Kashmir has always been one of my favorite places to be in. I remember each and every sight and smell, each and every feeling of joy and awe that I have felt when I was there. Every time I have a glass of chilled water, it takes me back to the fresh stream water of Chashmeshahi. The snow capped mountains, the special Kashmiri style Aloo Pakodas, walking along the Dal Lake in the evening, going across to have a cup of coffee at the Nehru Cafe in the middle of Dal Lake in a shikara, everything.
Recently, when I had a cup of Kashmiri Kesar Kahwa at the Sattvik Food Festival in Ahmedabad, it transported me over to the chilly winters of Kashmir, amidst frozen lakes, and snow flakes, walnuts and apples, saffron and willows, safeda trees lining the roads, an eerie silence that could make one uncomfortable but is strangely calming and peaceful too. And the Kashmiri Kesar Kahva, with all its wonderful flavors, was my effort to keep warm, drawing some more warmth from the warmth of the cup.
The Kahva had a sweet saffron flavor, and the freshness of Kahwa. The Kahwa is a perfect blend of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and saffron with natural Kashmiri green tea. It energizes one, has a variety of health benefits, and is immensely rejuvenating, like the snows and trees of Kashmir.
The Kahwa has a lifted aroma of saffron and sweet spices, which give a pleasant warmth, making it a great beverage for the chilly winters, which Kashmir is known to have. The golden yellow color of the Kahwa is a scrumptious yellow, which is generally uncommon for a green tea. The flavors start off savory and woody, which are the typical characteristics of high-fired green tea. The flavors linger awhile on the palette, before going down and leaving me happy memories of the sights and smells that feel so real, so close.
It often makes me sad, as to how difficult things have been in Kashmir. The film Haider was a hair-raising movie for me, definitely one that left a big impact on me. Kashmir is a rare beauty to find in this world. I have traveled a lot, but I still haven’t encountered a place as beautiful as Kashmir. And the Kahwa took me back just to that.