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South Indian Filter Coffee

Get the details on equipment, method and video on how to make your cup of filter coffee, because everyone loves a tumbler of piping hot, aromatic and strong filter coffee!
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 2 mins
Course drink
Cuisine south indian
Servings 1 cup


  • 3 tbsps coffee beans medium ground ( powder)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • In the traditional coffee filter, fix the upper compartment on the lower. Add the coffee powder to the upper compartment and with the umbrella attachment, press down the powder firmly. Cover this with the umbrella attachment.
  • Bring the water to a boil and pour boiling hot water over the umbrella in the upper compartment, until water level nearly reaches the brim.
  • Keep this covered for 3-4 hours until thick coffee decoction collects in the bottom compartment.
  • To prepare coffee, bring milk to a boil. Mix 4-5 tbsp coffee decoction with 3/4 cup milk, adjusting as per the strength of coffee desired. Mix in sugar if required. To get a frothy top, use a steel davara-tumbler, and transfer the coffee 3-4 times between the two, until the coffee gets frothy.
  • Serve in the tumbler set inside a davara to serve it the traditional way!


In my opinion, filter kaapi must be drunk in a traditional tumbler-davaraa, and the coffee swished a couple of times between the two to produce delicious foam (norai) on the top. I don't think my mom-in-law approves of this though. The disadvantage being the coffee getting cold while swishing it around ;) It is called Meter-Kaapi in some Udupi hotels as the coffee is poured into the glass from a meter's height to produce maximum foam.
This is a description of how the coffee is made at my in-laws' place, and it makes a terrific cup of coffee.
You can also try the instant electric coffee percolators or the stove top coffee maker, which give you the decoction fairly quickly and you don't have to wait for long to get your hands around that perfect tumbler of filter kaapi
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Watch me make Filter Kaapi in my kitchen :)
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Some of the equipment you can use to prepare a good coffee decoction:
Traditional South Indian Coffee Filter
Electric Coffee Maker
Stove top espresso maker