“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons”, says Nagpur based Mithilesh Vazalwar, Creative Head and founder of Corridor Seven. This young 30 something is a National level badminton player and coffee has been his passion since childhood. He reminisces that his love affair with coffee began in the corridors of his school and hence he thought of its namesake-Corridor Seven. Situated right in the thick of buzzing Sitabuldi, this place was initially conceptualized as essentially a roastery but had to be developed into a full-fledged café it is today purely because of the love and support from the people of Nagpur. He says “the youth of Nagpur vis a vis their understanding of coffee has surprised and shocked me in a very good way”. Who knew that a 16 hour stint albeit an intense one in Melbourne, (the coffee capital of the world) would veer this finance guy into the coffee bean direction.
Mithilesh makes a very interesting observation. He says that 45% of the customers of Nagpur prefer their coffee without milk and sugar and that’s exactly how a coffee should be experienced first-hand. He works closely with India’s finest coffee estates, buys the highest quality coffee beans and scientifically brews the best coffee you have ever tasted. He is an avid advocate of the Third Wave of Coffee, which is a movement to manufacture the highest quality coffee. Third Wave aspires to be the finest form of culinary appreciation of coffee and the drinkers can appreciate the subtleties of aroma, flavour, acidity, balance etc.
At Corridor Seven, Mithilesh has a passionate and dedicated team which shares the same zeal and enthusiasm as him. One such team member is Karan Morey, who left a lucrative career in the IT sector and followed his heart and joined Corridor Seven in November 2017. Karan is affectionately known as the “Brewing Ninja” of Nagpur.
The first of its kind, Corridor Seven, a roastery combined with a coffee shop, Mithilesh says that the response from the people of Nagpur has been overwhelming. Based on the city’s outstanding response, he came up with the concept of “Coffee Cocktails”, which is…yes! You guessed it right- liquor based coffee. This brain child of Mithilesh is organized and held in Corridor Seven and every year the turnout has been only increasing. He adds that, “we don’t have a sprawling space but we do end up accommodating close to 750 people at one time during the Coffee Cocktails. Crazy but true! “Balls of Madness” was one such invention by him on last year’s menu and it sold like hot cakes. “Balls of Madness” is an exciting twist to your white Bengali rasgullas, marinated in a concoction of liquor for around 14-16 hours and to be popped straight into your mouth.
As much as Corridor Seven loves hosting and educating its customers on coffee, its varied tastes and brewing techniques, its major focus still remains roasting. Mithilesh calls his café an “experience centre” wherein they want to target the real customers and inform them about coffee and cultivate this shared love together. He also has his focus on championships being held around the world, which would only catapult him further into this direction.
Corridor Seven has spent zero INR on marketing and publicity and Mithilesh believes that their brilliant coffee and the splendid experience would speak for itself. The café hours are from 3 PM till 11 PM but they continue to brew until their last customer steps in. He however, adds that Sitabuldi,is a place which is pulsating with jostling crowd in the day time and people do feel the parking becomes an issue. But after 8PM, is when the traffic eases out and the streets are relatively clearer and that’s when you can enjoy Corridor Seven the most.
Corridor Seven is hosting a fundraiser called “Brewing for Renewing” to raise funds for the special needs kids on March 9 and 10th . They firmly believe that “everybody deserves a childhood” and this initiative is a step closer to that. The venue for this fundraiser is Shivaji Ground, near Ram Nagar Square. Ask him what would be the best thing to order in the scorching Nagpur summer days and pat comes the reply, Corridor Seven’s very own “Sparkling Cold Brew”!Brew-cheers to that!