Friday, August 30, 2013

Adventures in Building Rasa-Caffe ( Part -2

This is a picture of me talking to the Berkeley Zoning department guy 
     about the proper permits for the space that Rasa-Caffe will occupy.
                     For every question I asked, he asked two questions in return. This dude could speed type and look up at me same time! I then realized he may be on edge because of my friend boldly taking pictures!
I asked her later why she couldn't pretend to check messages on her phone and snap shots?
Her reply was "You wanted pictures Right"?!

After dealing with  the zoning depart, we went up to the second floor the Building Department.
It took a while to find the exact section of blue print which displayed the store front due to the technical print. When I finally did  find the our square footage space I just paused " like wow"! "that's the spot"! " My dream its coming true"!
Of-course later we took some blue print (espionage!) shots before we left!

 This is series of picture that show the spice set up of a local Berkeley Indian store called Millan. This store carries spices for our chai in bulk and is one of the main reason I like to go there! I usually pick and choose what I need depending on the freshness and what i am making.  I also like to joke with guys who work there. the other day I asked "You guys don't have cashews in bulk"? The main store attendant said "Its here,.. $6.99 ( for 8oz ). I then said " What about a deal'? He says " How many pounds you want"? " I give you special price"! I told him that I only needed a handful of cashews for some upma ( indian spiced breakfast dish) and he offered me the $6.99 bag for $5.99( good deal). I still didn't buy the cashews(LOL)...

                                             This is the other side of the bulk spice display

This is a picture of some organic ginger for Chai  from the Berkeley bowl. It was quality fresh  ginger with fine density and pale yellow color. The flavor is of clean root with the pungent expectation and the taste of peppery heat.

              AH.... fresh lemongrass. It has a great sweet citrus like character and adds great texture to Chai                                                            

The hands of time! I believe Also in supporting other local spice shops such as Oak town spices 
( right around lake merrit )  I really like that they source quality spice and hold them in small batches. 
These guys carry a Vietnamese cinnamon that is spicy hot sweet and fresh ( kinda like a red hot candy). I also like there coriander which has a earthy lemon citrus aroma. lastly, there star anise is very dynamic rich sweet earthy aroma.

               Here is a picture of Chai  served in a small glass the same as on the streets and villages in                      India. I remember drinking it in small town called Ganeshpuri which is an 1 ½                                              Outside of Mumbai ( Bombay). From my resting spot, I would walk with my friends to the old mans chai shop. We would  say " Tin (three) chai please"! He would Smile at us and turn on hi s stove top. The chai man would always like us kids to gather round his brew pot and closely watch his  preparation method. As the  buffalo milk boiled up, we would inhale the of sweet cream and  spice! The chai was excellent and I      believe the experience may have  made it that much better!

                                A special thanks for this picture ! Actually my  logo would not print for them however,                                                           they did a great job improvising.
                                  Smile! Left to right: Susie Cobb, Chloe Dechelle, and Nat Quraishi.

Thank you 


  1. So happy to see progress one step at the time!

  2. HI Rasa,
    I am so happy about your new cafe. I have been waiting for you to do this. Too bad it's not in our hood but I'm still overjoyed about it. Deep blessings. Love, Joan Rochlin

  3. Just came across this. I live in the Neighborhood. Excited to see you open!