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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  1. I don’t have coffee but these pictures make me want to try it out. Never tasted filter kaapi but friends say it is indeed the best. Getting praises from South Indians for your brew means you really are quite good at it.
    Please serve me the same when I visit you, will you?

    1. You haven’t tasted Filter Kaapi? Time to make a trip to Chennai, Varsha! Soonest!

  2. This post is perfectly suited for Monday Morning Motivation Mayri 😉 I can smell the filter kaapi here sitting with my laptop, just by the way you explained it.
    Had no clue the steel cup and katori called Davara Set.
    When are we meeting next, please get a cuppa for me too 😉

    1. Let’s meet soon then, Dipika!:)

  3. One of the greatest advantages of being a south Indian is that you get to drink a lot of filter kaapi.
    And of course Ghee Dosa,

  4. So when is the North Indian offering filter kaapi to her South Indian American brother? 😀

    1. Whenever her brother is visiting next:)

  5. Thats great That You are a north Indian but still have become an expert of filter kaapi . Humko bhi pilao yar kabhi .

  6. Wonderful ! I don’t think I would have done justice to the Filter Kaapi being a South Indian ! Fabulous Tips.

  7. I love Chai and Kaaphi both…loved your way of presentation.

  8. O wow…Mayuri, I did not know that you treat your guests to filter kaapi. Next time, let us meet at your residence, so that I can relish every drop of your special preparation. And,lovely clicks 🙂

    1. Next time for sure, Meenu! Thanks:)

  9. My husband spent some good engineering college years in Bangalore and is completely besotted with the taste of filter kaapi. It ll do me good to understand this process. It would be a treat for him, if I could make this at home. Thanks for sharing the recipe

    1. Thanks, Anupriya. Glad you liked the post.

  10. I am a chai lover too but after reading your post I feel like having a filter kapi too as they call it here in Bangalore. I love coffee with jaggery too. Its called Bella kaapi at Hatti Kaaapi here. Thanks for the introduction to the whole coffee making process.

  11. A northern surprise for the southerners!
    I am a coffee lover and fell in love with Kappi when we shifted our base to Sharjah and tasted it at Sarvana Bhavan on King Faisal Street. And since then there is no looking back. I thus enthusiastically bought a decoction unit. But unfortunately, never been able to make good use of it.
    Not any more, as now I have this guide. Thanks for sharing Mayuri.

  12. Mayuri Nidigallu arv

    I love filter Kaapi and to be honest we don’t have a single place here in Jaipur where I can get a nice aromatic filter coffee! So I freak out whenever I visit Bangalore and have 1+1! Getting freshly grounded coffee is also a problem. we do have some cafe’s selling coffee but they are quite expensive.

  13. You know what dear now I have to taste your filter kaapi dear because when I used to travel every month to chennai for supplier visits I used to specially go to Sarvana Bhawans to have filter coffee and I must taste something which is better than it

  14. Oh, davara set coffee!!!
    Being from Chennai, I do not need to say by likings for coffee. Even if I arrive home after those late night landings, my night will never begin without the coffee from my mother! And with chicory is what I like!

  15. I love coffee! so much that it could well be my middle name 🙂
    Filter kaapi is indeed an art which i tend to take wrong turns with – thanks for the pictorial + clear instructions – going to try this at home and report back to you 🙂
    good tips about jaggery, the left over coffee dregs and about not boiling the milk and coffee together!

  16. Wow! Mayuri, would love to drink filter kaapi made by you. I am a south Indian who spent his growing years in New Delhi. So I love both filter kaapi and chai in equal measure.

  17. Mayuri, this sounds like my mom waxing about her filter kaapi! I am a South Indian eccentric who prefers chai but my mom’s house even today is filled with the awesome aroma of filter kaapi as soon as I wake up whenever I visit! Strangely I like the smell but not the taste. Your kaapi making skills have already turned you into a 100% South Indian… Ware wah!

  18. Mayuri Nidigallu Abhijit

    I like filter coffee too, better than chai any day. Specially the coffee one can buy in Chennai. By the way, if you were born in Mumbai, you are as much a North Indian as a person born in Kolkata.

    1. A Bombay Girl, married to a Telugu Man makes Filter Kaapi would be too long a title, don’t you think ?:))) Btw, most people in the South automatically assume I am ‘Maharashtrian/Marathi’, since I am from Maharashtra :)))

  19. Awesome! I will try this for sure. I loved the last tip the most.

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