How to Make Indian Coffee
Indian filter coffee is a strong, milky coffee decoction that is made with a stainless steel coffee filter and served in a traditional glass and Dabarah. In India drinking coffee has become a norm, this method of brewing coffee is often preferred because it produces a much better cup than instant coffee. If you are interested in making Indian coffee at home as if made at an Indian coffee house, here is how.
Tradition demands a coffee filter and Dabarah
Old-style Indian filter coffee is made with a coffee filter, although this equipment is nothing like a paper filter. The coffee filter consists of two cups, one of which is placed on top of the other. The top cup contains the ground coffee and has holes that allow the infusion to drip into the bottom cup. The strong decoction is collected in the lower cup. There is also a pressure disk to tamp the ground and a lid to keep the decoction warm while brewing.
Once the coffee is made, it is poured from side to side between a dabarah and a glass to cool it down. This process also mixes sugar and hot milk and aerates the decoction. (This method of aeration produces a different type of foam than steam.) The dabarah is a small metal cup with a lip that does not get too hot. The glass is a slightly wider and shorter bowl-shaped container.
The pouring back and forth between the dabarah and the glass has given rise to another name for this coffee, dosing coffee. Other names for the drink include Kumbakonam-grade coffee, Mylapore filter coffee, Madras kaapi, and kaapi, which is a South Indian phonetic approach to "coffee."
After it has cooled to the drinking temperature, the decoction is served in the dabarah, which is placed in the glass.
How to make traditional filter Indian coffee
To prepare filter coffee from India, you will need:
- a coffee filter
- a dabarah and a glass
- a small pot
- 3 tablespoons coffee powder or extremely fine ground coffee
To make the decoction, follow these steps:
Place the Indian coffee powder in the upper chamber of the coffee filter and lightly squeeze the powder with the pressure disk. Leave the disc in place after tamping. (Tamping primarily ensures that the coffee powder is uniform in the chamber. The powder should not be tamped as hard as ground coffee.)
- Place the upper chamber on the lower chamber and fill the upper chamber with boiling water.
- Cover the coffee filter and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the decoction is being prepared, heat the milk until it boils on the stove.
- When the decoction is over, pour 1 to 2 tablespoons. of the decoction on the dabarah, and then fill the dabarah with milk. Add the desired amount of sugar.
- Pour the mixture back and forth between the Dabarah and the glass, using high arc movements to pour, until the coffee is cold enough to drink.
- Serve on the dabarah, placing it in the glass.
Optionally, roasted chicory can be added to coffee powder. Coffee powder can contain up to 20 to 30 percent chicory. Adding chicory will slightly increase the preparation time, which will make the final decoction a little more extracted.
Although only a tablespoon or two of the decoction is used in the final drink, the Indian coffee is quite strong. Without added milk, the decoction is stronger than espresso.