How to make south indian filter coffee | Kitchen Basics

south indian filter coffee

There are only 2 kinds of people. You are either a coffee person or tea person :)  I am a coffee lover. Who are you? Leave me a comment below

Why coffee you ask? The aroma of fresh coffee bean while grinding in the morning makes my face smile.  Coffee is special when someone makes for you. Go ahead, take some of the tips I have for you and make your loved one's a great tasting coffee.


Step 1 - Choosing a right filter

The South indian filter comes in various sizes. I have an extra small and large size (as shown in the below pic) filter. Decoction tastes best when brewed fresh. But brewing the night before or keeping for upto a day is totally fine. Make sure to use a vacuum sealed glass jar to store it.

South indian filter comes with a drip container with holes, another container to catch the decoction, a damper to press the coffee powder and a lid. Depending on how many cups of coffee you want to make, choose the right size. Typically a extra small one makes up-to 2 cups of coffee. 


STEP 2- Selecting coffee bean

Important part of brewing best coffee is finding the right bean that you love. Most of the coffee powder in retail / grocery store use 80 % coffee and 20 % chicory. This ratio is preferred because it gives thick decoction

If you live in indian (especially south indian), there are few best coffee powder option which I love,

  1. Lingam coffee - west mambalam, chennai
  2. Coffee day - No chicory coffee (pb)
  3. Hotel Annapurna - coimbatore
  4. Leo - Madras blend

Here is USA, I buy coffee online. These are some great options

  1. Monsooned malabar AA coffee - click here
  2. Lavanta indian malabar - click here
south indian filter coffee in usa



Next step is to brew a flavorful coffee. First and foremost invest in a good south Indian filter. Few importance tips to brew a perfect filter coffee.

  • Grinding coffee bean - The coffee grinder I own - kitchenaid 
    • Do not over fill the grinder.
    • Make sure to stir in between.
    • Grinding anywhere from 40 - 60 secs gives a good consistency.
  • Water to brew - The water should be hot but not boiling hot. Steaming hot is the right temperature. Very hot water will leave a bitter tasting coffee. 

Make sure the filter is dry and loosely fill 1/2  or 2/3 of the filter with ground coffee powder , then using damper slight press the coffee powder.  If you press too tightly, it wont flow and if it isn't pressed enough, all water flows right down. After pressing it down, then add steaming water over damper and fill only 3/4th way.

Wait for the water to get frothy and wait for decoction to drip.

One drop and a time. When all water is drained, then store that decoction in a different container. That's first decoction. First decoction is usually thick and has concentrated flavor and aroma.

Then add more water to the same coffee powder to make second decoction. Since we are only 2 coffee drinking people at home. We add both first and second decoction together.


Step 4 - Make filter coffee

Bring the milk to boil.Add sugar (optional), decoction and milk. Serve in davara and tumbler.

Few pointers to note,

Don't over fill with water while making coffee, it may cause spillage.
Don't stir or shake the filter. Patience is the key. If you wish you can take the damper out to speed up the process a bit. It approximately takes 10 - 15 mins for the first decoction to be collected.
As mentioned earlier, make sure to check the water temperature and coffee powder should be finely ground.
Never reheat the mixed coffee. Always keep boiled milk and decoction ready. Reheat just the milk and add it to the decoction.

Enjoy and happy indulgence.