Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    CappucinoKF28feb2015

    Chennai :

    Complimenting what World Barista Champion Fritz Storm stands for, his hotel room almost seems perfumed with coffee. On the bed, while the rest of the suitcase sits unpacked, a giant packet of coffee powder sits neatly opened. “This coffee powder is from Guatemala, and freshly roasted. I wanted to de-gas it a bit before I can use it,” says the coffee expert and barista trainer, who was in the city for the launch of the new Magnum Ice Cream flavour that blends coffee with chocolate. Fritz, along with pastry chef Janice Wong, demonstrated creative ways of pairing the two ingredients for desserts and drinks, as part of the launch on Tuesday evening.

    “I chose the coffee from Guatemala for the demo because it has a lot of chocolate flavour in it during the finish, besides the fruity taste. There is some acidity in the beginning, which leaves an interesting taste in the mouth,” says Fritz, who has travelled around the world, studying the coffee flavours of different countries. According to him, South African coffee tastes fruity and sweet, and in Brazil, which is the largest producer of coffee, the drink though doesn’t taste very special, has a wonderful base.

    What about the local filter coffee? “I haven’t had the time to try it in Chennai, but I tried filter coffee from a street side shop in Hyderabad, and I found it nice. But it was extremely sweet, sweeter than ice cream,” he says with a laugh. “However, I don’t think there is anything like the best coffee in the world. It is a combination of the beverage — how it tastes and how it looks — and how the barista is serving it. He or she needs to have the personality, and say the right things while serving the drink,” he adds.

    It’s likely those are the exact points that earned him the title of World Barista Champion in 2002. “It was all coincidence. I am an accountant by profession and I didn’t even drink coffee till my 20s. I guess as a young guy I just wanted to do something fun, so I started as a bartender. That’s when I drank Cappuccino for the first time in 1994,” recalls Fritz, who, today, cannot start his morning without a Cappuccino, or carry on with the rest of the day without his share of Expressos. “In a few years, I started hearing about various competitions of making coffee. In the first World Barista Championship held in 2000, my colleague competed, I tried in 2002 and won,” he adds with a smile.

    Ever since then, Fritz has been training baristas for the Championship, and experimenting with coffee as an ingredient. He tells us about his invention — Almond Cappuccino, reminiscent of the lazy mornings he spent back home in Denmark dipping almond biscottis in coffee. “I thought, why not make a new flavour with it? So we soaked the biscuits for six to 12 hours and then made a Cappuccino,” says Fritz. Recently, he, along with Janice, made what they named Mocha Margarita. “We added chocolate, cinnamon, expresso, milk and caramel sauce with mocha to create something unique. And since we found only a Margarita glass to pour it, we named it Mocha Margarita!” he shares, with evident enthusiasm.

    According to him, though the coffee industry is much older than wine industry, it is only now that we are slowly beginning to understand coffee. “People can differentiate the taste of different wines, and they know the basics, like white wine does not go with fish and so on. But it is only now that people are able to recognise the flavours of different coffees. Soon, they should be able to make a preference, in the sense of what brewing they like to have with a dessert, what would suit an ice cream, chocolate or cake. We haven’t reached there yet, but we are catching up really fast,” he says.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Naveena Vijayan / February 26th, 2015

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    Naman Kohli claiming the National Barista Championship in Bengaluru on Friday.

    Naman Kohli claiming the National Barista Championship in Bengaluru on Friday.

    A lot can happen over coffee and a 22-year-old Noida-based barista proved this as he brewed history on Friday. Cafe Coffee Day, Noida’s barista Naman Kohli became the youngest winner in the two-year history of the National Barista Championship, the finals of which were held here on Friday.

    Naman’s signature brew ‘Pixel’, named after his pet dog, proved to be a gustatory delight, not only for the judges, but also veteran barista and World Barista Championship winner Vikram Khurana, who said, “The Pixel brew was nothing short of the magical brews of Rome and Milan, and could very well win the World Championship.”

    Naman’s joys were compounded when Anil Kumar, Vice-Chairman, Coffee Board of India, announced that for the first time, the winner would be sent abroad to represent the country in the World Barista Championship. “I finally need to get a passport made,” said an ecstatic Naman.

