South Indian filter coffee traditionally served

How to Make South Indian Filter Coffee At Home?

Henry Muller

South India is famous for its rich culture but you know what makes it more attractive?

It's authentic filter coffee!

Flavorful hot filter coffee paired with some South Indian dishes is perfect to start a wonderful morning.

It's a blend of culture and authentic taste in every sip.

In this blog, I will tell you how you can make authentic South Indian filter coffee at home.

So let’s get started.

What is a South Indian filter coffee?

It is also called "Kaapi". It is a special drink originating from the southern part of India. Kaapi is best known for its unique brewing process and rich flavor profile.

What makes this coffee special is its traditional brewing methods. It is generally made using a device called a "dabarah" or a special coffee filter.

The coffee filter is made of two cylindrical cups where the upper one stores freshly ground coffee beans and the lower cup stores the final brewed coffee.

Things needed to make South Indian filter coffee


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coffee [80% coffee and 20% chicory]
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • Filter coffee press
  • Muslin cloth
  • Dabara

Step-by-step instructions to make South Indian coffee at home?

Step 1: Add coffee to the coffee filter

Start by putting the coffee filter press on a flat surface. Measure out 2 teaspoons of ground coffee into the lower chamber of the filter.

Make sure that the coffee is evenly distributed, then lightly press it down 2-3 times with the filter press to create a smooth and level coffee bed.

The coffee here that I am using has chicory mixed. You can use coffee powder like that or add chicory separately.

Step 2: Pour hot water

Next, carefully pour hot water over the coffee grounds in the upper chamber of the filter. Let the coffee steep in the hot water for several hours or overnight, allowing the flavors to mix and the coffee to brew.

Step 3: Filter your coffee using a muslin cloth

Once the brewing process is complete, remove the upper chamber of the filter and keep it aside.

Take a bowl and put a muslin cloth over the top. Pour the brewed coffee through the muslin cloth into the bowl, filtering out any remaining coffee grounds and sediment.

Step 4: Boil the milk

While the coffee is filtering, take a saucepan and heat the milk until it comes to a gentle boil. Make sure you don’t spill it.

Step 5: Mix coffee and milk

Finally, add boiled milk to the coffee concentrate..

Your filter coffee is ready.

Importance of coffee-to-chicory ratio

The coffee-to-chicory ratio is the soul of South Indian filter coffee. The overall flavor profile and intensity of the filter coffee strongly rely on chicory.

It aids in uplifting your coffee by giving it a touch of bitterness and complementing its natural acidity.

By maintaining the perfect balance between coffee and chicory, you can get a well-rounded, flavorful cup of filter coffee.

Adding more chicory here can overpower the coffee, making it taste bitter, while too little lacks that authentic experience.

Thus the best way is to try different ratios to customize your coffee as per your taste, whether you prefer a stronger, bolder, or a milder, smoother cup.

How to enhance the taste of South Indian Filter coffee?

Try different spices or flavorings to elevate your filter coffee experience. Most people like to add cardamon to it for the enhanced aroma and a slight spice touch.

For this add crushed cardamon pods to the ground coffee before brewing.

Apart from this, you can even go for adding other spices like cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg for a more aromatic and flavorful cup.

Most people like it sweet. Here they go for adding jaggery or palm sugar to it instead of regular sugar. It helps your coffee to have flavors of subtle caramel-like sweetness to the brew.

Additionally, you can also go for different types of milk, such as coconut milk or almond milk, to give your filter coffee, a unique taste.

Experiment with various combinations of spices and flavors to achieve the perfect balance and to create a customized cup.

Wrapping It Up

South Indian filter coffee is not just a drink but it is a tradition that highlights the rich cultural heritage of South India.

With its unique brewing ways and rich, aromatic taste, filter coffee has made a special place in the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide.

That’s all for this article. I hope now you can easily make authentic South Indian filter coffee at home.

So why wait? Take your filter, grind some coffee, and start brewing your best coffee cup. 


Henry Muller

Team TAB
View Profileright-arrow

I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...