How to Use an Indian Coffee Maker: A Step-by-Step Guide

Indian coffee makers, also known as Indian coffee filters, are traditional brewing devices used in South India to make rich and flavorful coffee known as Kaapi. This article provides a concise and informative guide to using an Indian coffee maker to achieve the perfect cup of South Indian filter coffee.

What is an Indian Coffee Filter?

An Indian coffee filter, also known as a South Indian filter or coffee percolator, is a traditional brewing device used to make South Indian filter coffee, commonly called Kaapi. It is an integral part of South Indian culture and is known for producing a unique, strong, and aromatic cup of coffee. The filter consists of two cylindrical containers, one stacked on top of the other, made of stainless steel or brass.

The upper container has small perforations at the bottom to hold the coffee grounds, while the lower container collects the brewed coffee decoction. The filter is designed to allow the hot water to pass through the coffee grounds, extracting the rich flavors and oils, while retaining the sediments. The coffee grounds used in an Indian coffee filter are usually a blend of finely ground coffee beans and chicory, which adds a distinct flavor to the resulting brew. The filtered coffee is traditionally mixed with hot milk and served in stainless steel tumbler and davara sets, creating a frothy and flavorful cup of South Indian filter coffee. The Indian coffee filter is not only a brewing tool but also a symbol of the unique coffee culture and heritage of South India.

How to use an Indian Coffee Filter

Using an Indian coffee filter involves specific steps to brew a concentrated coffee decoction known as kaapi. The following instructions provide a concise guide to using an Indian coffee filter based on the recipe provided:


  • 25 grams medium-fine coffee grounds
  • 125ml 205°F water
  • Indian coffee filter
  • 250mL milk
  • Sugar (optional)
  • 60-70mL Indian drip coffee (decoction)

Instructions for Indian Filter Coffee:

  1. Place the coffee grounds in the top portion of the Indian filter, making sure to remove the tamper/water dispenser piece. Attach to the base of the carafe.
  2. Gently shake the filter to level the grounds without compressing them significantly.
    Place the tamper on top of the coffee, applying light pressure. Leave the tamper in place during brewing.
  3. Slowly pour 125ml of 205°F water onto the coffee grounds. If a thermometer or variable temperature water boiler is not available, use water just below boiling point. Use caution as the machine will become hot during brewing.
  4. Allow the coffee to brew for 5 to 8 minutes, resulting in a concentrated coffee decoction. This decoction can be used to make kaapi or consumed as is.

Directions for Kaapi for Two:

  1. While the decoction is filtering, heat 250 ml of milk in a saucepan until it begins to boil. Avoid boiling for long periods of time.
  2. Remove from heat and add sugar if desired.
    Foam the milk using a hand foamer, French press, or hand whisk. Take precautions to avoid burns from hot milk.
  3. Traditional method: Froth the milk by pouring it back and forth between two bowls, creating turbulence for a frothy mixture.
  4. French press method: Pour hot milk into a French press and press the plunger repeatedly until the desired frothy texture is achieved. Avoid overfilling or pumping hard to avoid hot milk splashes.
  5. Divide the coffee brew into two glasses and top with the frothed milk.
  6. Adjust the sugar to milk ratio to taste.
  7. Enjoy your kaapi and feel free to experiment with different amounts of sugar and milk to personalize your experience.

Additional Tips

Step 1: Coffee Selection
Choose finely ground coffee powder, finer than espresso, to brew with an Indian coffee maker. A combination of coffee and chicory is commonly used, but your choice may vary.

Step 2: Prepare the coffee maker
The Indian coffee maker consists of two containers – an upper perforated container and a lower container. Place the coffee powder in the upper container and gently tamp it down with the plunger.

Step 3: Brewing the coffee
Add a small amount of hot water to saturate the coffee grounds. The water temperature should be just below boiling. Allow the coffee to infuse for approximately 30 seconds.

Step 4: Brew
Fill the top carafe with the remaining hot water while holding the plunger down. Replace the lid and allow the coffee to percolate into the lower cup.

