Is The Viral Indian Cappuccino The Same As Filter Kaapi?

If the viral Indian cappuccino is confusing to you, you’re not alone. The frothy hot coffee made with instant coffee is gaining a lot of popularity with non-Indian coffee lovers, since it’s quick, easy and promises a smoothness. Digital content creator Ethan Rode who is famous for his coffee-related content and recipes, recently shared a video for an ‘Indian cappuccino’, which is a style of hot coffee made with instant coffee and steamed milk. 

“Take some milk and heat it up in a microwave till it’s hot. In a mug we’ll add one tablespoon of instant coffee, one tablespoon of sugar and a splash of our milk. Then you whip it and add the rest of the milk. This literally tastes like you’re drinking coffee ice cream,” Rode says.

Several people pointed out in the comment section that this is a pretty standard way of making coffee, even in smaller shops which sell tea and coffee. Some coffee lovers argue that the Indian cappuccino is not too different from South Indian filter coffee, except the basic preparation. And though both coffees are quite frothy and use steamed milk similarly, there are some pretty key differences.

The Indian Cappuccino Is Creamier

The viral Indian cappuccino uses a whipped coffee base, unlike the filter coffee which makes it creamier. It is simply a variation of the classic Italian cappuccino tailored to suit Indian tastes and preferences. It consists of equal parts of instant, steamed milk, and frothed milk.

Indian cappuccino tends to have a bold coffee flavor especially if you’re using high-strength instant coffee varieties. Milk is steamed and frothed separately using a steam wand, which creates a velvety texture. Although you can also use a simple whip or coffee frother. 

Filter Coffee Is More Precise

South Indian filter coffee primarily consists of two key ingredients, coffee decoction and milk. The coffee decoction is made by brewing a specific blend of coffee grounds, typically a mixture of Arabica and Robusta beans, in a traditional metal filter called a "davarah" or "tumbler."

Fresh milk, usually boiled and slightly sweetened with sugar, is added to the coffee decoction. To prepare South Indian filter coffee, the coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber of the metal filter and hot water is poured over them. The decoction slowly drips down into the lower chamber, resulting in a strong and flavorful coffee concentrate.

Fresh milk is boiled separately and added to the coffee decoction, usually in a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. The coffee is traditionally served in small stainless steel cups. Owing to its preparation method, South Indian filter coffee is more robust in taste, characterised by a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness.

The brewing process using the metal filter extracts the full-bodied essence of the coffee beans, resulting in a profile that’s much more precise since it’s easier to control portions of each ingredient in the filter.