! Jambu
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  18. #10
    G. Soundara Rajan is offline Member
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    Namassadhasae.

    Shri TBS ji:

    BrahmaNA: bahujanapriyA: must have become bhojana priyA:
    However both seem correct. Sound mind can be in a sound body only.


    I know places where good filter coffee can be had in Chennai. In Kumbakonam, I was told, one famous place 'Venkata lodge' is there and once serving on vazhai ilai sitting on floor with pandhi payy facility was available exclusively for Brahmins. I am not sure the kind of same quality is maintained now there pls.I shall verify this when I make my next visit to Kumbakonam .
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