Rimjhim Coffee at Lakshmi Nivas Hotel, Kalladka
On National Highway 75 which connects Bangalore and Mangalore, probably the road I have travelled most in my lifetime, there is a small town called Kalladka. It is like any small towns with little shops lined on both sides of the road, some almost decrepit and few oozing old world charm! For many travellers passing through this NH 75, there is a tiny little hotel called Lakshmi Nivas that has become a holy grail for all coffee and tea lovers.
Lakshmi Nivas is a small hotel, with its wooden bench and tables, which one can easily miss visiting if not for their speciality: KT (Kalladka Tea) and Rimjhim Coffee which is not available even in star restaurants or posh cafes! Both KT and Rimjhim coffee is served in a small transparent glass are a treat to eyes, nose and taste buds! Like any other teashops or roadside coffee shops one comes across during road trips in India, Lakshmi Nivas too serve their coffee and tea in a small glass cup that sits in a small stainless steel bowl with a spoon to stir the hot beverage.
However the similarities stops there as the way the KT and Rimjhim coffee served is so different to any other small tea stalls or coffee shops! Unlike any other coffee or tea, here you can see a clear difference between the thick milk layer on bottom, tea/coffee decoction layer in the middle and a nice milk froth sitting on top. It is such a fun experience to stir the coffee with a tall spoon or tea before sipping it.
The Holla family has been serving their KT and Rimjhim coffee in this tricky but fun way for the last 60 odd years. The present owner Srinivasan Holla says the origin of KT and Rimjhim coffee is a mystery to even him. He recalls a story of his grandfather Lakshminarayan Holla who started experimenting this unique way of serving tea and coffee after his visit to Madras. Overnight the KT and Rimjhim coffee became a hit and rest as we say is the history.
The trick is to use very thick, creamy milk to make this KT and Rimjhim coffee. Once the hot milk is poured in the transparent glass, really thick tea/coffee decoction is added slowly with a help of a spoon to get a separate layers. But other than the technique, the consistency of the milk, the amount of sugar and decoction used also plays a huge role in getting the layered drink. Every day the Lakshmi Nivas serves on an average 8-100 litres of KT and Rimjhim coffee to its faithful fan followers. (Source ~ TOI) This unique tea and coffee are priced reasonably at 6 rupees per cup and it is the best kind of tea or coffee you would ever have tasted! KT and Rimjhim coffee is for everyone even if it is not your cup of tea or coffee ;) And oh, don’t forget to buy few hot Mangalore Buns to go with your strong cuppa as they are another popular dish that this little hotel churns out.