Coffee is a beverage but Kaapi is an emotion. I am not exaggerating at all. You all know coffee but what is Kaapi?! It is the traditional South Indian styled Filter Coffee. Before I go further into this amazing coffee recipe, I should talk about my coffee journey. From being a person who had never tasted a drop of coffee, I am now a big time coffee lover. Yes, you heard me right. Growing up, the sister and I never drank coffee/tea/milk. We were always served fresh food and there was no need for the coffee/tea fix and given how we were not big milk lovers, my Amma didn’t push us much. After moving to Bangalore and surviving alone during my spinster days (especially with no kitchen), I had to find something to curb the hunger pangs and that’s how my coffee relationship started. The husband and I love our glass of coffee every now and then, absolutely enjoy exploring different types of coffee. I am not too addicted to it (or so I think) but I would love my cuppa 🙂
Filter Kaapi is specially prepared using a South Indian Coffee Filter. The filter itself comes in different sizes (usually in stainless steel) and has two parts – the top compartment where the coffee powder is added and pressed down by the umbrella handle and the bottom part that collects the coffee decoction. Recently, I got our home a small sized coffee filter – just perfect for the both of us. I was super excited to find a pack of perfectly roast and ground Leo Coffee Powder too. The quality of the filter kaapi depends a lot on the coffee powder and the milk used. The taste of this Leo coffee is exceptional 🙂
Have you heard about Degree Coffee before?! In most towns South of Tamilnadu, Degree Kaapi is quite popular. It just means a coffee that’s made with 1st degree decoction or the first collected decoction. Using the coffee filter, decoction can take atleast half an hour to percolate. The thickness of this 1st degree decoction depends on the amount of coffee powder and the boiling water used. One can actually get 2nd or even a 3rd degree decoction but they are always lighter and thinner than the first.
This special degree filter coffee is traditionally served in a Davara Tumbler set – a stainless steel tumbler and a cup beneath it. Usually, the tumbler is filled 3/4th with hot milk and the remaining 1/4th is filled with thick coffee decoction. Sugar is added in as an afterthought which settles at the bottom. Before this coffee is consumed, it is swished from the tumbler to the cup for 4-5 times until the coffee is frothy. A filter kaapi is never stirred with a spoon and it is almost considered a blasphemy 😀 It is this moving of coffee quickly between the tumbler and cup that mixes in the sugar and makes the coffee frothy. With all these interesting details, I am throwing in one more.. This steel davara set here belongs to my parents and they got it as a gift during the wedding. It surely is more than 30 years old but very dear to me for many special reasons.
Now enjoy this Special Filter Kaapi recipe 🙂
To make Filter Kaapi | Filter Coffee Recipe | Degree Coffee
What I used –
- Coffee Powder, 2-3 tbsp
- Fresh Milk, 2 cups (or more)
- Boiling Hot Water, as required
- Sugar, as required
How I made –
1. In the coffee filter’s top compartment, remove the umbrella handle and put the coffee powder. Gently press down the coffee powder using the umbrella handle. Set the filter and pour boiling hot water into the top compartment atleast until 3/4th full. Tightly close it with a lid. Don’t disturb and let it sit for atleast 30 mins.
2. The 1st degree decoction would be collected in the bottom compartment. If required, additional decoction (2nd time) can be obtained by adding more hot water again. Remember, it will never be as strong or thick as the 1st one.
3. Bring the milk to a boil. Set the tumbler davara set and fill the tumbler 3/4th with milk. Now add 2tsp – 2tbsp of coffee decoction to the milk depending on how strong the coffee is needed. Add sugar as per liking. I usually add little less than 2 tsp of sugar to my coffee and that’s how I like it.
4. Before drinking the coffee, swish it carefully from the tumbler to the davara (the cup beneath) and vice-versa so that the coffee is frothy and the sugar is mixed well.
5. Enjoy the filter coffee hot 🙂
- I used store bought coffee powder that has 80% coffee and 20% chicory.
- My coffee filter is a small one that makes enough decoction for 2-3 people.
- The amount of coffee powder for single serving is 1 – 1.5 tbsp (depending on how strong the coffee is needed)
- Water has to be on a rolling boil before pouring into the filter.
- The coffee powder in the filter should be pressed down gently using the umbrella handle. If the coffee powder is too loose, coffee decoction would be strong. If it is too tight, coffee decoction takes hours to percolate at the bottom.
- Add 2 tsp to 2tbsp of thick decoction depending on how strong your coffee has to be.
- Remember, never use a spoon to stir-in. Instead, move the coffee in a swift action between the tumbler and cup (or two tumblers).
- Be careful not to move the coffee around so much as it easily cools down by this action 🙂