The soulful blend of South Indian filter coffee, also known as kaapi or degree coffee, is more than just a morning beverage; it's a cultural institution, a cherished ritual deeply ingrained in the everyday life of South India. From Tamil Nadu to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, the rhythm of life starts with the brewing of this distinct coffee.
The morning routine in many South Indian households is incomplete without the aromatic trail of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the corridors. From starting the day with a piping hot tumbler of kaapi to enjoying a smaller, more potent variant, the evening 'meter coffee', this special brew has secured a place in the daily rhythm of life.
How is South Indian Filter Coffee Different from other Coffee?
What sets South Indian filter coffee apart is its unique preparation method and distinct taste. The beans, usually a mix of Arabica and Robusta, are medium or dark roasted and often mixed with chicory, a root that enhances the body and flavor of the coffee. The inclusion of chicory is a colonial legacy, but it has become a distinct characteristic of South Indian filter coffee, lending it a subtle sweetness and nutty undertones.
How to Brew South Indian Filter Coffee?
The traditional way of brewing South Indian Filter Coffee ( Decoction ) is using a Brass Filter. This is a slow percolation process. There are 2 other quick ways of brewing Filter Coffee Decoction. One is using Mokapot Filter and the other is Coffee Drip Bags.
How to Brew Coffee in Brass Filter?
Most part of South Indian homes brew coffee with traditional steel or brass filters. The filter comes with 2 parts ( upper and lower chamber ). A coffee decoction is prepared using hot water and coffee powder. The drip technique is used to brew coffee in a South Indian Traditional Filter.
The upper and lower chamber is assembled. The upper chamber is filled with coffee powder and hot water, whereas the lower chamber collects the coffee drip by drip.
The step-by-step process:
Step 1: Join/Assemble 2 parts ( Upper and Lower Chamber ) and prepare hot water. Place the upper chamber gently on the lower chamber and prepare hot water in a kettle.
Step 2: Add Coffee Powder to the Upper Chamber. Add around 5 - 6 tbsp of coffee powder into the upper chamber, and gently place the retainer by pressing the coffee even.
Step 3: Pour Hot Water. To brew the decoction, pour 250 ml of hot water into the Upper Chamber.
Step 4: Coffee Brewing. Drips of coffee decoction pour over the lower chamber. After 15 minutes around 160 ml of coffee decoction is accumulated.
Step 5: South Indian Coffee Preparation. A perfect cup of aromatic South Indian Filter Coffee is prepared using hot milk + decoction + sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar into a coffee cup, 1/4th of freshly brewed coffee decoction and 3/4th cup of hot milk.
Some coffee enthusiasts prefer a 'strong' cup, which involves a higher decoction-to-milk ratio and perhaps a dash of extra chicory. Others might opt for a 'medium' or 'light' brew, with less decoction and more milk.
Coffee ( Kaapi ) Pulling Process
The final step, a signature of South Indian filter coffee, is the 'pulling' process. The coffee is poured back and forth between two containers, creating a frothy layer on the top and mixing it well. This also helps bring the coffee to a palatable temperature. The pouring from a height is an art in itself and quite a spectacle to witness in local coffee houses where baristas often 'pull' the coffee from a meter's height - hence the name 'meter coffee'.
This strong, frothy coffee, typically served in a 'dabarah' (a wide metal saucer) and 'tumbler' (a tall metal cup), is more than just a caffeine kick. The ritual of sipping this hot brew, often accompanied by a newspaper or a light snack, is a cherished moment of tranquility amidst the hustle of life.
How to brew South Indian Filter Coffee using Mokapot?
For a busy individual who wants to an easy brew without compromising the filter coffee taste and flavour, Mokapot brewing is the right option.
Check this blog post to learn one of the quickest way to brew South Indian Filter Coffee: Mokapot Filter Coffee Brewing
How to Brew South Indian Filter Coffee using Coffee Drip Bags?
Coffee to rip, drip & sip. Just pour hot water & coffee is ready. An awesome filter coffee, easy and quick way to brew. Checkout our Aroma Pocket coffee drip bags here
In an age where the world is increasingly embracing gourmet and specialty coffees, South Indian filter coffee has found its place in the global landscape. Many international South Indian restaurants and coffee brands now cater to the growing interest in this unique coffee style.
Panduranga Coffee Global now caters its finest Filter coffee blends to Global coffee consumers in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada and UAE.
In conclusion, South Indian filter coffee stands apart from other coffees with its unique blend, brewing techniques, and deep cultural significance. Its distinct taste, achieved through the addition of chicory and the slow percolation process of the metal filter, sets it apart from other coffee varieties. The ritualistic brewing method and the traditional serving style in 'dabarah' and 'tumbler' reflect the cultural heritage and warmth associated with this beloved beverage. South Indian filter coffee is not just a drink; it represents a timeless tradition, a sensory journey, and a symbol of hospitality ingrained in the fabric of South Indian culture.