    The national championship commenced with the first round being held in New Delhi and Bengaluru, in which 12 of more than 55 baristas from the north and south regions were shortlisted to go neck-to-neck in the final round in the city. Each barista was given 15 minutes to brew four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature brews of their choice.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Staff Reporter / Bengaluru – February 28th, 2015

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    February 27th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    ArjunMathurKF27feb2015

    Mumbai:

    A cup of coffee holds a lot of promise they say, but for Arjun Mathur, Coorg’s coffee plantations seem to be the key. The actor who was last seen in FIREFLIES AND ANKUR ARORA MURDER CASE, will finally be getting his chance to romance.

    The actor who has left an impact with films like MY NAME IS KHAN, LUCK BY CHANCE, I AM AND BARAH AANA will be now venturing into the genre that all hindi heroes are meant to specialize in, romance!

    The film is aptly titled COFFEE BLOOM, and will talk about romance blooming around the coffee plantations of Coorg, where the protagonist of the film, Mathur, has his past, present and future coming together in a romantic mesh. It sure looks like a cup of coffee that everyone would like to sip!

    source: http://www.bollywooddhamaka.in / Bollywood Dhamaka.in / Home> Bollywood Dhamaka / by Abhi Kapoor / February 26th, 2015

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    February 27th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, Coffee News

    Chennai :

    As the property earns a rental of 65 per sq ft per month, the annual returns on investment for Tata Coffee will be 10.8%, higher than the industry average of 10% returns for Grade A commercial space.

    Sivasankaran is now under bankruptcy protection by an order of the Seychelles Supreme Court. Andhra Bank took possession of property after Siva Industries defaulted payment of Rs 42.7 crore loans.

    “The company has invested in a commercial property consisting of four floors of office space in MRC Nagar in Chennai for a consideration of approximately Rs 65 crore through public auction,” Tata Coffee said. Sivasankaran could not be reached for comments.

    Sivasankaran’s financial problems began when he was supposedly coerced into selling Aircel to Maxis by former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran. His re-entry into the telecom sector through S Tel, and his investments in renewable energy and shipping backfired.

    The serial entrepreneur applied for bankruptcy protection in a Seychelles court to ward off a claim by his Bahrain-based telecom partner Batelco, which won a court decree for its $212million claim on its investment in S Tel, for which Sivasankaran had stood personal guarantee. S Tel’s telecom licences in India were cancelled along with 121 other licences by the Supreme Court in the 2G case.

    Since then, entities that were part of Siva Group have started selling or monetizing the group’s assets. His group headquarters–Sterling Towers on Anna Salai-has been sold.

    Last month, Sivasankaran, agreed to sell Firhaven Estate, his 1.9 lakh sqft residence in MRC Nagar, to unknown buyers for nearly Rs 400 crore.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Business> India Business / TNN / February 27th, 2015

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    Rudresh Mahanthappa / Jimmy Katz

    Rudresh Mahanthappa / Jimmy Katz

    Like so many of today’s most interesting jazz musicians, the saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa regularly creates disparate contexts, hybrids, and concepts to develop new music. The son of Indian immigrants, he’s explored the music of the subcontinent in multiple environments: some have been explicit, such as the remarkable 2008 album Kinsmen (Pi), where he collaborated with the Indian classical-music saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath; others have been more subtle and integrated, such as the 2006 duets collection Raw Materials (Savoy) he made with pianist and fellow Indian-American Vijay Iyer. On other records he’s developed his compositions around cryptology and number theory (Codebook [Pi]), while yet another celebrated one of his mentors and musical heroes—the saxophonist Bunky Green.

    His latest album is an homage to another key influence—Charlie Parker—but it’s also a rigorous compositional exercise wherein Mahanthappa isolates specific DNA from some of Bird’s most important compositions and solos to create new tunes that are, in most cases, utterly unrecognizable. Bird Calls (Act) is clever and consistently entertaining—it’s fun to tease out his conceptual acrobatics. His piece “Maybe Later” retains the rhythmic patterns of Parker’s definitive solo on “Now’s the Time” but totally changes the notes, while “Both Hands” rejiggers the melody line of Bird’s “Dexterity” by removing all of its rests, which transforms the tune into a breakneck tangle. Jazz has a long tradition of musicians writing new tunes based on the chord changes of standards, and Mahanthappa indulges in this practice only once: the lovely ballad “Sure Why Not?,” which is derived from both “Confirmation” and “Barbados,” songs that moved at much swifter tempos. The most explicit Parker quote comes on “Talin is Thinking,” which nabs a seven-note phrase from the melody of “Parker’s Mood.”

    In his liner notes Mahanthappa explains his desire to pay tribute to Parker with predictable readings of his repertoire. “Imitating Parker is of no consequence to forwarding this form, but developing new perspectives upon tradition is the substance of contemporary expression,” he writes. Instead, the Mahanthappa demonstrates the lessons of the bebop patriarch through a transformation of ideas into something modern.

