Filter Coffee (South Indian Style)

For those who grew up enjoying aromatic South Indian style Filter Coffee, making it is a no-brainer. However, for the rest of the world, it is a great alternative to brewing coffee in a standard coffee maker. The biggest difference in South Indian style filter coffee is the coffee. Coffee beans are blended with chicory, the root of a fragrant plant. Look out for the many different styles of manual drip coffee makers and coffee blends that are available in Indian grocery stores and even online.


Ground Coffee Beans – 5 Tbsp
Hot Water – 1/2 cup (or more as needed)
Milk – 1 1/2 cups for 2 servings
Sugar – to taste


Please see video


1. The first drip of the coffee is the most fragrant and flavorful. Subsequent drips will be less intense.
2. Add more water as needed to either make more coffee or dilute the original drip.
3. Make a large batch and keep the coffee decoction in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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99 thoughts on “Filter Coffee (South Indian Style)

  1. 1: I love your cooking shows so much. i watch them for hours straight.
    2: i would love it if you did a video for making chukku kappi.

  2. Hi hetal n anuja, u guys r doing a fabulous job in smtc… I developed great interest in cooking after seeing ur videos… Good coffee is always relatively defined by each person… These r some tips that kno about filter coffee…

    1. Pure coffee drips faster, coffee powder should be coarsely ground, just heat that part of ur coffee filter a bit where powder is put for faster dripping, add a pinch of salt to d powder so that d decoction does not loose its taste even after some time…

      1. Never heat decoction directly, place d decoction cup in boiling water to heat it, boil milk as much as u need, coffe tastes best out of freshly boiled milk, do not add sugar directly to d decoction add sugar along wid d milk

        1. Coffee mugs look fancy but foaming is a very important part of making n presenting filter coffee 🙂

          Hope u liked some of my tips…

          Ps: some problem wid my pc i guess, had to break my comment into 4 parts 🙁

  3. Greetings Anuja and Hetal,

    I am an American who like so many others has benefited beyond measure from your generosity and recipes. Then lo! The coffee filter I bought 10 years ago in Mysore and could not use for lack of instruction…not to worry…help opened before my astonished eyes. And yes!!! With Brew powder on hand we had the best cup of coffee since India. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Of interest there were many clogs (?metal filings, ?coffee powder, ?other debris in the filter and after clearing, the filter dripped through in less than 15 minutes and was syrupy and strong at 5 TBSP.

    1. Hi Deborah,

      That’s great that you were able to use your coffee filter! hmm..15 minutes is pretty fast for the drip. I guess it must depend on the size of the holes, which are probably not standardized :).

  4. Hi Hetal, Anuja and the readers!

    I don’t own a filter; I’m trying to avoid getting addicted to that gorgeous cuppa that wakes you up each morning. On the days that I do crave for some coffee, I use the following method that a friend shared with me..

    In the unavailability of a coffee filter:

    In a glass made of unbreakable material, whip together the following: a heaped tablespoon of Instant Coffee powder, 3/4 tablespoon (or to taste) of sugar and just a teaspoonful of water, no more! It should NOT be runny.. Whip it well, using a spoon, till the end result looks like a light brown-creamish colored, thick, paste. Add piping hot milk, stir and watch the foam rise! Enjoy!

    This entire process takes me only 2-3 mins. You can also make a big batch of this paste and store it in the fridge for a few days. go ahead and give it a try.. Feeback is welcome!

    1. Hi Mashhuda,

      Wow! Great minds think alike :).

      We just recently filmed an episode on how to make this kind of coffee. It will be releasing soon. Thanks!

  5. Hi Hetal & Anuja 🙂
    You both are fab…i Really enjoy watching all d dishes made by u both…I frequently visit d site and its quite helpful…..Dis site ranks d top in ma ‘Favorites’.
    Love u guys… Cheers!!!


  6. Hey Hetal & Anuja,
    I had no idea about cooking but today after learning from several of your videos and others too, I have managed to attain the respect of my family & friends in cooking. I love this Filter Coffe Video..even though it is one of the most basic tings in South India, but for me since I am from North India, this video and the tips were very helpful..keep up the good cooking! Thanks so much for uploading these videos!! 🙂

  7. Hey guys

    went to my local Indial store and found the Bru brand coffee but they didnt have a coffee maker..Do you suggest I use my American coffee maker or a espresso coffee maker?

    1. Hi Rob,
      If you have an espresso maker – use that but they tend to be expensive. Try buying a coffee filter on-line or try at a bigger Indian store. They will be a lot less expensive than a Espresso Machine.

  8. hi A&H
    u guys rock.big time.
    love ur show..the attention to details..the enthusiasm.. the small joys over new tips..moreover,ur love for cooking.
    keep it going.looking forward to viewin them all:)
    god bless!


