Drink Filter Coffee Like a South Indian!





Introduction: Drink Filter Coffee Like a South Indian!

The South Indian filter coffee is nearly an institution - one that most thorough bred Tamilians cannot do without, especially popular in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

The wafting aroma of freshly brewed filter coffee heralds the new day in most South Indian homes. The ubiquitous coffee filter can be found in the kitchen occupying pride of place, creating a thick decoction that is mixed with the right amount of hot milk and sugar.

Typically filter coffee is served in a stainless steel tumbler and dabarah (container/cup) that is used to cool the coffee. A piping hot cup of filter coffee served with a frothy layer - and you are all set to start the day!

Step 1: To Hold

Using your fingers carefully lift the stainless steel tumbler by the rim (as the filter coffee will now be piping hot) off the container (dabarah), and place it aside. 
Now get ready to lift it slowly.

Step 2: To Pour and Cool

Pouring the hot coffee into the container is a ritual practice meant to cool the coffee to an optimum drinking temperature. 
It involves lifting the tumbler with the Coffee till a considerable height and tactfully pouring it into the container (without spilling). 

Step 3: To Pour and Cool

Now Pour the coffee from the container back into the tumbler, again from a considerable height. Pouring the coffee from this height reduces the heat and adds a delicious frothy layer.
Not to worry, the pouring steps (from such heights) are usually mastered with practice.  

Step 4: Repeat

The pouring back and forth from tumbler to container (and container to tumbler) would continue until you feel the coffee is at a perfect temperature to be sipped (not burning hot but perfectly warm).

Step 5: Cooling Complete

The entire coffee has been finally emptied into the container as is ready to be tasted. 

Now just pour quarter portion of the coffee from the container into the tumbler. 

Step 6: Mixing

Mix the coffee by turning the tumbler around in a circular motion (make 2-3 circles for a perfect mixture).

Step 7: Drinking

Lift the tumbler with coffee and drink up!

Now pour more coffee into the container and drink again until the container is empty!

Step 8: Finally

After your final sip of South Indian filter coffee, wipe your mouth with the back of your hand.

Smile! You are now charged with the energy of caffeine, milk and sugar!
Have a great day :)



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    Chai karak!

    Can you describe HOW TO MAKE FILTER COFFEE?
    That is more important.

    1 reply

    Will make a note of that!
    shall make a DIY for making authentic south indian filter coffee soonish :)


    Awesome! And the pictures on the last step are perfect!

    Crazy Coffee Skills, man.

    You should totally turn this into a book series. The How to... (cook, have etiquette, etc.) Like a South Indian.

    I'd duy it.

    Hi! Thanks for the comments, always happy to share :)
    @pyelitegamerro76 good question! The pouring does start from the tumbler being close to the container and then is dragged higher up.
    How to make South Indian filter coffee (preparation of the decoction) is a unique process on its own!

    1 reply

    Bengalis use a miniature clay pot to drink their tea and coffee called a 'bhar' (said with a nasal sound) which is disposed after use.

    In Malaysia... we use large tin mugs.. the kind you go camping with. Enamel ones are absolutely good. I dislike steel and aluminum. Flavour wise.

    The idea is to create air bubbles and cool. Indians take their tea close to BOILING HOT. Needless to say.. you can do this with tea. Except.. the Indians boil their water AND the tea at the same time. Then the milk goes in. You want to get froth like a good head of beer... like crema in an expresso.

    While you are at it. You may want to try a Malaysian chinese local drink. Mix tea and coffee, milk and sugar. Froth. Add ice cubes... enjoy.

    MMMMmmm!!! I looove coffee, and would absolutely love to try this. And I second the kudos on the cultural instructables, I really enjoy these. I would love to see an 'ible on making the coffee too, now that we know how to drink it. Great job! - Pj

    great job on the cultural instructables. they are always interesting, entertaining, and educational. two thumbs up and i would love to see more.


    Does the pouring start with the cups already far apart or do you start pouring close together and separate them as the pour continues?

    Hey, better than a steam injector any day - I'd love to see them doing this in Starbucks!

    1 reply

    Cool instructable, it's always interesting to see how similar things (like coffee) are taken in other parts of the world... now where to get some real indian coffee... :) well, at least if i ever go to south India I'll be able to drink it like a native :D
    Nice pictures, made me smile! :)