    Ultimately, however, Mahanthappa’s exercises probably benefit him and his excellent bandmates more than the average listener, because Bird Calls stands easily on its own, without any knowledge of its conceptual underpinnings. He’s joined by his longtime bassist François Moutin, the pianist Matt Mitchell (a valuable collaborator of Tim Berne’s and Dave Douglas’s), drummer Rudy Royston (Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas), and the dazzling 20-year-old trumpeter Adam O’Farrill (son of pianist Arturo O’Farrill), and they engage fully with the compositions by matching the leader’s fire at every turn. Both on a series of five short pieces (“Bird Calls”) and the brainy reinventions, the band seizes on the opportunities offered by Mahanthappa’s flinty, jagged, multivalent writing. “Bird Calls #5,” for example, is a beautifully lyric, wandering solo from Mitchell, while “Bird Calls #3” is a fiercely slaloming alto solo by the leader.

    Below you can hear the track “Chillin'”—a piece based on “Relaxin’ at Camarillo”—where fragments of the original are woven into the new piece (with a request from the composer to intersperse ideas from the Parker tune into individual improvisations as well).

    http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2015/02/13/saxophonist-rudresh-mahanthappa-pays-homage-to-charlie-parker-his-way

    source:http://www.chicagoreader.com / The Chicago Reader – The Bleeder / Home> – Music – Post No Bills / by Peter Margasak / February 13th, 2015

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    February 26th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    New Delhi :

    Sonia Gandhi today congratulated L K Advani on his 50th wedding anniversary, saying it was also a “special day” for her as it was on this day 47 years ago that she got married to Rajiv Gandhi.

    “On the auspicious occasion of your 50th wedding anniversary, I send my warm felicitations to you and Mrs Kamala Advani. Over half-a-century you have enjoyed a close companionship, giving strength and support to each other through all life’s ups and downs and that is indeed a great blessing!” Gandhi said in a letter to the BJP veteran.

    NEW-LOOK ADVANIS: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and wife Kamala Advani in traditional Kodava attire in Kodagu (File Photo) / The Hindu

    NEW-LOOK ADVANIS: Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and wife Kamala Advani in traditional Kodava attire in Kodagu (File Photo) / The Hindu

    The Congress President wished the two “many more years together” in good health and happiness.

    “February 25 is also a special day for me — the day Rajiv and I got married, and this year would have been our 47th wedding anniversary,” she said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Politics / PTI / New Delhi – February 25th, 2015

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    The last bastion of the all-female club is broken as photographer Sharvee Chaturvedi zooms her lens on Bollywood’s first all-male pin-up calendar! She’s got the girlie eyeballs rolling.

    Varun Sharma (L), Gulshan Deviah

    Varun Sharma (L), Gulshan Deviah

    Photographer Chaturvedi’s lens has captured actors playing out different in front of a still camera for the sea dot. The lenswoman brings to life actor Varun Sharma’s inner child by keeping alive his playfulness whereas a topless Jitin Gulati tries to spot Arjuna’s eye. Actor Gulshan Deviah practises patience and waits in anticipation lying in a two-piece suit as television host Shiv Pandit balances his inner and outer voice. Twelve men, 12 months and 12 inner challenges that’s part of an actor’s life – that’s what Chaturvedi camera captures.

    NAKED EMOTIONS

    The visual stories frame a particular human emotion that’s part and parcel of a man’s struggle in La la Land. Says Chaturvedi,”The idea was to create stories involving human emotions and spirituality. Men, too, have their demons to deal with, and the sad part is that they do not talk about issues bothering them or bogging them down. At the end of the day, we all want to be accepted. I wanted to see men beyond the prism of gender and capture their self strength.”

    The idea of masculinity may have not changed all that much despite the giant strides in the last few decades, but looking at these actors playing out their inner desires, anxieties, sadness and demons, you get to see a side to them that’s not been exposed to the world before. These men are far more comfortable in their own skin. They may not be naked or in a swimsuit on the beach, but you cannot miss the naked emotions running through their faces and body language. Adds Chaturvedi, “The men I shot with didn’t for once focus or talk about a woman shooting them. The focus was on creating something worthwhile.” The idea was to break a barrier as a photographer, which women directors, writers, cinematographers have been doing over the past few years.

