How to make Indian Filter Coffee

What is Filter Coffee?

"Filter coffee" generally refers to coffee that is brewed using a specific method involving a coffee filter. This term can refer to different styles of coffee preparation depending on the context and location. The two most common interpretations are Indian Filter Coffee and Drip Coffee.

Who Invented Indian Filter Coffee?

According to legend, India's relationship with coffee began in early 17th-century Karnataka. On his way back from the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, Baba Budan, a Muslim saint from Chikmagalur, is claimed to have smuggled seven coffee beans from modern-day Yemen. In order to protect their monopoly, local coffee dealers and growers at the time made it unlawful to export green coffee beans. However, Baba Budan was able to plant them in the Chandragiri Hills of the Chikmagalur area, where they quickly grew, as well as smuggled them into India by concealing the beans in his beard.

Indian Coffee Beans


Despite the fact that it lasted in the Chandragiri Hills for well over a century after then, it is believed to have been primarily localized. Only in the 19th century did coffee estates begin to focus on exporting the crop. But by the 20th century, coffee had spread like wildfire over the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.

South Indians began widely boiling their coffee with milk and then sweetening it with honey or jaggery at some time in the 19th century. By the late 19th century, coffee had become a staple in many southern families, but it has remained uncommon in the North. This gap was bridged by the founding and growth of the renowned Indian Coffee House in the middle of the 20th century.

Earthen pots, which were used to make and serve coffee before coffee shops were invented, were replaced with stainless steel tumblers, which are still associated with Indian filter coffee today. The tumbler is made comprised of two halves that resemble cylindrical cups. One one is used to load and crush new grinds, much like a French press, while the other portion holds the brewed coffee.

What Is Indian Filter Coffee?

Indian Filter Coffee

Indian Filter Coffee is a popular South Indian coffee preparation that's known for its unique and strong flavor. It's typically made using a traditional metal coffee filter called a "drip filter." 

A classic Indian filter is used to percolate-brew finely ground coffee powder with chicory to create Indian filter coffee, which is a coffee beverage created by combining hot milk, sugar, and the resulting infusion.

Indian Filter Coffee is known for its strong and rich flavor and balanced combination of coffee and milk. The slow dripping process allows for more concentrated coffee extraction, resulting in a bold and aromatic cup of coffee. The mixing of coffee and milk by pouring it between cups helps create a frothy texture on top of the coffee, adding to its unique appeal.

This coffee preparation method is an integral part of South Indian culture and is often associated with social gatherings, conversations, and relaxation. It has gained popularity beyond its place of origin and is enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts around the world.

How to Make South Indian Filter Coffee?

South Indian Filter Coffee, also known as "Madras Filter Coffee" or simply "Filter Coffee," is a popular and distinct type of coffee preparation that originates from the southern states of India, particularly Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. It's characterized by its strong, flavorful taste and unique brewing method using a traditional metal coffee filter.

The key elements of South Indian Filter Coffee are the use of specific coffee beans, the method of brewing, and the way it's served. Here's an overview of the process and characteristics of South Indian Filter Coffee:


Coffee Beans: A blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, usually medium roasted, is commonly used. The specific coffee-to-chicory ratio is an important factor in achieving the desired flavor profile.

Chicory: Chicory, a root vegetable, is often mixed with coffee grounds in South Indian Filter Coffee. It adds a unique flavor and bitterness to the coffee. The coffee-chicory ratio can vary based on personal preference.

Milk: Fresh, whole milk is used to make the coffee. The milk is usually boiled and frothed separately.

Sugar: Sugar is added to taste.

How to Brew South Indian Filter Coffee?

The traditional way of brewing South Indian Filter Coffee ( Decoction ) is using a Brass Filter. This is a slow percolation process. There are 2 other quick ways of brewing Filter Coffee Decoction. One is using Mokapot Filter and the other is Coffee Drip Bags. 

Indian Brass Filter

How to Brew Coffee in Brass Filter?

Most part of South Indian homes brew coffee with traditional steel or brass filters.  The filter comes with 2 parts ( upper and lower chamber ). A coffee decoction is prepared using hot water and coffee powder. The drip technique is used to brew coffee in a South Indian Traditional Filter. 

The upper and lower chamber is assembled. The upper chamber is filled with coffee powder and hot water, whereas the lower chamber collects the coffee drip by drip. 

The step-by-step process:

Step 1: Join/Assemble 2 parts ( Upper and Lower Chamber ) and prepare hot water. Place the upper chamber gently on the lower chamber and prepare hot water in a kettle. 

Step 2: Add Coffee Powder to the Upper Chamber. Add around 5 - 6 tbsp of coffee powder into the upper chamber, and gently place the retainer by pressing the coffee even. 

Step 3: Pour Hot Water. To brew the decoction, pour 250 ml of hot water into the Upper Chamber.

Step 4: Coffee Brewing. Drips of coffee decoction pour over the lower chamber. After 15 minutes around 160 ml of coffee decoction is accumulated. 

Step 5: South Indian Coffee Preparation. A perfect cup of aromatic South Indian Filter Coffee is prepared using hot milk + decoction + sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar into a coffee cup, 1/4th of freshly brewed coffee decoction and 3/4th cup of hot milk. 

Some coffee enthusiasts prefer a 'strong' cup, which involves a higher decoction-to-milk ratio and perhaps a dash of extra chicory. Others might opt for a 'medium' or 'light' brew, with less decoction and more milk.

To learn quick Indian Filter Coffee brewing using Mokapot and Coffee Drip Bags,  Read here.

You can select a wide range of Indian filter coffee from our website, check our collection shop page to choose your best coffee.


What Is Meant By Filter Coffee?

Roasted coffee beans that have been ground and used in coffee makers are referred to as filter coffee.

Does filter coffee taste different from instant coffee?

The flavors of instant coffee and filter coffee are significantly different. The kind, quality, and variety of coffee beans have a significant impact on the flavor.

Is Indian Filter Coffee Available in USA states like California and Texas?

Yes, you can buy original South Indian filter coffee from the Global Panduranga Coffee website and choose from a wide range of Indian filter coffee products.


At Global Panduranga Coffee, we provide a wide range of Indian filter coffees with different flavors. Brewing for over 85 years and spanning four generations, Panduranga Coffee's rich heritage reveals an enchanting tale of humble beginnings evolving into an acclaimed coffee roasting business.

Buy South Indian Filter Coffee in USA states like California and Texas and other countries. Fresh coffee is delivered FREE to your doorstep. You can order now from our website.

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