South Indian Filter Coffee


South Indian Filter coffee is made by mixing boiled milk with coffee brewed using the traditional South Indian filter, a four-part metal contraption resembling two cylindrical cups.

The upper cup has two removable parts: a pierced pressing disc with a central stem handle and a covering lid. This sits on top of the lower cup which collects the brewed coffee or Kaapi, the South Indian phonetic rendering of “coffee”. Other popular names include Madras filter coffee, Madras kaapi, Kumbakonam degree kaapi, Mylapore filter coffee, or Mysore filter coffee. However, outside of India, the term filter coffee refers to drip brew coffee, yet another brewing method.

Step 1
Bring 350g(ml) of water to a boil.

Step 2
Add two heaped tablespoons of finely ground coffee into the upper chamber of the coffee filter

Step 3
Use the pressing disc to ‘tamp’ or evenly distribute the coffee. Do this gently, and leave the disc in

Step 4
Place the upper chamber over the lower chamber, and add boiling water to the upper chamber slowly and evenly, until it reaches the brim.

Step 5
Place the lid. Pause and let the coffee steep for 15 minutes.

Step 6
While the coffee is still steeping, bring milk to a boil on the hob.

Step 7
Pour 2 tablespoons of brewed coffee into the dabarah, and top up with a generous amount of milk. Add sugar to taste.

Step 8
Pour the mixture back and forth between the tumbler and dabarah to create a light, delicious foam (norai) on top. In some places, this coffee is called Metre-Kaapi as the coffee is poured into the tumbler from a metre’s height to create maximum foam and visual impact.

Step 9
Serve in the tumbler, placed within the dabarah. A bit like a cup and saucer.