Indian Coffee

in Brewing Coffee, Coffees of the World

It’s always fun for me when a bunch of coincidental things happen at once.  Earlier last week, I was e-mailing back and forth with Shreerag Plakazhi of India.  I had misunderstood that he was asking me if I’d ever tried coffees from India.  There is coffee production out of India, most of it from small growers, and responsible for about 5% of the world’s coffee production.  Shreerag was actually referring to a unique coffee brewing method called Indian filter coffee or South Indian coffee.

True Indian filter coffee is made with a unique two-cup metal contraption, and I don’t have one.  It’s also made with a combination of dark-roasted coffee and chicory.  A week later, I received an email from a visitor to the site named Makeda Queen, asking me if I had any advice on adding chicory to coffee.  Last but not least, this week, a new book entitled “The Romance of Indian Coffee” was released, and I knew the stars must be aligned for me to experiment with something new.

  • Ask Marc: Got a question about coffee?  Any question?

Here’s the best that I figured I could make my own Indian filter coffee at home:

– It’s made with roughly a 80% / 20% mix of dark-roasted coffee and chicory.
– I don’t have any dark-roasted coffee at home, but I did just receive my home roasting equipment.  If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been having lots of fun home roasting again.  I took the last of my unroasted Nicaragua Maragogype beans that I bought from Toronto’s Green Beanery and roasted them as dark as I could without burning them, or setting off the fire alarms.
– On my last trip to the grocery store, I bought some chicory from the baking aisle.  I’m not the culinary type, so I confess I don’t quite know what exactly chicory is.
– I’ve decided the method I will use to brew in absence of the true equipment is by Chemex pourover.

The magic all happens tomorrow.  I don’t know what to expect, but the only way to truly appreciate the wide world of coffee is to try as much of it as you can.  You don’t need to roast your own beans and buy chicory from the grocery store, but if you love coffee, experiment with it.  Try one you’ve never tried before.  And when you visit your local roaster, take the time (and theirs) to learn what they have to offer that you would enjoy and haven’t tried.


  1. Marc I am looking forward to hearing how this all worked for you and I hope that you are impressed with the flavors that you
    experience…. I just might give it a try.

    Thanks Marc

    Comment by Robin — December 7, 2011 @ 4:20 am

  2. I did my best with my makeshift gear, but I want to be sure not to call it true Indian Filter coffee. Also, to be served the genuine article in India would be an amazing cultural experience. Having said all that, I did not really enjoy the accent of flavor added by the chicory. It’s possible that I used too much, but the taste influence matched the smell of the chicory itself and it just wasn’t for me.

    Comment by Marc Wortman — December 7, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  3. Hello, chicory coffee is an acquired taste for some. Traditional (New Orleans) Louisiana coffee is a chicory blend, Check out Cafe du Monde and French Market. It is my daily coffee,by pour-over method using Ceramic Melitta. Yes, even camping and foreign travel,except to S. America (see below). The method is completely portable, quick, and simple. The brew is always perfect.
    My true love is very strong Peruvian coffee, and I do not see any posts where you have had it prepared for you. In Peru, Coffee is prepared by pour-over, and is very strong, nearly as strong as Turkish or Greek style. It is served in a ceramic carafe, alongside a jug of hot water and another with hot milk, for the coffee drinker to adjust strength in his or her own cup. If you are having Peruvian any other way, you are missing the beauty of it.
    Sorry this comment could have gone on 2 other subject pages. topics, chicory, pour-over and Peruvian

    Comment by Tika — June 12, 2013 @ 3:24 am

  4. PS The Vietnamese method looks like the Indian you have described.

    Comment by Tika — June 12, 2013 @ 3:26 am

Add your comment