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10.01.2018

Our favourite fictional cop on Brooklyn 99 remarked on a recent episode that in his day, police departments were not, as they say, awake. “Don’t you mean ‘woke’?” he’s asked. “I did mean woke, but it’s grammatically incoherent,” he replies.

As your vocabulary makes its own tough decisions this week, let your nose lead the way to a new roastery in a quiet neighbourhood just off Kammanahalli. Run by Ganga and Pavan Hanbal, the beans at Coffee Mechanics are sourced from their four estates in Chikmagalur, allowing you to pick the roast, grind size and brewing method of your preference. But the true perks of coming here means you let the experts do the brewing. Accordingly, to keep our palates clean for this review, we skip our regular morning caffeine dose and arrive, on edge and deprived, and point to a cold Mazagran and a raisin bread before we’re seated.

Hanbal Lecters

The food menu is minimal, letting the coffees hit the high notes. Their signature Mazagran drink is steeped in ice, the sweetened espresso balanced with a distinct citrus twist: a real shot of energy. We’ll be swapping those dull energy bars with this before our next Crossfit session (yes, reader, even bpb has succumbed). Raisin bread, unfortunately lowers our expectations with its dry, chewy texture.

We pour-over - ha! - the house blends and classic cuppas on the menu as we wait for mains. Cold Asian Salad tossed with cucumbers, noodles and a creamy peanut sauce turns out to be light and refreshing, well suited to May visits. Herbed chicken with pepper sauce and rice, sadly, is bereft of the pepper punch, but the chicken breast, gently coated in mixed herbs is perfectly done. A bagel sandwich from the breakfast menu with a generous fried egg stashed inside sounds like everything we dream of on weekend mornings, but turns out to be less crumby than just, well, crummy.

Winding up with a cinnamon latte and a Vietnamese iced coffee, we find ourselves drawn to the different brewing machines on the countertop. Manager Mallinath gives us a stimulating demonstration of the various blends from different roasts. A pour over is the most elegant way to drink coffee, he tells us, so we turn our noses up at our usual filter coffee and choose a cinnamon latte made in this fashion.

It is as graceful to the eye and tongue as promised, surprisingly light, with the spice warming us in the January chill. For dessert, we pick Vietnamese iced coffee with a thick layer of condensed milk, so good we should have left it at this, with a spring in our step. In the end, it’s “dense triple-chocolate brownie” we leap away from, its unmixed granules of sugar nearly cutting all the bite out of the coffee. The food may need some improvement, but just the Mazagran and the Vietnamese reconciles us even to an impending Crossfit session: we want this to be our daily grind.

Getting there: 254, 3rd main road, 1st stage, 5th block, HBR Layout, call 08049652786. A meal for two with four coffees costs approximately Rs 1400.

Accessibility: Two steps up to enter the café.

bpb Reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

This review was conducted by Anjana Appanna, a city based writer and voice over artist.

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Food & Drink