If you’ve never tried a Turkish coffee before, then you’re missing out. This rich, sweet form of coffee is packed full of flavor, which is why it has been a popular choice for caffeine aficionados for five centuries. Despite the name, this type of coffee isn’t just drunk in Turkey. It’s popular all over the world, but it’s particularly common in the Middle East.
A Brief History of Turkish Coffee
Before we move onto making a Turkish coffee, let’s have a little look at the history of this popular beverage.
The name comes from the fact that this method of brewing coffee was created in Turkey. It was around 1540 when the drink was first brewed. At that time, Turkey was central to the Ottoman Empire. Yemen was also part of the Ottoman Empire at this time. Coffee had recently become a popular beverage in Yemen, so the Turkish governor for the region decided to take some to the Sultan in Turkey for him to try. Unsurprisingly, he loved it.
But the people around him felt that the coffee beans could be used more effectively through a different brewing method. It took some experimentation. Turkish coffee was born after the Sultan’s staff ground the beans into a very fine powder, before then using a particular pot to brew it. But we’ll get onto that pot and how it works shortly.
What you need to make Turkish coffee
If you’ve ever found your eyes glazing over as you read the list of coffees that are available at your local Starbucks, then you’ll be pleased to know that Turkish coffee is very simple. It doesn’t require any complicated machinery. Nor does it require a qualification as a barista to learn how to make it. It’s very simple, indeed. But you do need to have the right equipment. And there is one piece of equipment that’s more important than any other.
The Cezve is the Turkish coffee pot that’s used for brewing the drink. There are a few different names for it, inclusing “ibrik.” Or you may know it as a Turkish coffee pot. Whatever you call it, you need one to make a Turkish coffee. They are inexpensive, and you can find them easily online. You should make sure that the pot you get is suited to your stove. For example, a Cezve that can be used on an induction hob might end up destroyed by gas, so choose your Cezve carefully.
Of course, you’re going to need some coffee, too. Arabica beans are preferred for Turkish coffee. You can use Robusta or a blend if you so wish, but Arabica beans have been used since Turkish coffee was very first brewed, and we recommend it. Always make sure that the coffee has been recently roasted so that it’s completely fresh. You should always purchase coffee beans that have a roast date on the packaging. Most coffee experts recommend that the coffee should have been roasted two weeks before purchasing it. This isn’t always possible, but if you’re a budding coffee snob, then keep this in mind.
When it comes to Turkish coffee, you must grind the beans to a very fine powder-like consistency. This requires a special grinder. So, make sure to purchase one that has the setting for Turkish coffee.
NOTE: If you do not want to purchase a new coffee grinder, then it’s possible to buy coffee that has already been ground to a very fine consistency for Turkish coffee. The coffee won’t be as fresh, but it saves you time and money.
Other Equipment and Ingredients
Besides a Turkish coffee pot, coffee beans, and a grinder, you’ll also need the following:
• A spoon
• Sugar – not mandatory but recommended
• Water – preferably filtered
• Demitasse coffee cups – to make the experience more authentic, but if you do not have them, then use a standard coffee cup
If we’ve got everything, we can start to make Turkish coffee. Follow the following steps to get a tasty cup of Turkish coffee.
1. Each cup of coffee will require approximately 360ml of water. Pour the correct amount of cold, filtered water into your Cezve.
2. Add approximately 20ml of ground coffee per cup. This is the equivalent of a heaped tablespoon. Don’t stir at this point!
3. If you want sugar in your Turkish coffee, add it to the water and coffee. Remember, don’t stir!
4. Now place the Cezve on a medium heat on your stove or hob.
5. Once the coffee starts to sink, you should then stir the mixture.
6. Make sure that the coffee doesn’t heat too quickly. Remove the Cezve from the heat if you notice that it’s starting to boil.
7. Within 3 to 4 minutes you should start to notice foam forming on the top of the coffee. Remove the foam and share between your coffee cups, then continue to stir the mixture.
8. As the mixture starts to boil, remove it from the heat. Then share half the liquid between the cups, pouring it over the foam.
9. Return the remaining coffee to the heat. Once again, when it starts to approach a boil, remove it from the heat, and then pour the rest into the cups.
Tips for Enjoying a Perfect Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is best enjoyed black. Adding cream or milk is a no-no in places where you’ll find Turkish coffee. It can ruin the taste. So, try it black before you pour in your cream or milk.
Also, it’s usual to enjoy Turkish coffee with something sweet. If you truly want the Turkish experience, then purchase Turkish delight or baklava, which will complement the taste of the coffee.
Water is often served with Turkish coffee so that drinkers can clean their palette.