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.