A filter coffee??? Sounds easy.... but not everyone can make the perfect south indian filter coffee. The key secret of Tambrahm filter coffee lies in the perfect making of the strong decoction. The coffee made using the 1st decoction (it is called strong decoction) and freshly extracted milk from the cow is termed as degree coffee or Kumbakonam degree coffee. However its not possible nowadays, to get the fresh extracted milk and you can use the one you buy regularly. The picture below gives a complete self explanatory making of the decoction. But, I am also posting the step by step instructions while scrolling down. Just follow it and you can become the "Coffee Queen" in your home.
The right choice of coffee powder:
I generally use freshly brewed, finely ground (but not very fine), Peaberry coffee powder without chicory. An equal proportion and combination of 'Peaberry' and 'Plantation A' coffee powder can also be used. You get a good decoction out of this also. If store bought, cothas coffee powder is available all over the world. Personally, I feel it is somewhat coarse and I would prefer a nicely ground, freshly brewed coffee powder. The right choice of coffee powder also matters in getting a tasty, aromatic, flavourful coffee.
HOW TO PREPARE A STRONG DECOCTION?:
These steps can be followed for any sized filter, be it small or big.
1. The coffee filter has 4 parts, the cylindrical base, the cylindrical top with pores, perforated pressing disc with a stem and the lid.
2. Place the base. Keep the pored vessel on top of that, add coffee powder little less than 1/4 filter, press gently with your fingers, place the perforated disc, press again very gently. Bring water to a rolling boil. Pour upto 3/4th of the filter, close with the lid leaving a hairline gap.
3. The decoction drips on the bottom portion of the filter. This is the 1st decoction. Collect this 1st decoction in a small container. This decoction is used for a degree coffee.
4. Boil little more water and brew for the 2nd time, preferably pour upto half of the filter this time. The decoction dripped is the 2nd decoction and this will be lighter.
Boil fresh milk. Take little decoction, 1 or 2 tablespoons depending on your requirement, add milk to get the desired strong, thick coffee, add sugar and froth once or twice. Degree coffee/ filter coffee/ south indian filter coffee is ready.
NOTES & TIPS:
Coffee tastes good in freshly boiled milk. Let the milk be hot.
Do not re-heat the coffee.
Choose the correct filter size.
Do not press the powder tight, gently press it.
Check clogging of pores once a week. Prick with a needle if blocked.
To avoid the block while dripping, run the cylindrical top with pores under water & place on the base before filling it with coffee powder. This enables easy flow of the dripping and strong decoction as well.
To avoid block while dripping, do not press the powder too tight.
Coffee when mixed with 2nd , light decoction tastes bitter and less flavoured.