  9. You ladies rock. You have no idea how much we appreciate your hard work in bringing these videos to us. Bless you and keep smiling those pretty smiles!

  10. Hey guys
    just wanted to share this…even (am married to a tamil, am from AP..not that far i know), my hubby’s first request was meter coffee…yes, when you pour coffee from one tumbler to another…from a meter distance…
    and in our marriage so many ppl gifted us coffee filters…telling i might need one.

  11. Great video guys!

    I want to add that you can also make this coffee in a coffeemaker. That wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Simply add the coffee powder and water separately, and your coffee decoction will be ready in no time. You can also program it in the night so that it gets ready by the time you wake up (for less patient people). This is what I did (with some trials) after coming to the US 🙂
    To make 2 cups of coffee, I use 2 Tbps of powder and half cup of water.

  12. Hi H&A

    Amazing stuff you have here. Some may find this is basic. But for me (3rd generation out of India) I am so lost on how to make Indian food. Anyway I am rather a tea addict. But I can’t get the flavour right even after I spend time observing how they make it in one of the roadside stall during my vacation in India. Can you upload one on this? Ignore the haters!!

  13. Hi Guys,

    This is a great, I never knew how to make South Indian Coffee, and I am also married to a South Indian man. :))

    Thanks again,

  14. Wow some people can be really incredibly rude! I am very glad that A&H are able to ignore the jerks that post here and are able to continue their great service to us all. If you know ur basics-that’s great for you, but there are some of us that need to learn the basics and do not have relatives alive or around us to help us get the tastes and flavors we grew up with. Like someone had said previously, her coffee was always given to her automatically -she really never even knew how it was made! This happens to alot of people. The basics were just something that they never learnt,that we just took for granted.. And it is only when you are without them,either moved to a different place and are away from all your family, that you actually realize how comforting and important these seemingly little things really are.
    This is why I really commend Anuja and Hetal for giving us all a really great gift in their site. It is easier to find different recipes out there, but the basics are so hard to find like rotis, coffee, dhals etc.And seeing how its done is the only way.
    Gals please keep up the great work, ignore the rude, and know that we appreciate your efforts and thank you for them.

  15. Hi ,

    I am trying to access your kitchen store ,but I keep on getting error saying no matches found.
    Can you pls chk and send me the URL?

  16. Nice video… i love filter coffee… can u use the coffee make r u get in the regular store for making filter coffee.. please reply….

  17. I tried your recipe of Tiramisu the other day, but I omitted the eggs. It turned our pretty good. Only, it didn’t hold as well as yours did when you cut a piece of it. Is that because I skipped the eggs? Thanks.

    1. Hi Mehek,
      Use Mascarpone cheese if you can find it, it makes a lot of difference and is more authentic in taste. Also, just dip your ladyfinger (saviordi style) cookies for just about 2-3 seconds and not more since if it soaks up more it will not set well. You don’t really need eggs. Fold in whipped cream to the cheese and layer them on the cookies! It works out well for me.

        1. Hi Vaishali, thank you so much for your response. Yes, I did use mascarapone cheese, but I think I did not get the proportions of the cheese and cream right. And thanks for the tip on ladyfingers. Appreciate your reply.

  18. Good work ladies !!

    being from Bangalore, i’m very happy to see South Indian recipes on your website.
    and the filter coffee, each and every person has their own way of making coffee.
    I stay in wisconsin, no other drink can replace COFFEE to start the day.
    And i appreciate you both for showing us this recipe.
    No one is prefect in the world, everyone makes mistake.
    so please just ignore all the negative comments, and keep posting more and more videos, we would love to watch the new recipes.
    Good Luck Gals!!

  19. Did you know if you added some fresh orange juice or orange essence to the coffee( just a little)you could get to drink a most beautiful latte. Folks do try this.Go on ……………………………………………

  20. Though I am from South India, we dont make filter coffee at home. I always wondered how its made though. so thanks so much for this demo Hetal and Anuja !! Now I have my options 🙂

    Keep rocking!!

  21. There is a saying that before you say something, ask yourself if it is kind, if it is true and if it is necessary. Not just for the heck of making a comment or pass judgments.

    Also, what may be seem like a useless video to some may benefit a lot to others. One always has choices to view it or not.

    We have two lovely people doing what they love best and bringing in some learning and fun to our lives. Least we can do is respect that.

    H&A – Continue with your efforts and be yourselves.

