Indian lore suggests that coffee came to India through Sufi saints who smuggled it from Mecca to Chandragiri Hills in Karnataka. India’s filter coffee was popularized by Indian Coffee Houses, run by the Coffee Board. Today, Kaapi is colloquial for the Indian Filter Coffee prepared by millions of homes in South India every day. It is concentrated, pure, and delivers an aromatic cup of goodness, refreshing you for the day. The unique taste and strong flavors are achieved with a combination of good quality Indian coffee, the two-tier filter jug, a peculiar brewing technique, and fresh ingredients.
Much before cafes started serving cappuccinos, filter coffee was a traditional drink in most South Indian households. The craft of making the perfect filter Kaapi lies in the traditional shops of South India, who have been doing it for years.
You can find several recipes for the Indian filter Kaapi online, but somehow the taste doesn’t match the authentic filter coffee experience. This is because, while we follow the steps perfectly, the purity of the ingredients and proportions makes a sizable difference. Here are a few tips, to make your authentic Filter Kaapi.
The perfect blend–Let your preference guide the perfect blend. If you prefer mild but aromatic coffee, you should make the coffee with pure, washed Arabica beans. If you like your filter coffee aromatic and strong, the perfect blend of washed Arabica with unwashed robusta beans will create the magic.
The right amount of Roast- A medium roast highlights the fine flavor and mild intrinsic quality of Indian coffee beans and obtains the maximum tasty soluble solids. Medium Roast also allows the right aroma to be released.
Accurate Grind- Medium to coarse grind enables correct extraction within brewing time. Moistening the grounds first with icy water will bring out the maximum flavor of the coffee.
Soft Water- Water is an important ingredient while brewing coffee. Chlorine, fluoride, and lime kill the flavors. It is necessary to soften and filter the water. Mineral water with minimum mineral content is the best for brewing. The taste of the coffee would be adversely affected if you use already boiled water.
While all these steps might seem a lot, it is just the selection of the right ingredients that make the perfect cup of coffee. All you need is the Indian filter coffee equipment, clean-good quality water, fresh milk, freshly roasted and ground Indian coffee, and white granulated sugar (avoid brown or candied sugar). With all these ingredients in place, there are two traditional methods of making Kaapi. One is using the traditional Indian two-tier filter jug, and the other is the French press method.
In the Filter Method, place three tablespoons (30gms) of freshly roasted and ground Indian Coffee powder in the upper unit of the filter jug. Prepare a uniform bed of powder and insert the plunger, placing it on top of the powder and pour 45ml of freshly boiled water over the plunger. As the golden brown aromatic liquid drips into the lower unit, extract the coffee from the lower unit into a coffee cup. Add fresh hot milk and sugar to taste. The taste of the coffee may vary according to the grind and fat content of the milk.
The other traditional method is the French Press Method, wherein you measure Indian coffee into a pot, allowing one level tablespoon for every cup of average strength brew of 60 oz. Pour in boiling water, allowing the coffee to brew for 5–7 minutes and insert the plunger gently into the cafetiere.
The brew is now ready to be served!