Kaapi, the original latte

Before there were fancy lattes and frappes, there was good old Indian kaapi.

Abhishek Rai
Apr 18, 2018 · 3 min read

The original latte

I grew up in 90s, when there were no speciality cafes. There were no CCDs, no Baristas, no Costas and no Starbucks. Life was sans espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. Espresso machines belonged to 5 star hotels.

However, there was always filter coffee. It wasn’t expensive. It was delicious. It was from South.

Southern India had mastered traditional milk coffee.Tasty milk coffee was and still is available in humble road side shacks, family restaurants, middle class cafés/ darshinis and in the homes.

They call it it Kaapi, Kumbhakonam ( Tamil), Bondhi Bisneeru ( Karnataka) and Kotai Vadineer ( Sri Lankan).

As good as any coffee

Concentrate + milk + sugar = magic

There is a kaapi version of every coffee on earth.

  • Kaapi latte: adding kaapi concentrate to milk
  • Kaappuccino: kaapi concentrate + milk + froth
  • Kaapiato: kaapi concentrate + froth
  • Kapigato: kaapi concentrate + 1 scoop of ice-cream
  • Kaappe: kaapi concentrate + cold milk + ice cream + blend
  • Cold kaapi: kaapi concentrate + cold milk + blend
  • Iced Kaapi: kaapi concentrate + ice + creamer

Kaapi vs espresso

Kaapi is as cool as espresso

Sun Shan is a roaster and a brewmaster. He has brewed both the coffees. He says, “ One can not really compare espresso based milk coffees and Kaapi filter coffees. It’s like comparing two equally good red wines. So, the best way is to enjoy both.

Indian latte maker: 200 years old

Copper kaapi makers at Murali in Sirangam, Tamil Nadu

Simple design:
So, we invented the humble kaapi maker. It is of steel or copper. It has just two chambers. One filters. Other gathers concentrate.

It’s affordable:
It’s not as expensive as other coffee equipments. It lasts forever, as it is of steel. And, the cost per cup is at least 1/4th of a cup of coffee in a cafe.

It’s flexible:
One can store concentrate in the fridge. Just mix milk with it, and carry it to home, office or a picnic.

Why wait, brew great kaapi now:

You require three things.

  1. Bullet proof brewing method → Click here
    Sunil, the coffee geek, has come up with recipe for home brewers. It takes into account the environment at home such as lack of weighing scale or measuring spoons.
  2. The kaapi maker
    It’s time you get one for yourself. It is available online and in nearby shops.
  3. Fresh coffee powder
    Fresher the coffee powder, better will be the taste. Sunil recommends a two week cycle.

The Kaapi Project

Making Indian coffee great again

Abhishek Rai

Written by

Partner @ Shack Co.

The Kaapi Project

Making Indian coffee great again

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