Step 5: Serve
Traditionally, South Indian filter coffee is mixed with hot whole milk. It can be frothed manually by pouring it between two mugs. Alternatively, it can be enjoyed Americano style with hot water.

By following these steps, you can prepare a delicious cup of South Indian drip coffee using an Indian coffee maker. Experimenting with coffee-to-water ratios and brewing times can allow you to personalize the taste to your liking. Embrace the rich tradition and distinctive flavors of South Indian drip coffee by using your Indian coffee maker effectively.


The Indian coffee filter is a traditional brewing device that plays an important role in South Indian coffee culture. By following the recommended steps outlined in this guide, one can successfully use the Indian coffee filter to produce a concentrated coffee decoction, known as kaapi, that offers a distinct and robust flavor profile.

The process involves carefully selecting medium-fine coffee grounds and allowing them to bloom before adding hot water. The design of the coffee filter facilitates the extraction of rich flavors and oils while retaining sediments, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic brew. The filtered decoction can be enjoyed as is or mixed with hot milk to make the popular South Indian filtered coffee.

Although variations in brewing time, grind size, and coffee-to-water ratio may affect the final result, the recipe provided serves as a reliable starting point. In addition, frothing the milk adds a creamy texture and enhances the overall experience of drinking Kaapi.

By embracing the tradition and techniques associated with the Indian coffee filter, coffee enthusiasts can indulge in the rich cultural heritage and distinctive taste of South Indian filter coffee. Through experimentation and personalization, individuals can further tailor their brewing process to their preferences, ensuring a delightful and satisfying coffee experience.


How do I use this Indian coffee maker?

How to use an Indian coffee maker:

  • Grind the coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency.
  • Fill the upper cup with coffee and press down gently.
  • Add a small amount of hot water to infuse the coffee.
  • Fill and cover the top carafe with hot water.
  • Allow the coffee to brew and filter into the lower cup.
  • Mix the filtered coffee decoction with hot milk for a traditional South Indian filtered coffee.

How do I use a traditional Indian coffee filter?

To use a traditional Indian coffee filter

  • Fill the top receptacle with ground coffee.
  • Press down gently to level the coffee bed.
  • Pour hot water into the top basket.
  • Allow the water to percolate through the coffee and collect in the lower container.
  • Serve the filtered coffee infusion with hot milk or as desired.

How do I use a coffeemaker step by step?

To use a coffee maker:

  • Fill the water reservoir with the desired amount of water.
  • Place a coffee filter in the filter basket.
  • Pour the appropriate amount of ground coffee into the filter.
  • Make sure the coffee pot is in place.
  • Start the brewing process by pressing the “brew” or similar button.
  • Wait for the coffeemaker to finish brewing.
  • When brewing is complete, carefully remove the coffeepot.
  • Serve and enjoy your brewed coffee.

How does South Indian filter coffee maker work?

The coffee filter consists of two cups, one that nests on top of the other. The upper cup holds the coffee grounds, and it has holes that let the brew drip into the lower cup. The strong decoction is collected in the lower cup.

How do you use a coffee decoction machine?

Quote from video: So fill it fill the cup with the powder and ensure you don’t feel it very tight. Don’t press it let it be very loose. Right let’s close the lid ensure it is tightly closed. I am using this extender.

How is Indian coffee different?

The resulting brew is generally much stronger than Western drip/filter coffee, and often stronger than espresso. Traditionally, the coffee is consumed by adding 1–2 tablespoons of the brew to a cup of boiling milk with the preferred amount of sugar.

How do you use a coffee filter cup?

Quote from video: You’ll start at the center. And move slowly outward using small batches of water don’t rush it this will allow the coffee to bloom and the process should take about two to three. Minutes.

How much coffee do I use for 4 cups of water?

8 tablespoons

How much coffee for 4 cups? For 4 cups, use 60 grams or 8 tablespoons of coffee. For milder coffee, use 48 grams or 6.5 tablespoons.

How do you mix coffee?

Mix 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with 12 cup (120 mL) of hot water. Heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir the coffee and hot water together until the coffee granules are dissolved. Mix your coffee in the glass you want to drink from or in a separate cup.