This is a guest post by Lucy from Turkish coffee specialists, Turkishcoffeedeal.com – a specialist supplier based in Turkey, who deliver directly to the UK.
Turkish Coffee was discovered around 15th century by Ottomans (Former Turks), and it remains the brewing technique used by Turkish people. Main characters of Turkish coffee can be expressed as follows:
It is one of the strongest coffees in the world. It is brewed with little amount of water and a lot of coffee which makes a strong, tough but delicious taste.
Has a thin foam:
Unlike other foamy coffees, Turkish coffee has a very thin foam which is formed by ground coffee particles. Finely grounding of coffee beans, brewing until boiling and pouring without disturbing is the key for a successful foam. In Turkey, serving a coffee without foam is considered disrespectful.
I have seen some videos on youtube where people filter the Turkish Coffee before drinking. This is a big NO NO. Never ever think about filtering the Turkish Coffee. You will destroy the taste, the characteristic, and the culture of 500 years tradition. One should feel the ground coffee on the foam to enjoy the taste of good Turkish coffee.
Served with water:
It is a very old tradition to serve the Turkish coffee with cold water. There are mainly two different approach for water:
One should drink water to clean the receptors on the tongue to get most of the taste. Drinking water helps to give you a fresh taste.
Some people prefer to drink water after drinking the coffee, in order to wash away any fine ground particles left on the tongue. I totally disagree with this approach. In my experience, any particles left on the tongue increases the joy of Turkish coffee.
Grinding Techniques for Turkish coffee
Traditionally, people would use mechanical grinders, as below.
There are now of course electric machines that automatically grind coffee beans suitable for Turkish coffee, however the benefit of using a traditional mechanical hand operated grinder for Turkish Coffee is that these do not produce a lot of heat, which happens when grinding much quicker with electric grinders. For this reason, many people prefer to use hand operated mechanical grinders for Turkish coffee.
When it comes to sourcing coffee for Turkish coffee, you would be best advised to select a medium roast coffee, and you can either grind your own beans if you have a grinder which can grind fine enough, or you can ask the coffee roaster to grind for you for Turkish, many coffee roasters will be able to do this for you.
The best results when it comes to selecting coffee for Turkish coffee; however, is to go to a Turkish coffee specialist, this way you can be sure that you’re being supplied the best beans, roasted and ground appropriately.
Commercial ground coffee is also available and their results are quite satisfactory. I, myself, prefer MADO brand Turkish coffee because of the coffee flavor and formation of the foam. I prefer 250g bags (more or less 35 servings per 250g bag).
If you have the right equipment, brewing Turkish coffee is quite straight forward. If not, it’s still quite an easy task if you follow some simple rules.
Use cold water. This increases brewing time thus improves flavour.
Choose an appropriately sized pot. For example, if you are making coffee for two cups (2x 170ml = 340 ml) your pot needs to be at least capable of 4 cups but it needs to be smaller than 6 cups. That is why you can find a lot of different sized coffee pots in Turkey. By the way they are called “Cezve” and not “ibrik”.
Add sugar before brewing. If you require sugar, add it before brewing, not after. This is a very important step. If you add sugar after brewing, while mixing, you will destroy the foam which is a big NO NO. I prefer plain coffee since sugar changes the flavor a lot.
Use the smallest heater. It is advised that you use the smallest heater available, on the lowest setting. The longer the brew time, the better the flavour will be.
Use a thin walled coffee cup. If the walls are thick, coffee cools rapidly and you may end up with a cold coffee.
Although people in Turkey use copper pots wit tinned inner surface, you can use stainless steel pots as well. For me there is no difference at all.
My favorite cups for Turkish coffee are as follows:
Since ground coffee has a shelf life, it is advised that you always keep it in an airtight container, and I prefer to consume my coffee within a month after opening.
Turkishcoffeedeal.com is a specialist supplier of Turkish coffee, based in Turkey, offering true Turkish coffee all over the world, including the UK and the USA. They have surprisingly low cost delivery options, including free delivery, and tracked delivery from Turkey to the UK for just $5 (£4.14).
I really like Turkish coffee! But I’ve never made it myself, and I’d like to be able to, I think it would be something really good to be able to do for special occasions. I’ve been having a look, and you can get a Turkish coffee pot / Cezve from about a tenner, and there are some really fancy looking Turkish coffee cups too, that aren’t that pricey. So I’m going to get a Cezve, and some Turkish Coffee, and I’ll give it ago and let you know what happens.
Oh just one last thing, I always thought the Turkish coffee pot was called an ibrik, but it seems that while this is what it is referred to commonly in the rest of the world, this is due to a slight misunderstanding between the Cezve (for coffee brewing) and a similar pouring pot which is used not for brewing coffee, but for holding other liquids such as wine and oil.