    It’s been a while since the glamour industry woke up to the potential of a man’s body. What’s a movie today without the chatter and gossip of a superstar’s abs? The trials and tribulations of the mind in the glittery and ephemeral nature of B-town have for long been ignored, or not talked about enough. Chaturvedi’s calendar has now made them a talking point.

    MALE PIN-UPS ACROSS THE WORLD

    There’s a rise in male pin-up calendars all over the world.

    Celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz shot his 2015 calendar – ‘Hunks and Hounds’, featuring topless men with their dogs. To entice women to buy the calendar, he also disclosed the men in the calendar were all single! Last year, English TV presenter Mark Wright went shirtless to show off his impressive physique as he posed for a calendar in his underwear.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home / by Nona Walia, TNN / February 15th, 2015

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    India’s coffee exports have declined 20% since the beginning of 2015 as high prices have made shipments uncompetitive in the global market.

    The Arabica coffee shipments plummeted by as much as 50%, pulling down the overall coffee exports of India.

    Widespread rains in the largest Arabica-producing nation Brazil have led to a 14% decline in global Arabica prices in the past two months.

    The May futures at ICE New York closed at $1.48 per pound on Monday , down 3% from the previous close.

    “At the current domestic prices, the exports are not viable. Arabica from Brazil and other origins is much cheaper,” said MP Devaiah, general manager of Allanasons, a major exporter.

    The raw coffee prices of Arabi ca parchment in India are about . 10,300 per 50 kg.` Between January 1 and February 23, the Arabica parchment exports fell to 6,617 tonne, down by as much as 50% compared to the year-ago period. The Robusta cherry , which accounts for a major share of coffee exports from India, fell 15% to 16,012 tonne during the period of January-February .

    CoffeeCupKF25feb2015

    According to local growers, the Arabica crop has been lower than expected due to poor weather conditions and the attack of white stem borer pest. “The harvest is over and the output should be between 55,000 and 60,000 tonne,” said K Kurian, chairman of Karnataka Planters’ Association.

    The growers earlier predicted 65,000 to 70,000 tonne of Arabica while the estimate of Coffee Board was much higher at 1,05,000 tonne.

    But exporters said the drop in production is not as much as it is made out to be.

    “The growers are holding the stock in anticipation of better prices. As a result, exporters are unable to enter new commitments,” said Ramesh Rajah, president of Coffee Exporters’ Association of India.

    However, he added since the Robusta crop is predicted to be good, the current decline in exports could be made good in the next quarter.

    Coffee Board’s forecast for Robusta is 2.39 lakh tonne and the growers’ estimate is only slightly less.

    The production in Vietnam, the top producer of Robusta, is expected to be around 29 million bags (each bag of 60 kg), slightly lower than in the previous year.Therefore, Vietnam may not be able to lower the prices of what it has to offer globally.

    source: http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / ET Home> Industry> Cons. Products> Food / by KrishnaKumar PK / TNN / February 25th, 2015

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    RobinKF24feb2015

    His fitness routine can put anyone to shame and his penchant for ice cream and baked goodies can make your jaws drop in surprise

    At 21 he was part of the World Cup winning team. He felt invincible. He possessed a winner’s technical precision. The rest didn’t matter. Including a deliberate fitness regimen. That’s where Robin Uthappa faltered. He became a victim of a series of failures with the willow and worst — battle of bulge. At 26, his weight ballooned to 96 kilos. The fall from grace — from a swashbuckling Indian batsman to a domestic cricketer — was instant. But Uthappa had much to offer. Understandably, the downward slide was hard to handle — he became moody and impatient.
    But after an intervention Uthappa got onto the straight and narrow. “I became aware of the importance of a nutritionist in my career and the need to battle my issues with weight. It’s been three years hence and I have followed a constant routine with utmost discipline,” he says.
    Hard work pays. Uthappa has found his mojo again —cracked many a tons, lifted the desirable Ranji Trophy (his childhood dream), scored highest runs in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and is in top form ahead of the knockout stage this Ranji season. He shares his secrets and daily routine which has helped him fall in love with the game all over again.

    Meal plan
    Breakfast: I have fruits for breakfast — mostly a combo of pineapples and papayas and sometimes only water melons. If I am still hungry after a bowl of fruits then I make myself an omelette. I also have a mug of black coffee without sugar.

    Snack: At about 11 am, I have a handful of dry fruits and in the evening at about 5 or 5:30 pm I have fresh fruit juice, dry fruits with a multigrain sandwich.

    Lunch: Between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm I eat fresh veggie salad. I get my protein fix through chicken, fish or beef and carbs through chapatis, rice or pasta (Olio pasta tossed in olive oil, without any sauce).

