Using the right milk and its perfect treatment can take your filter KAAPI from good to 'sooper-dooper'.
Prepared in a traditional Indian filter pot, the Indian filter coffee is brewed delicately by allowing hot boiling water to seep through finely ground coffee, only helped by gravity (and the pressure built by steam inside the top chamber when closed)!
The extraction yields a much smoother and strong espresso style coffee, needing a dash of milk and sugar to help balance the taste. Not to mention this is how it pairs beautifully with spicy Indian breakfast fare in the southern states of India.
Once you're happy perfecting the coffee extraction technique it's time to take milk a bit more seriously too. That perfect tumbler of filter KAAPI needn't be elusive after all!
In Australia, we have access to top-class milk quality. While the prices range from $1/litre to about $3/litre, you don't need to spend a lot to make a great cuppa. But the following tips we think is crucial to elevate your Indian filter coffee experience,
First off, full cream milk is a prerequisite for great coffee. Period. Reserve the skim milk for your cereal if you wish, but coffee tastes best with full cream milk.
Pro-Tip: Some milk have a high fat content (over 5.8g/250ml), which we think is the upper limit.
HEATING & FROTHING technique
Steaming on the stovetop as opposed to using a microwave or an espresso frothing wand makes all the difference.
An espresso machine's steam wand introduces hot steam into milk to raise it's temperature and generally baristas preparing espresso based coffees bring the temperature only up to 65 deg Celsius. Traditional style Indian filter coffee on the other hand uses scalded milk.
Modern day conveniences have made the traditional method of steaming milk on the stovetop obsolete. But this good old way of scalding milk makes traditional Indian filter coffee taste better.
Pro-Tip: Steam milk just up to the point when the cream starts to separate. This also saves having to use a strainer to catch the cream before pouring into the coffee.
LONG POUR & AERATION
Manual aeration by long pouring the milk into the coffee decoction is critical and serves a few purposes,
1. It cools down the coffee to drinking temperature
2. It aerates, textures and froths the milk improving its flavour and aroma
3. It dissolves any added sugar
With a growing number of people intolerant to dairy and or preferring dairy-free options, we also serve our blend with soy milk at in-cafe pop-ups we do. We prefer stovetop steamed BonSoy with a touch of sugar. However, we follow the same process of stovetop steaming and long pouring to bring it close to the traditional filter coffee experience.
Happy Brewing! Do hit us up if you have any questions.