A North-Indian makes Filter Kaapi #MyFriendAlexa

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I am a Tea loyalist. I start my day with a cup of strong Chai.

My Husband loves waking up to a tumbler of Coffee though. Freshly brewed Filter Kaapi, no less.

After we got married The Husband taught me to make filter kaapi, just as he likes it. Ever since then I make him his morning coffee, just how he taught me to.

When we have guests at home and ask them what beverage they would like, one look at me and they ask for Tea, ‘Filter Kaapi is not her forte’, is the silent assumption writ large on their faces.

My husband always forces suggests coffee. Then I make it. And serve it, traditionally in a Davara Set (A steel glass and katori set).

The sight and fragrance of the coffee sends a surprised look my way and one sip and words like,

Best kaapi we’ve had…’

Better than Saravana Bhavan…’ flow out generously.

I forgot to mention, I am a North Indian, born and brought up in Bombay and my Husband (and mostly all guests) are South Indian. I also make great filter coffee. No, I don’t say the latter, people who drink my coffee do.

Before I met my husband, Nescafe Instant was the best coffee I had tasted. Like me, many who haven’t tasted the bliss of filter kaapi think the same too.



Making the perfect filter kaapi is an art, ask any coffee purist. Click To Tweet

A lot of my, fellow North Indian, friends and family have turned into coffee lovers after tasting Filter Kaapi when they visit me. Coffee Filters and Davara Sets are the most asked for gifts now.

However, most do not get the coffee making process right, so I thought I’d write a long due detailed pictorial post that would help.

For freshly ground filter coffee, Mysore Concerns in Kings Circle – Mumbai and  Satya Coffee Works in Royapettah – Chennai are the best.

My Coffee being ground fresh, at Satya Coffee Works

We buy a mix of Peaberry and Plantation coffee beans. A lot of people prefer adding Chicory to coffee beans, as it gives coffee body, but we don’t.

Tip: Store your coffee powder in the freezer, as doing so ensures that the taste wont dull.

This is a coffee filter. It is available in different sizes and capacities. You can get a small one for a single tumbler of coffee too.


There are the components of the filter.


To make your coffee decoction, add the coffee power in the second (top) part. I use 1 heaped Tbsp of coffee powder for about 2 small glasses of strong coffee.


Use the filter to press down the powder firmly.


Once done, add boiling hot water to it. Add water upto the inside lip of the filter. Post adding the water gently remove the filter, taking care not to burn your fingers. Cover with lid and let it sit. If there is complete silence you could hear the decoction dripping down, one drop at a time.

Tip: Sprinkle a pinch of sugar after you pat down the coffee powder, it not only hastens the filtering process, it also adds taste to the coffee.  

The Decoction

THE decoction drips down slowly, drop by drop. The complete time taken will depend on the quantity of your coffee. Once done it leaves behind a residue like this.

Discard it (or use it for a quick face and body scrub, or apply it under your eyes, or put it in your plants, it’s a soil enhancer )

The Residue

Now that your decoction is ready, let’s make your kaapi.

Add a little of the decoction to a tumbler or mug. Add sugar to taste.

Tip: I add organic Jaggery powder to the coffee decoction, instead of sugar. 1 Tsp (or to taste) Jaggery Powder to 1 serving of Coffee.

Mix well.

Boil milk on a slow flame till it starts frothing. Once done, pour the milk into the decoction mixed with sugar, from a height. 

Tip: NEVER add decoction to the milk and boil them together. It kills the taste of kaapi!

Your Filter Kaapi is ready! Enjoy!


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