    Dinner: It is usually at 7.30 pm and consists of veggies again, chicken/fish and my favourite arugula, which is rich in iron. In case I feel hungry later in the night, then I have a bowl of curds or carrots and cucumber.

    Cheat meal
    Once a week I eat what I am craving for at that moment — it could be pizzas, biryani or hot chocolate fudge.

    Pantry Secret
    At times, I bake my own version of healthy brownie (with not much sugar) and binge on it.


    Guilty pleasures

    Ice creams and chocolates. I also absolutely love Joy ice cream’s mango and raspberry flavour ice candy. Every time I play in Mysore, I ensure I have Joy ice cream since their factory is there. If I am struck by an ice-cream craving when in Mumbai (or any other place) I hold on to it till I reach Bengaluru. Once I am here, I head to Corner House to have my favourite ice cream — brownie fudge or the classic hot chocolate fudge.

    Skin splurges
    I go to the spa regularly and get clean-ups and facials done. Since we play a lot in the sun, I face a massive challenge dealing with sun tan/ sun burn. I alternate between two sun protection creams, La Shield and Lotus sun protection, everyday.

    Tricks of the trade
    Small meals every couple of hours. That’s been my mantra for the past three years. This helps me sustain good metabolism. I also get a blood test done every six months to see where I stand in terms of physical fitness.


    De-stress strategies

    I watch movies, read non-fiction books or listen to music. If this doesn’t help in distressing, then I go on long drives in the middle of the night. When I am in Mumbai I drive my BMW and if I am in Bengaluru then I borrow or steal my friend Sheetal Goutham’s Honda Amaze.

    In the fridge
    You will find fresh fruits, cold water and milk at all times.

    Advice
    Stay healthy, train right and eat right. If you are already doing this then please credit yourself with a cheat meal once every week.

    Down time
    Off late it’s been baking!

    Secret weapon
    My discipline.

    Drink menu
    I have protein shakes before and after each of my training schedule. I also have something called the Casein at night which helps in slow-releasing of proteins and recovery of muscles from wear and tear through the night.

    Fitness
    I train two hours, five days a week, focusing on endurance and speed since my game demands it. In the last few years, I have cultivated a routine which I follow before warming up or batting in the nets. These are technique-related drills which are very important for me and works for me. Nothing in the world can stop me from following this routine.

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Columns> You / by Nandini Kumar, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / February 15th, 2015

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    Orders stoppage of tree-felling until MoEF approval

    Protestors against the illegal felling of more than 50,000 trees in Kodagu for the sake of a power transmission line have a reason to smile. Ahead of their hearing by the Karnataka High Court, the National Green Tribunal’s order on Friday in a separate case seems to have revived their hopes of protecting the trees.

    Order on activist’s PIL

    The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Friday, ordered all agencies to refrain from felling trees while executing linear projects in forest areas, unless an approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 was obtained. The NGT ruling was a response to a petition filed by Maharashtra-based activist Milind Pariwakam who objected to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)’s project of widening of NH-6 and NH-7 in the Vidarbha region. This would involve felling trees and diverting forest land through the fragile Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. The NGT ruling is likely to have a nationwide impact in preventing diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes.

    The NGT clearly stated that all linear projects like railway lines, development of roads, canals and laying of transmission lines through forests must obtain permission from the MoEF under FCA -1980. Although the Chennai Bench of NGT had refused to stall the project last year, activists hope that the latest order will have an impact.

    Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Sajan Aiyappa, coordinator of the Save Cauvery Campaign, said, “Previously, when we approached the NGT’s Southern Bench, it had dismissed the petition on technical grounds and so we approached the High Court. The case has been posted for hearing on Monday. However, we welcome the order by the NGT in Maharashtra. We hope that the order will force authorities to take note of the seriousness of the issue and safeguard the fragile eco-system of Kodagu.”

    The activists clarified that they were not against the project, but only concerned about the felling of 50,000 trees which would have a catastrophic impact on the rainfall of Kodagu. This, they say, would adversely affect the flow of water to the Cauvery and in turn affect the availability of potable water in Mysuru and Bengaluru.


    Felling continues

    “Despite the case being posted for hearing before the High Court, the authorities, a few days ago, cleared many trees within the limits of coffee estates. We have submitted scientific reports on the variety of species of trees in plantation areas. The court must take note of this and help us in safeguarding the eco-system,” yet another activist said.

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Niranjan Kaggere, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / February 23rd, 2015

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