For any Indian coffee lover, it’s difficult to convince there’s anything better than good old filter coffee. From the brew to aroma and its taste, there’s something about filter coffee that brings together purists as well as coffee lovers. In a way, filter coffee is meant to be a stronger cup of coffee compared to the instant coffee fixes that the organized market has claimed for itself. To get you started on your journey from instant coffee to India’s darling coffee, here’s a primer on all things about filter coffee.
How Filter Coffee Is Made
Filter coffee is prepared by roasting coffee beans and then adding it to coffee making machines. Later the machine grinds the coffee beans giving out fresh coffee. This fresh coffee can be later mixed with boiling milk and sweetener. Roasting beans enhances its flavor, thereby giving a perfect cup of coffee.
Indian filter coffee, also known as South Indian filter coffee or Madras filter coffee or Kaapi (South Indian pronunciation of coffee), is prepared in a slightly different manner. Fresh red coffee berries are picked and dried before medium roasting it. Later, the beans are finely ground and are again roasted – this time with a plant named coffee weed or Chicory. Coffee weed gives it the perfect color, aroma and taste. Don’t worry, coffee weed isn’t the ingredient that’ll get you on a coffee ‘high’.
Filter coffee is prepared in a tool made of steel in the shape of a tumbler cup. The beans are loaded in the upper cup. The beans are compressed lightly. Hot water is then poured in the tumbler and is covered by a lid. The water slowly drips giving the smooth, strong and rich coffee brew. A perfect cup of filter coffee is made by adding two table spoons of the coffee brew in boiling milk and the required amount of sweetener.
Where To Find Authentic Filter Coffee In Mumbai
Mumbai has a longstanding reputation of serving the most authentic filter coffee, so much so that some of these establishments have become iconic just for serving some of the most mind-blowing South Indian food, filter coffee included. Here are a few chosen places to have filter coffee in you’re in Mumbai.
1) Café Madras
Located in Matunga, Café Madras is one of the top South Indian restaurants in the city. Established in 1940, the café is open from Monday to Sunday. Apart from serving delicious South Indian breakfast, Café Madras also serves the best filter coffee with slightly strong and not so sweet taste.
Price: INR 25/cup
2) Café Mysore
Also located in Matunga, Café Mysore brews the most authentic filter coffee. This 50-year-old joint is one of the most iconic cafes and is known for its quality of food and service.
Price: INR 30/cup
3) Mani’s Lunch Home
Mani’s Lunch Home has its joints in Sion and Chembur. Apart from having super good lunch at Mani’s, don’t forget to miss their dark coloured filter coffee.
Price: INR 25/cup
4) Indian Coffee House
Established in 1936, Indian Coffee House was the meeting point for freedom fighters and social activists during India’s freedom struggle. Now the café has about 400 joints across the country. 84 years later, many things have changed except the taste of their filter coffee.
Price: INR 25/cup
This place is situated in Juhu and people living nearby swear by this place. And if we know one thing about local recommendations, it’s the fact that you can never go wrong with them.
Price: INR 50/cup
Also located in Matunga, Ramashraya is loved by South Indians not just for its delicious taste of dosa, idli and rice but also their strong and not so bitter filter coffee.
Price: INR 55/cup
Where To Buy Filter Coffee Powder
We understand you might not want to travel to the places listed above to get hooked to filter coffee. Thankfully, there’s a range of brands that offer a similar experience delivered to your doorstep. Check them out below.
This filter coffee brand is known for its authentic taste and aroma. It gets its name from the town named Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu where the coffee is made. Kumbakonam Degree coffee is prepared from pure cow’s milk and no adulterants are added while making the beverage. Other than being famous for its filter coffee powder, Kumbakonam brand is also famous for its brass vessels, temples and music.
Established in the year 1926, the company is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of ground coffee and roasted coffees in India. The brand is also known for its filter coffee manufactured in Tamil Nadu. Narasu’s filter coffee has an unforgettable taste and comes without any adulteration.
Mysore Concerns is the one stop shop for all coffee lovers. The brand sells filter coffee powder freshly grounded in front of the customer since 1939. Right from selecting the coffee seeds to grounding, everything is done in-house. The coffee beans are grown and transported from Bangalore and the roasting and grinding is done in Matunga, Mumbai. Mysore Concern’s coffee has slightly strong taste that makes it the most perfect filter coffee.
After completing her Ph.D. from Cambridge University, Arshiya Bose founded Black Baza Coffee. This brand focuses on biodiversity-friendly farming. They offer variety of flavours to choose from and all are packed in a bio-degradable packets made from sugarcane waste.
The Indian Bean supplies single-estate coffee that means the beans are grown in a single farm. This process maintains the taste and aroma of the coffee.
This brand manufactures its famous filter coffee in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The brand’s coffee is known for its incredible taste and traditional preparing method.
Vedaka hails from Chikamagalur, Karnataka. The dark roasted coffee has certain amount of bitterness and a strong taste making it a first-choice beverage.
For the truly lazy ones out there, there couldn’t be anything better than this coffee concontion that works like instant coffee but elevates it with authentic filter coffee for your taste buds. True South and Madcaf are other brands that offer a similar experience.
Whether you’re stepping out to try filter coffee or choose any of the above brands to deliver it to you, once thing is for certain – once you taste good filter coffee you’ll keep finding ways of seeking it out as much as possible.
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Palak Khandelwal is a chai enthusiast and a writer on her journey to making a career in journalism