The Kaapi Project is bringing the unique, centuries-old Indian coffee culture Down Under

The Kaapi Project is bringing the unique, centuries-old Indian coffee culture Down Under

Meet Melbourne’s first locally-roasted Indian Filter Coffee purveyors.

Run by Melbourne-based, Indian-Italian duo Suraj and Syl, The Kaapi Project is dedicated to bringing the long-held traditions of Indian coffee to Australian drinkers. Launched in 2009, the pair became Melbourne’s first locally-roasted Indian Filter Coffee purveyors and have since made it their mission to teach locals about the culture and intricacies of their beloved kaapi. We caught up with them to find out what sets Indian coffee apart, how it’s brewed and everything else you need to know.

Give us a bit of the backstory to your business.

In the southern states of India, where Indian coffee originates, the word ‘kaapi’ transcends linguistic and cultural differences and translates to coffee. We are a Melbourne duo passionate about bringing the centuries-old Indian coffee culture to the fore. While several different styles of coffee have made it Down Under, we realised how little-known the Indian Filter Coffee is. From the coffee beans, brewing technique to the serving style, the Indian filter coffee has many unique elements largely unknown to even Melbourne’s seasoned coffee drinkers.

Have you noticed any notable shifts in the way people are drinking coffee or the amount of coffee they are drinking?

Certainly. We think a lot more people are brewing and learning to brew coffee now. Once people start brewing, the range of coffee options they can enjoy also suddenly explodes. The amount of coffee consumption has also increased as almost all coffee that they drink now is at home.

Tell us a bit about the coffee bean creation process. Why is it so important that your beans are made in-house?

Our choice of Indian coffees, roasting, blending and brewing styles are specifically meant to showcase the style of coffee we brew, the Indian Filter Coffee. Our roasts are generally in the Medium to Medium Dark range for a full-bodied cup. Doing this in-house not only gives us complete control over every aspect of our product, but we can also ensure our product is locally and freshly roasted/brewed.

What separates your coffee beans from your Melbourne competition?

We exclusively use specialty grade Indian origin coffees and chicory to craft our blends. Currently, we offer two signature house blends: Chicory Coffee Blend, available as grounds or decoction, and Pure Specialty Indian Coffee blend, available as beans, grounds or decoction. We also champion the traditional batch-brewing method of using an Indian filter pot to craft our coffee brews (decoction – coffee concentrate), which is the easiest way to try our coffees.

Do you have a favourite coffee blend that you offer? Why is it your favourite?

Pre-COVID and lockdowns, our one and only core offering was our original house blend that pays homage to the South Indian chicory blended coffee. This is a standout offering as it’s very unique in its taste profile and a hit with locals and traditional Indian filter coffee drinkers alike. The French introduced this style of coffee to India when they occupied parts of South India in the 17th Century.

For someone who is not clued into the intricacies of a coffee bean, what does one need to look for when choosing their beans either when making coffee from home or when drinking out?

For a start, most roasters would recommend the best way to enjoy their coffee – with milk or black and which brewing method may be most suitable to bring out what they are trying to highlight in their coffees. Another question is if you brew, do you also grind your coffee? As an example, with our coffees, depending on whether you buy beans, grounds or decoction, you can enjoy Indian origin coffees or the unique blends or the traditional style Indian filter coffee.

Tell us a bit about your coffee delivery service. How can one get their hands on your beans?

We offer a flat fare shipping rate of $5 across Australia. Our focus, however, is local and we offer free bike delivery to inner Melbourne metro locations. While not all deliveries in this zone are currently fulfilled by bike, we still offer free shipping within this zone (a list of postcodes is available on our website). Our freshly brewed, ready to use coffee concentrate is almost always personally delivered to ensure it reaches customers within a day of brewing.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The Indian Filter Coffee brew is close to espresso in strength and richness. This is what is used as a base to prepare the Indian Filter Coffee, which as a serving style is much like a latte. While our coffees can be enjoyed black and some of our locals prefer it so, if you ask for an Indian Filter Coffee at a cafe (except our pop-up), you’ll receive a milk-based latte style coffee.

Order online and find out more about The Kaapi Project by visiting their website

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