Coffee is something of a cultural icon in Kerala, Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is customary to offer a cup of coffee to any visitor. Coffee was originally introduced by Baba Budan to South India in 17th century and became very popular under the British Rule. Until the middle of the 20th century traditional households would not use granulated sugar but used jaggery or honey, instead in coffee.
South Indian Kumbakonam Filter Coffee, also known as Filter Coffee is a sweet milky coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans (70%-80%) and chicory (20%-30%), especially popular in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh.The most commonly used coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta grown in the hills of Tamil Nadu (Nilgiris District, Yercaud and Kodaikanal), Karnataka (Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan), and Kerala (Malabar region). Outside India, a coffee drink prepared using a filter may be known as Filter Coffee or as Drip Coffee as the water passes through the grounds solely by gravity and not under pressure or in longer-term contact.
Kumbakonam Filter Coffee is brewed with a metal device that resembles two cylindrical cups, one of which has a pierced bottom that nests into the top of the “tumbler” cup, leaving ample room underneath to receive the brewed coffee. The upper cup has two removable parts: a pierced pressing disc with a central stem handle, and a covering lid. (A similar device is used to brew Vietnamese coffee.)