Hyderabad's Ironhill Roastery is touted to have the country’s most exclusive and expensive coffee
At this newly-opened café on Road No 36, Jubilee Hills, you get to choose the method of brew — Pour Over, Chemex, Aero Press and French Press.
Just when you think how different can your favourite coffee be from the one that Ironhill Roastery is offering, you are handed over a coffee menu that contains four choices at each stage of the three-step process. That’s quite some math, considering the permutations and combinations you get. At this newly-opened café on Road No 36, Jubilee Hills, you get to choose the method of brew — Pour Over, Chemex, Aero Press and French Press. Thankfully, the staff explain it in detail.
Then you choose your bean —Karamana, their signature bean; or Honduras Roast, a medium-dark roasted coffee best drunk as black or espresso; or Guatemila Highland coffee beans (strong, tastes like chocolate) or Kopi Luwak (pronounced Kopi Lua), considered the world's most expensive coffee, straight from Indonesia. Or the Hydro Rocket bean (yet to be included in the menu card).
Vidhata Annamaneni, Director at the Roastery and who is also the man behind Prost Microbrewery in the city, says, “At Rs.495 a cup, these are the most premium in cafés in Hyderabad and is often the conversation starter here.” So what's so special about this one, besides the fancy price? “A 'high' better than what alcohol gives and enough energy to make you look forward to facing your boss first thing in the day.” He compares Guatemila to Redbull, the energy drink. The Hydro Rocket bean has the highest caffeine content (among coffee beans in India) and known to be the favourite of the Military Forces in Russia during war times as it keeps them awake, he adds.
“Most importantly, our coffee is organic and we source it from Chikmagalur and Araku plantations," adds Teja Chekuri, also Director of Ironhill. My personal favourite was Guatemila through Aero Press as I felt it was the best version of what I normally have. It has the right sepia tint, overpowering smell of the coffee bean and mildly bitter. There are orange, ginger and cardamom flavours too. You can pack the powder home too. "Collegians and corporates are the main patrons and we wanted to give it a bohemian vibe,” Vidhata explains, while adding that the country’s top architect duo Aamir and Hamida Sharma designed it. The one-floor café which seats 30 has posters with fun facts and history of coffee. The café has an industrial look with iron grills used as the main decor element on the ceiling. “Ironhill is also the only café in 1 km radius to have a loo and 25-car park area,” he quips.
While their variety of snacks are the usual, they have a wide variety of gelatos under the brand name Fatty Moo. Did you now that gelato has 8 percent fat and served at -17-degrees while ice cream has 20 and served at -30-degree Centigrade? Vidhata credits international chef Sabyasachi for coming up with 101 varieties of gelatos (of which about 40 are available now) and for having visited Hyderabad eight times in 12 months to finalise the patented recipes. I tasted the Osmania Biscuit gelato and it was unique, like the salty-sweet tea cookie the city loves. “Hyderabadis are food connoisseurs and giving them the local touch is the best way to win their hearts,” he says. Indeed!
Price for two: Rs.1,000.