The capital of Maharashtra is renowned for its vibrant urban life, with Bollywood a constant fuel for new trends. Coffee has surged in the city over the past 10 years, meeting a new generation of enthusiasts interested in sampling specialty coffee at home. Barista Adhi Savla has played a part in this, training baristas in town and releasing a podcast profiling the industry. In this interview, Adhi outlines his journey with pointers for other baristas pursuing coffee skills.
When did you start taking a greater interest in coffee?
I attended a latte art workshop in the city. It was just something to kill time, but was amazed by the way the barista poured the latte art. At that point, I made a promise to learn latte art myself so I started researching coffee and how could I make good coffee at home. After a lot of Instagram DMs & picking the brains of some coffee professionals, I decided to invest in a piece of equipment. I got a Moka Pot which was just the start.
What's the status of specialty coffee in Mumbai?
It seems crazy to me. A new specialty coffee shop opens every few days. A lot of D2C brands have helped coffee reach every household. Consumers now know the difference between good and terrible coffee. As disposable income is rising, people do spend on coffee and coffee gear. My three workshops in the city have brought me in contact with so many curious people. All of them somewhere have a deep love for coffee and eventually would be starting their specialty coffee journey soon.
What have you learned through interviewing professionals through your podcast?
To satisfy my coffee curiosity, I started Brewed Stories by requesting some coffee growers, producers, roasters, and consumers to share their stories. I have three observations:
- Most of them are themselves curious & keep on updating their knowledge.
- They are hardworking with a strong passion for coffee.
- All of them are kind enough to help you in your coffee journey.
If someone is new to coffee and looking to start out, what would you recommend they start?
- Don't overwhelm themselves by buying all the coffee types of equipment together. I'd suggest going slow and learning how to master one item of gear at a time.
- Experiment with your coffees. Don't follow the usual recipes and find out what you like. Coffee is subjective. I might love something that you would not find fascinating & that's okay.
- Keep learning and updating your knowledge. The world of coffee has many secrets yet to discover.
Are there some central blog posts or websites that you refer to gain more knowledge and develop your skills?
Most of my knowledge transfers happen through podcast conversations. I get to know all the current happenings through Instagram. Among the resources that I follow are Perfect Daily Grind, Coffee Protocol Podcast by Barista On Bike, and James Hoffman's YouTube channel.
What's next for your career? What's on the horizon and what goals do you have for the coming three years?
I am still discovering more about coffee and this industry. I don’t have a fixed answer to what I want to do in the coming three years. But I do want to upgrade my equipment, have a home coffee bar, teach coffee to many people and record at least 100 coffee conversations for Brewed Stories.