In a NUtshell
A super cool, visually delightful cafe serving One of the best Turkish coffee we have had in india, an unbelievably good cold brew with a mild fermented feel to it, fresh cookies , bakes, the best robusta coffee I have ever had & of course a master class of understanding coffee by Marc, the coffee wizard from Barcelona, who settled down in Auroville 20 years back & has been running this company here.
An outstanding coffee shop that is among the best I have been in india – 100% focus on content (coffee), not on superficial things (which most Indian cafes focus on).
Address & other details: marc’s cafe
Meal for 2: ₹400 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & eggs￼
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry
We were at Auroville to attend a workshop named Givers Meet Edition 2 – An event where everyone participating explores ways to give back to the society. This was organised by exotic echo, the organization whom we came across in late 2018 in Nagaland – in the last decade they have revived a dying tribal weaving art, loinloom weaving. The coffee roasting & cupping session was organised at the cafe by team exotic echo & they paid for it to the cafe. We, the guests, paid an overall amount to exotic echo.
Marc, originally from barcelona, has been staying at Auroville for the last 2 decades. He is a coffee wizard – not that we have met many like him but we absolutely loved his master class on coffee.
Marc runs the cafe, an Ecommerce site, gives coffee roasting & cupping classes, runs a coffee roastery, selects coffee from farmers based on international standards & also works with farmers on projects to increase harvest produce.
The session happened on a Saturday afternoon.
We liked it so much that we went back on our own to the cafe on Sunday afternoon & again Monday morning (all days we were in Auroville!!!!)
Some of the pointers from the session are (the full session has a lot more. This is like a movie trailer). To know the real thing you will need to attend a class.
Terminology that is used to describe coffee, usually written in coffee packs.
1. Basics: Fragrance of coffee vs aroma – when dry the smell of coffee is aroma & with addition of water it is Fragrance. Flavor is the combination of aroma & taste.
2. Not all acidity of coffee is bad – citrus is nice, forest fruits like blue berries, raspberries, green Apple etc are considered good acidity.
3. Acidity of coffee feels different at different temperature – from the point when Mouth can bear 70 degree temperature, to 50 degrees then 40 then 30 …..
4. Body of coffee – sensation that u have in terms of viscosity.
Coffee quality institute has set standards for grading of coffee. All across world the same format is followed.
The standards are followed by certified coffee grader (like Marc) , to evaluate Taste, aroma, body, flavor, notes, acidity etc., when a farmer gets in a produce of coffee from the fields. If either Taste or aroma is not ok, then the produce is said to be defective.
The grader fills in the standard format of coffee institute & rates the coffee on different parameters. At the end of the exercise , an overall score is arrived at, for the coffee brought in by the farmer.
Coffee with score above 6 is good. Above 7 is premium 8 is excellent. Till score of 8, the rate is fixed per grade.
A grade of 9 & above is outstanding – instead of fixed rates, auction starts here (due to minimal availability & high demand from discerning customers).
Marc explained us about Washed vs natural roasting.
Marc then took us thru an extensive cupping session – for the first time in life I got to know my preference of coffee, in a blind test.
So far in all coffee places I have been to, I have heard that robusta is inferior & arabica is very good. That’s generally true. However, Marc has found some seriously good robusta that I loved – bought a pack of beans for having at home.
The cafe has a bright yellow facade that is unmissable while driving past.
There is a nice semi outdoor seating (tables in the balcony).
The interior has two seating rooms on both sides & a lobby cum aisle cum high stool seating area.
They have a long glass shelf with food items (baked in-house) displayed in it.
The kitchenette is see thru.
Loved the wall decor
Floored by the retro floor look & feel.
The staff members were knowledgeable & they did ‘hold conversations’ on coffee. Some of them were way more knowledgeable than most guests. This was Such a contrast to most cafe staff in delhi NCR who focus much on the packaging but not as much on content. Infact when I compare, most cafes in NCR have more focus on visual merchandizing & being instagrammable, than on research on good coffee.
I SERIOUSLY HOPE THAT SOME DAY MARC WILL LEAVE HIS MARK IN DELHI NCR by opening a cafe here.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
The cafe has a long menu of different kind of coffees. There is a menu card. However there often seemed to be a discussion at the billing station regarding the type of coffee, the notes, the body, the acidity etc.
Day 1 was all about cupping & understanding the different aspects of coffee (mentioned above).
It was this day that I figured that I liked the robusta that Marc had in the cupping session. Bought a pack of beans & had it after returning back home. Excellent. Never had a robusta so good. Rate it 4.5/5
Day 2 we tried cold brew & we blew (off)!!! Wow. What a flavor. That fermented feel. Have been having India estate cold brew from Starbucks for some time now. This one was way way superior. Rate it 4.95/5
Day 3 – I said I wanted a strong black coffee with nice flavors but low on acidity. The barista suggested a roast named Malabar blues.
Absolutely loved it. It was exactly what I wanted. Rate it 4.5/5
Bought a pack of beans for having at home later.
My partner asked for a Turkish coffee. We had ordered this at 2-3 occasions in india earlier. They were ok ish. This one was pure gold. Flavors of spices & that of coffee complimented each other so beautifully. Rate it 4.95/5
We tried a cookie baked by them – full of raisins & almonds. Not over smooth, not too lumpy. Effect texture. Low on sweet & very enjoyable. Rate it 4.5/5
We tried to order the beans of cold brew online. It had not been listed yet. So we emailed them, made a payment & we got a kilo of beans delivered to our house in delhi NCR. Loving the cold brew.
Overall rating of food & beverages at marc’s cafe averages out to 4.75/5
They had many food items, most of which looked very inviting. But we were not able to try those as we would always go to the cafe after a meal (breakfast / lunch). Look forward to revisiting the cafe in our next trip & trying out the food items too, of course other kinds of coffee.