Book Shelf

The Connoisseur’s Book of Indian Coffee

Planting times

Elite Clubs of India
Wake up and smell the coffee – it’s organic

If there’s one gourmet coffee pub in India where you are sure to get organic, single-estate coffee, it’s Moca Café in Madras.

It’s run by Marc Tormo, a Spaniard who’s made Auroville his home. Starting out in 1993 in Barcelona, he brought his talent in opening and operating cafes that radiate élan and atmosphere to India, to Pondicherry, to Madras, at the turn of the 21st century, at the cusp of the café revolution. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, nor the espresso, or so say the devoted regulars at this gem tucked away in a corner of Chennai that’s forever Madras.

Situated in the verandah of Amethyst, an eclectic boutique in Sundar Mahal in the erstwhile Jeypore Palace, the ambience captures an earlier more leisurely, more gracious era, with an aura that sets it apart from any other coffee shop in town. Surrounded by a landscaped green garden, it is an oasis of peace and calm, the pride of Kiran Rao who runs Amethyst and who lovingly restored the heritage building and turned it into a hip store cum coffee pub. Ragtime or sixties pop plays softly, softly in the background, filtered sunlight streams through the cane chiks that hang down from high ceilings…

What better place to sample classic Italian espresso, especially crafted by Marc Tormo, a barista himself?

Reading the grounds, it’s clear that Moca Café is a study in coffee retailing. The collaboration with Marson Holdings/ Nandanvan Estate in Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, India from where Moca Café sources its coffee is a unique farm to table story.

Nandanvan Estate is an IMO-certified estate that follows biodynamic agricultural practices, and grows only arabica coffee. Coffee is roasted on-site at the Nandanvan Estate, at levels prescribed by Marc Tormo, and sent in just-in-time basis to Madras. The Moca Café also stocks packs of Nandan Royale, currently the only single-estate, organic R&G coffee available in India. The café also retails a range of imported Bialetti coffee makers.

Moca Café is located at Sundar Mahal, 14 Padmavati Road, off Lloyds Road, Jeypore Colony, Gopalapuram, Chennai. Open from 11 am to 8 pm Monday to Thursday; from Friday through Sunday it’s open 9 am to 9 pm.

Contact: Marc Tormo Altimira, Madhuca, Auroville – 605 101, Tamil Nadu, India.




Rolling Mist

Mill 2 Mall