Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Indian Filter Coffee

Indian filter coffee is a coffee drink made by mixing boiled milk with the decoction obtained by brewing finely ground coffee powder in a traditional Indian filter. The drink is also known as kaapi, which is the South Indian phonetic rendering of coffee. The drink is also referred to as Kumbakonam degree coffee, Mylapore filter coffee, or Madras kaapi. 

Apart from the ingredients used, this coffee is made using a traditional metal device that resembles two cylindrical cups, one of which has a pierced bottom that nests into the top of the tumbler cup, leaving ample room underneath to receive the brewed coffee. The upper cup has two removable parts: a pierced pressing disc with a central stem handle and a covering lid.

The upper cup is loaded with freshly ground coffee. The grounds are then compressed with the stemmed disc into a uniform layer across the cup's pierced bottom. With the press disc left in place, the upper cup is nested into the top of the tumbler and boiling water is poured inside. The lid is placed on top, and the device is left to slowly drip the brewed coffee into the bottom. The chicory holds on to the hot water a little longer, letting the water dissolve and extract more of the coffee grinds. The resulting brew is generally much stronger than Western drip/filter coffee, and often stronger than even espresso. 
To make this coffee, I was so happy to use my brand new Gooseneck Kettle to heat the milk as well as water. I was sent this stainless steel kettle by Willow and Everett. I am so impressed by it! Made from great quality material, this 40 oz kettle is really great to boil water, tea or coffee. It comes with a sturdy handle and the gooseneck is perfect to avoid dripping any liquid from the kettle. The cap comes with a few holes, to let out steam and identify that the water has boiled. If you want one too, get yours here

Traditionally, the coffee is consumed by adding 1–2 tablespoons of the brew to a cup of boiling milk with the preferred amount of sugar. The coffee is drunk from the tumbler but is often cooled first with a dabarah, a wide metal saucer with lipped walls. Coffee is typically served after pouring back and forth between the dabara and the tumbler in huge arc-like motions of the hand. This serves several purposes: mixing the ingredients (including sugar) thoroughly; cooling the hot coffee down to a sipping temperature; and most importantly, aerating the mix without introducing extra water. An anecdote related to the distance between the pouring and receiving cup leads to another name for the drink, Meter Coffee.


Ground Indian Coffee Powder 1 tbsp
Boiling Water 1/4 cup
Milk 2 cups
Sugar to taste


To make authentic Indian style coffee, use a steel or brass four part coffee filter. Place the lower container on the kitchen counter, place the perforated chamber on it. Then, add ground coffee powder to the perforated chamber. Press it down using the pressing stem.

Heat water in a kettle and pour it over the powder and stem. Close the lid immediately and let the flavor steep for for 10-12 minutes, till the decoction reaches the bottom container. 

Add sugar in the individual glass/mugs. Divide the coffee decoction into the two glasses. Heat milk, and pour it over the coffee. To mix, pour the coffee from the glass to the bowl below and back to the glass. Enjoy the coffee Indian style!

**One or more products in this post were sent to me complimentary for review purposes. However, all the opinions are unbiased and completely my own.

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