  22. hi hetal n anuja,

    i`m not an indian.i`m a sri lankan bt i visit ur site weekly n sm days it becomes daily. anyway i hv a habit of visiting ur site, watching vdo`s n mom never found myself in kitchen until i watch ur vdo`s.:) bt nw @least i try to make smthing.during the last sunday marketing i bought a packet of atta n all purpose flour n i dnt hv an clear idea on making smthing as a start.i tried the prawn biriyani (unfortunately the prawns got BBQd 😀 ), tiramisu ,fruit tart,murukku. i hope to make papaya salad also. n i like to submit sm sri lankan spicy recipes for u if u dnt mind.

    anyway thnx for making a new me… u guys doing a gr8 job. keep it up.. i saw smone saying things abt anuja`s jokes n talking. personally i like u guys more nw than old days nw u guys r more n more familier to wt u does n itz so much fun to looking @ wt u do..keep it up.TC 🙂

  23. Dear MSV and others,

    Please enjoy the recipes and suggest any comments you may have. Yes there could be errors, but we are only humans. Don’t be rude. A polite suggestion gets a long way.

    Also, please don’t cross the line to make comments on their English or dressing style or one taking over the other!!

    We should appreciate that they are making an effort to shown us the recipe step by step and answers any questions we ask. Again as i said..they love any suggestions given.

    I hope everyone understands.

    Hetal and Anuja – Keep up the good work.

  24. I think both Anuja & Hetal are not naive as to see how some people are trying to rub one against the other, thank God both have their own personalites & do a great job, who talks how is not important here, you trouble makers dont think we can not see you stiring up trouble, but I think both Anuja & Hetal are above that & done care two hoots !!

  25. Oh, I am writting to tell u that I love both ur costumes. Both of u look So fabulous. If u dnt mind could u both tell me where did u pick this from? I know am asking something unrelated to SMTC.

    I am a coffee person, But this particular brand of Bru filter coffee takes long time to brew(decoction) compared to other brands we use in India (Narasus,Coffee day, Leo etc). But no choice left in U.S esp in many states.

    Keep Going ladies, Love both ur accent and the way u both carry urself on the show (yes, wanna contribute this to another viewers feedback about ur accent…) Keep rocking always!!!

  26. It’s funny when you learn to cook, you seek out dishes like dal, rajma, pulao, roti etc. that we take for granted the basic things that we grew up eating/ drinking and love.

    Thanks for bringing back those memories and teaching us to prepare the Indian fav. coffee ‘Filter coffee’. I’m impressed and have decided to bring from India the filter coffee pot when I’m going to visit next month.

    Really appreciate your effort Hetal and Anuja. 🙂


  27. U both r doing a great job…… just keep it up!!! we people keep waiting for new recipes to turn up on ur website! keep a section on ur homepage where u can update us about the upcoming recipes!

    Keep uploading a lot of recipes SMTC style.We all viewers love it.

  28. HI Hetal n Anuja,

    Thank you for this mind-bloowing coffee recipe. I loved this coffee and enjoyed it so much back home. But today i am glad i learnt it. You guys do a fabulous job devoting a lot of time and efforts. Thank you.

  29. I love coffee, and will certainly try out this method of filtered coffee- south indian style. I saw cute coffee/tea filters at Pier 1 during Christmas.
    Yeah, for all the people who comment, it’s okay to have opinions and comment but they should be positive, because both Anuja and Hetal are doing a wonderful job by taking so much time and effort to post new recipes each time, that too, for FREE. Thanks Hetal and Anuja- we learn a lot from you both.

  30. Hi,Hetal & Anuja

    I love you gals u’re doing a great job,and for the complainers out there,if there is something you don’t agree with or dislike have and opinion but,don’t be judgemental.Be grateful for their time and effort they but in to making these videos.We are all here to learn from each other.And we all just try to do the best we can.
    Smile and be happy.

  31. Love your videos. The filtered coffee you ladies made is eeringly similar to new orleans louisiana (usa) filtered coffee. The traditional pots were tall slender enamel pots and the coffee was made the same way – a little at a time. Many people, me included, enjoy chicory/coffee mixture and it is sold all over that city. the famous french coffee drink -cafe au lait- is half chicory coffee and half boiled milk. There are cafe’s that serve only cafe au lait and beignets (pronounced ben yayz) fried doughnuts. it was fun kinda reminicing with you. than you.

      1. Anuja & Hetal, where can i get Cafe Au Lait’s coffee with chicory (New Orleans, Lousiana) style ground coffee or bean in US and I live in Newjersey, Pls let me know. I love coffee with chicory.

        Can we make the Cafe Au Lait using coffee maker or does it require our Indian style filter ?

  32. Hello Ladies:
    You read my mind! This was the recipe I was waiting for! As you well said Anuja, it can basic for South Indian people, but for not for non-Indian people like me, who enjoy this kind of “out of this world” coffee in some South Indian restaurants. Loved it! Thanks and keep it up!

