There are only a few significant moments in our life that makes us realize the value of little things, emotions, people, and spaces that we hold on to. Down in South India, we make sure to grab on to all of these values just by holding on to a cup of our very special South Indian filter coffee.

If you grew up in a typical South Indian household, especially in Tamil Nadu, you would know that kaapi (romanization of the Tamil pronunciation for coffee) was one of the very first words you learned as a child. You must have caught yourself being tempted from its aroma, as it lingered throughout the house on a lazy morning.

Kaapis Stick Through Thick And Thin:

A grouchy morning follows a work-filled sleepless night, so waking up to a brand-new day of the same routine only makes you want to rip your hair apart. But this depressing void that you keep for yourself is broken as you pour out the kaapi decoction into hot milk, and walk away from the kitchen to comfortably seat yourself on the dining chair.

The aroma slowly teases you to take the first sip of the day. As you indulge into the hot drink, everything that you dread seems like it wasn’t that big of a deal after all. You are ready to fight whatever the day brings you, as long as you come back home in the evening to immerse yourself in this bliss again.

If you don’t drink coffee, or aren’t especially aware of the South Indian filter coffee, what I’ve written above may sound like an exaggeration to fit the ideals of a utopia. But it IS one. Kaapi, for generations, has dictated the pace of how our day goes, and also has been a sign of a welcoming home. From our housemaids to our close friends and family, providing a cup of kaapi has been one of the main ways of telling them that we respect and cherish their presence without uttering a single word.

It’s really funny to know how a sip of this hot beverage can become a widely acclaimed sentiment. It has always been a way of meditation. Think about it. Though an hour-long break can be taken from strenuous work, a cup of kaapi is what will distract you for a while and lets you live in the moment.


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Good Relationships Are Built Over A Cup Of South Indian Filter Coffee:

As the to-be couple looks into the eyes of each other while talks of marriage go in the background, the person belonging to the hosting house hands over a cup of kaapi, smiling in assurance.

As the person finally reaches home after a long day at college, their room-mate nonchalantly slides a cup of kaapi by the table and walks away.

As the parents fight with their child and give them the silent treatment, they scream out their dear one’s name to come and get their daily dose of kaapi.

Kaapi isn’t synonymous with happiness, it is synonymous with words. Being diluted with milk, it is less caffeinated than black coffee, but the outburst of energy by the accompanied euphoric experiences is far greater than any caffeinated beverages. If you’ve never had kaapi in your life, then make it the first item in your bucket list.

It may be the easiest one to tick off, but the satisfaction of not missing out is a different feeling. You don’t need to do much – just call a friend or a sibling in the evening. Drive to the nearest kaapi kadai (filter coffee shop) and take a seat. Talk about your day, and just remember to let the presence of your loved one sink in.


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