South Indian Filter Coffee

How To Make South Indian Filter Coffee At Home

Coffee connoisseurs, it’s time to kick start your day with the unique flavors of South Indian Filter Coffee! This rich, creamy, and frothy coffee has been an integral part of the South Indian breakfast for ages. Brought to you straight from the lush green plantations of the Deccan Plateau, this coffee serves more than just a morning kick. It’s a symphony of bold aromas and balanced flavors that invokes the soul of southern India.

Interesting Fact About South Indian Filter Coffee

Did you know that the unique taste of South Indian Filter Coffee is a result of a blend of coffee and chicory? That’s right- the traditional recipe includes a mixture of coffee, usually about 80-90%, and 10-20% of chicory. This innocuous-looking plant root enhances the coffee’s body, creating that mesmerizing froth while adding a subdued, slightly woody flavor, creating an altogether different coffee symphony.

Essential Equipment for Making South Indian Filter Coffee

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s ensure you’re well-equipped with the essential tools. The beauty of South Indian Filter Coffee, also known as Kaapi, lies in its traditional preparation method. While you can substitute some tools, using authentic equipment will certainly elevate your coffee-making experience.

List of Essential Equipment:

  • South Indian Coffee Filter: This is a two-part device made of stainless steel. The top part has perforations to allow the coffee to drip down into the bottom part.
  • Coffee Beans: Traditionally, a blend of 80% arabica and robusta coffee beans and 20% chicory is used. However, you can adjust the ratio according to your taste.
  • Coffee Grinder: A coffee grinder is necessary to achieve the perfect consistency. The coffee beans should be ground to a medium-fine consistency, slightly coarser than espresso but finer than drip coffee.
  • Milk Frother: To get the frothy layer on top of the coffee, you’ll need a milk frother. If you don’t have one, you can use a traditional Indian method: pour the coffee between two vessels from a height to create froth.
  • Sauce Pan: A small saucepan is required to heat the milk.
  • Traditional Dabarah and Tumbler: These are traditional Indian utensils used to serve filter coffee. The Dabarah is a wide metal saucer with lipped walls, and the Tumbler is a cylindrical metal cup. Coffee is traditionally served frothy, hot, and sweet in these utensils.

Now that we’ve gathered all our equipment, let’s move on to the exciting part – brewing the perfect cup of South Indian Filter Coffee!

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Make South Indian Filter Coffee at Home

South Indian Filter Coffee, also known as Kaapi, is a traditional, robust coffee with a unique brewing process. Its rich taste and aromatic essence have garnered a widespread fan base. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you brew this delightful coffee at home.


  • South Indian Filter Coffee Powder – 3 tablespoons
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1.5 cups
  • Sugar – to taste

Equipments Needed

  • South Indian Coffee Filter
  • Saucepan
  • Coffee Tumbler and Dabarah (traditional South Indian coffee cup and saucer)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Begin by adding the coffee powder into the upper compartment of the South Indian coffee filter. Press the powder down using the presser.
  2. Heat the water until it reaches boiling point. Then, slowly pour the boiling water over the coffee powder in the filter. Cover the filter and let it sit undisturbed for 15-20 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the coffee to brew, boil the milk in a saucepan. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer.
  4. After 15-20 minutes, the decoction or coffee concentrate should have collected in the lower compartment of the filter. Mix the desired amount of this decoction with the hot milk in the saucepan.
  5. Add sugar as per your taste and stir well until it dissolves completely.
  6. Now comes the fun part, the ‘meter coffee’ technique. Pour the coffee from the saucepan into the tumbler, then pour it back into the saucepan from a height. Repeat this process a few times. This technique gives the coffee its characteristic frothy layer.
  7. Finally, pour the frothy South Indian filter coffee into the Dabarah and serve piping hot. Enjoy the rich and robust flavor of your homemade South Indian filter coffee!

With these detailed steps, you can easily brew your own South Indian filter coffee at home. It’s a simple yet rewarding process that brings a piece of South India into your kitchen. So go ahead, give it a try and dive into the world of traditional Indian coffee brewing.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is South Indian Filter Coffee?

South Indian Filter Coffee, often referred to as ‘kaapi’, is a traditional Indian coffee brew, highly cherished for its rich aroma and distinctive taste. This coffee is made from a blend of coffee beans and chicory, brewed in a special metal device called a ‘coffee filter’.

2. How can I make South Indian Filter Coffee at home?

Creating your own South Indian Filter Coffee is an immersive experience. Begin with procuring a high-quality blend of coffee and chicory. Next, you’ll need a traditional Indian coffee filter. Brew the coffee in the filter, mix with hot milk and sweeten with sugar as per your preference. The key is to create a frothy, aromatic blend that stimulates your senses.

3. What type of coffee beans are used in South Indian Filter Coffee?

South Indian Filter Coffee typically uses a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. However, what truly sets it apart is the addition of chicory. The optimal ratio is often considered to be 85% coffee and 15% chicory, but you can adjust this to suit your personal taste.

4. Why is chicory added to South Indian Filter Coffee?

The addition of chicory to the coffee enhances the robustness of the brew. It lends a caramel-like sweetness and depth to the coffee, which balances the intensity of the coffee beans, resulting in a unique, full-bodied flavor.

5. Can I use a regular coffee maker to brew South Indian Filter Coffee?

While you can use a regular coffee maker, a traditional Indian coffee filter is recommended for the authentic taste. The coffee filter allows for a slow-drip brewing process which extracts the deep, rich flavors of the coffee-chicory blend.

6. How do I serve South Indian Filter Coffee?

South Indian Filter Coffee is traditionally served in a ‘dabarah’ and ‘tumbler’. The coffee is repeatedly poured from the dabarah to the tumbler to create a frothy consistency. However, if you do not have these, any cup and saucer can be used.

7. Where can I buy a South Indian coffee filter?

South Indian coffee filters are available in Indian grocery stores, both online and offline. You can also find them on global e-commerce platforms like Amazon.

8. What is the best time to enjoy South Indian Filter Coffee?

There’s no ‘best’ time to enjoy this delightful brew. Whether you prefer sipping on it first thing in the morning or as an evening pick-me-up, South Indian Filter Coffee is perfect for every coffee-lover’s schedule.

In Conclusion

Mastering the art of making South Indian Filter Coffee at home is not only rewarding, but can also elevate your ordinary mornings to extraordinary ones. It’s all about finding that perfect blend, practicing the right technique, and of course, expressing your love for coffee through the process.

We’ve divulged the secrets of this traditionally rich coffee brew from South India in the hopes that it will bring you as much joy as it brings us. Now, it’s your turn to indulge in this deliciously enchanting journey of flavors.

At Ten Coffees, we’re passionate about all things coffee and we’re keen to hear about your experience. Did you exercise your brewing skills already? Was the aroma as intoxicating as we promised? Do drop us a comment and share your coffee tale with our community.

We’re all ears, anticipating your brewing stories so don’t hesitate to connect with us. Let’s keep the conversation brewing!

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