  33. Hi Anuja, Hetal,

    Some of the points you mentioned in the video are wrong.
    – You should never heat the decoction, you can use fresh decoction that is hot/warm, but never heat it. Coffee will lose its flavor.
    – In warm places (like India or some parts of US too) decoction can go bad (slimy & stringy…if you know what I mean) pretty soon. You don’t need to make it the previous night. 30 minutes in the morning is plenty.
    – As another person mentioned above, heat the milk to boiling point and add decoction and sugar and turn off the heat to get the best tasting coffee ever! Don’t heat the coffee afterwards.
    – You can store the decoction in the refrigerator, but it won’t taste the same as a fresh pot.

    Hope you can take my comments in good taste 🙂

    Love all your videos and the small banter that goes along with it!


  34. tks R for yr tips ,
    yeah ,Sha, Anuja talks a lot, lol …
    so dat doubles up time of the video which can be witty interesting and yet to the point!Good for their ‘fans’ though!not good for people who come here only for recipes n not to see anusha’ new hairstyle or hetal’s earrings!!
    (btw,personally, i prefer Hetal’s description, her English is lot better…)
    please show some innovative recipes which i think this site was all about earlier,but nowdays all i see are soem regular old your last few recipes…

    1. nice to give feedback..but not in a rude way! it is very sad that some people can be really bitter..on other’s just a little mistake ! I mean how perfact you are? u need to ask ur own self !

      No need for rude and Stupid comments ! please use comment box wisely and have some respect for others…will ya?

    2. Me too. I prefer Hetal’s description over Anuja’s. Quick and to the point. Auja, love you too. Just an opinion, no offence please.

        1. Thanks, have appreciated you very much for supporting Hetal against negative comments in the past. Both r doing a great job. Lots of blessings, Good luck and even more love.

    3. Talking a lot.. true but I do enjoy when they talk a little more, some humour, some flashback from how it was done by their moms…I think they are being themselves and I enjoy watching them as they don’t seem to pretend.
      I have complimented on their jewelry, tops, etc but hope they are not spending too much on those things as I don’t see them repeat any of their clothes!
      Overall, I enjoy the videos the way they are!

  35. H & A,

    I am disappointed with this video! I must say you did not do your homework well! This kind of coffee any rookie will make and I expected better from seasoned cooks like you guys.

    * Morning just heat the water, add it to the powder like you did. The decoction will be ready in 30mins-1hr.
    * If the decoction is older like previous night’s, the coffee taste will not be that great but you can use it if you don’t mind.
    * For best results, boil the milk well and add the coffee decoction at the end.
    * You should not heat the decoction or boil it while making coffee. Coffee looses its flavor. Heat the milk as much as needed and add the decoction.


      1. I provide feedback because, unlike you, I have some knowledge and think others can benifit from it! Plus, when the contents are not upto the mark, I say so and in turn I am sure H & A to look further than just basics on the given topic. It helps their viewers and hence H&A indirectly!

    1. BTW, i too have the same filter – the lil one, planning to buy the mama’s version 🙂 Love the coffee.

      FYI – chicory is sold seperately in US, we can even mix in Starbucks Ground Coffee (some ratio) if we want the fresh coffee.

      Indian store coffee powders do not have expiration date on it. Even they are changing the manufactured date in some stores in US. Hey People, beware of it !

      1. Coffee seeds are roasted well. If they are packed well after grinding, you can keep them for years!! so not need to get worked up about Indian stores keeping coffee powders for long!

        Other products they keep may be another story but not coffee powder!

  36. Awesome! Nothing like South Indian filter coffee 🙂 Of course, it has to have that ‘foam’ or the ‘froth’ floating on top 🙂 Thanks for sharing Anuja and Hetal!

    1. Hi Sivaranjani,
      We usually set it up at night and it’s ready by the time you wake up or you can set it up in the morning and it’ll take about 2 hours.

      1. Hey there!
        I grew up in a household always filled with the aroma of filter coffee. I highly doubt if the process takes 2 hours. My parents let it drip twice(i.e., refill once) and it takes them all of half an hour to have piping hot filter kaapi ready! Also, we enjoy the coffee best when we mix the two drips. One drip is too strong and more than two drips, the coffee is too diluted for our taste.

        1. Krithika,

          It depends on the perforated filter too. Mine does take close to 2 hours depending on the amount of coffee powder on the perforated filter. In our home we’ve always left it overnight.

        2. Possibly! My opinion is purely an observer’s perspective cuz as long as I lived with my parents my piping hot cup of coffee came to me without even asking 😀

          Hetal & Anuja,
          You guys really do an exceptionally good job with these videos. Keep them coming!

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