Turkish coffee is a delicious drink often served after a Turkish meal. Dark, sweet and intensely flavoured it is a taste experience that can easily stand in for dessert. Making Turkish coffee properly, though, is not quite as simple as throwing a couple of teaspoons of Nescafe into a mug and adding hot water. It requires care and patience to produce the perfect brew.
Turkish Coffee Equipment
To make Turkish coffee you’ll need a cezve. Also known variously as an ibrik, a toorka, a mbiki or a briki, this vessel is a small conical pot, often made from copper or brass (see the photo at the top of this article).
In addition, if you wish to serve your Turkish coffee in the traditional manner you’ll need fincan, or Turkish coffee cups.
Turkish Coffee Powder
Much of the richness and intensity of Turkish coffee comes from the extremely fine grind of the coffee beans. Turkish coffee is the finest of all coffee grinds and resembles a powder more than ground up beans. Indeed, the grind is so fine some home-use electric grinders are unable to produce it. Don’t be tempted to make Turkish coffee with something like a normal espresso grind – it just won’t work.
Some Turkish coffee powder is flavoured with cardamom.
Making Turkish Coffee
To make Turkish coffee using a medium size, 250 ml (8 oz) cezve follow the steps below.
1. Place two level teaspoons of white sugar in your cezve.
2. Add cold water. The water should come up just to the start of the neck and no further. The neck of the cezve must be left empty to accommodate the foaming of the coffee. As a rule of thumb use one cup of water for each cup of coffee you want to make plus an extra half cup “for the pot”.
3. Add one level tablespoon of coffee powder per cup and stir.
4. Place your cezve over a low heat – with Turkish coffee slower is better. Now this is where the care and patience come in; the coffee must not be allowed to boil. However, it must be allowed to foam. The foaming process is absolutely essential to making proper Turkish coffee. Watch your brew carefully, after a minute or two you’ll see the surface of the coffee begin to foam and rise up the neck of the cezve. Remove the coffee from the heat and allow the foam to subside.
5. Place the cezve back on the heat and repeat the process until the coffee has foamed a total of three times. Remove from the heat.
6. As the foam is one of the most desirable elements of a cup of Turkish coffee you’ll want to apportion it equally between each cup. Do this by scooping out a teaspoon or two of the foam and placing it in the bottom of each coffee cup.
7. Fill the cups up with the remaining coffee from the cezve.
8. Let the coffee stand for a minute before drinking to allow the sediment to settle to the bottom of the cup.
Once you’ve taken a few sips of this delicious beverage you’ll notice a thick layer of grounds at the bottom of the cup – this is completely natural and is part of the whole Turkish coffee experience. Some cultures actually use these coffee grounds like tea leaves to predict the future.
Whether you’re predicting the future or just rounding off a meal, one thing’s for sure – once you’ve mastered the art of making Turkish coffee your dinner guests are going to demand more than one cup.
To learn more about how to make Turkish coffee check out this video.