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Coffee War – Flat White versus South Indian Filter Coffee

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Google doodle

Google Doodle celebrates the flat white coffee which is believed to have originated
in Newzealand and Australia

In the vast realm of caffeinated beverages, two titans reign supreme: the Flat White and the South Indian Filter Coffee. Each boasting unique flavors, brewing methods, and cultural significance, these beverages have captured the hearts of coffee aficionados worldwide. Let’s delve into the captivating journey of these two brews, exploring their origins, making, and the subtle nuances that set them apart.

The Google Doodle of the day has brought back the conversation of the flat white which is any day more flavourful than the cappaccinos of the world – it is interesting to see how it is so similar to the south Indian filter coffee – yet so different.

Google doodle

Origins and History:

The Flat White traces its roots back to the vibrant coffee scene of Australia and New Zealand. It emerged in the 1980s, becoming a beloved staple of cafes across the region. With its velvety texture and perfect balance of espresso and steamed milk, the Flat White swiftly gained popularity, eventually making its mark on the global coffee stage.

On the other hand, the South Indian Filter Coffee boasts a rich heritage deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of Southern India. Dating back to the 17th century, this brew has been a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Made from dark roasted coffee beans and chicory, brewed in a traditional metal filter, and served with frothy milk and sugar, South Indian Filter Coffee embodies the essence of hospitality and warmth.

The Making of Flat White and Filter Coffee:

The Flat White is a delicate dance of espresso and milk, crafted with precision and finesse. It begins with a double shot of espresso, extracted with expertise to achieve the perfect balance of flavors. Velvety microfoam milk is then carefully poured over the espresso, creating a smooth, creamy texture that envelops the palate in blissful harmony.

In contrast, the making of South Indian Filter Coffee is a ritual steeped in tradition. Dark roasted coffee beans and chicory are ground to a fine powder, packed into a traditional metal filter known as a “dabara.” Hot water is then poured over the coffee grounds, allowing the rich brew to slowly drip into a waiting tumbler below. The decoction is then mixed with frothy, boiled milk and a dash of sugar, resulting in a cup of aromatic perfection that is both bold and invigorating.

Similar, but so Different 

While both beverages share the foundation of espresso, their characteristics set them apart. The Flat White offers a delicate sweetness and creamy texture, accentuating the nuanced flavors of the espresso. In contrast, South Indian Filter Coffee boasts a robust profile with a hint of bitterness, balanced by the frothy milk and sugar. The bitterness people like in their coffee especially the south Indians is seen to be believed. In Tamil Nadu – Chickory – the bark powder is avoided to retain the flavour and bitterness – which is added in various proportions in the erstwhile Madras Presidency states – Andhra Pradesh & Telangana.

In terms of presentation, the Flat White is often served in a smaller cup, allowing the creamy texture to take center stage. Meanwhile, South Indian Filter Coffee is traditionally served in a stainless steel tumbler and dabara, symbolizing the simplicity and authenticity of its origins.

From Homes & Road-side Stalls to Upscale Cafes:

It’s worth noting that South Indian Filter Coffee has found its place on the menus of fine dining establishments and upscale coffee houses, further elevating its status beyond its cultural roots. Its inclusion speaks to the universal appeal and appreciation for its bold flavors and heritage.

As Google Doodle celebrates the Flat White today, it is interesting to compare both the coffees that stand as symbols of diversity and tradition in the world of coffee. Whether enjoyed in a quaint café or a luxurious setting, each cup tells a story of culture, craftsmanship, and the timeless allure of coffee. So, raise your cup and savor the journey, one sip at a time.

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