An Adventure for the Palate
With a rich cultural heritage that goes back over 500 years, Turkish coffee is a traditional drink that is steeped in as much history as it is in flavor. Despite its longstanding historical significance, brewing Turkish coffee at home doesn’t take much time at all! In just a few minutes, you could brew a stunning cup of coffee that is sure to expand your coffee horizons!
A Rich, Flavorful History
Before you try and brew your own Turkish coffee at home, we should turn back the sands of time and learn a little more about the history of Turkish coffee. Introduced to Turkey in the 16th century, Turkish coffee was initially a luxury that was only enjoyed by the upper classes. Sultan Suleiman I, ruler of the Ottoman Empire at the time, was so enamored with this style of coffee that he had not only his staff, but even members of his own family learn how to brew Turkish coffee.
As the availability and popularity of Turkish coffee grew, it became more accessible to the masses, which led it to be commonly consumed in regular households. Turkish coffee's widespread adoption was also what led to the rise of coffee shops in Turkey in the mid-16th century, paving the way for Turkish coffee to become a cultural icon of the region even to this day.
The Nuances of Turkish Coffee
Now that you know a little about the history of Turkish coffee, it’s just as important to know exactly what it is. Brewing Turkish coffee at home may not take much time, but there are several fundamentals to the drink that have to be adhered to if you want a genuine result. There are 3 major components to brewing perfect Turkish coffee:
1. Very Fine Grounds
You can use any coffee grounds you like, be it Arabica or Robusta, but the key is to ensure a very fine grind. Using a burr grinder will help ensure you have beans that are consistent and powdery for a truly magnificent Turkish coffee.
2. Boil the Coffee
Turkish coffee must be boiled. This is to ensure the finely-ground coffee beans release as much flavor as possible. It also allows you to produce the delicious foam that sits atop every authentic cup of Turkish coffee.
3. Use an “Ibrik” or “Cezve” Pot
To get the full experience, you should brew your Turkish coffee in a traditional Ibrik or Cezve pot. Not only do these look gorgeous, but they also make the brewing process that much more special.
If you get these basic fundamentals correct, you’ll be brewing a small cup of coffee that packs a lot of punch – far more than even a traditional espresso shot!
How to Make Turkish Coffee at Home
Ingredients (2 servings):
3 serving cups of water (if you do not have traditional Turkish coffee glasses, use espresso cups as a substitute)
2 tablespoons of medium-roast coffee grounds
Sugar (optional. Add as needed)
- Use measuring spoons to measure out your coffee grounds and sugar. Add these ingredients and your water into an Ibrik or Cezve
- Use a tall coffee spoon to stir the ingredients briefly
- Place your Ibrik or Cezve on the stovetop at medium heat
- As your mixture begins to heat up, you will notice a rich foam building. Use a teaspoon to collect this foam and transfer some of it to each of your serving cups
- Once your coffee begins to boil, fill your serving cups halfway to the top. You can pour your boiling coffee on top of the foam as it will still remain at the top
- Place your Ibrik or Cezve back on the stove for an additional 10-15 seconds and then top your serving glasses to the brim
- Serve your Turkish coffee with water and something sweet, like Turkish delight.
The Full Turkish Coffee Experience
To really enjoy Turkish coffee at home, serving it in the correct way is a must. Always have an accompanying glass of water so that you can cleanse your palate before drinking the coffee, and rinse your mouth after. Turkish coffee is not filtered, so if you’re enjoying your Turkish coffee at home and plan on going out after, you’ll want some water to get rid of any residue that hangs onto your teeth. Aside from being unfiltered, Turkish coffee is also really strong! This is why something sweet, like Turkish delight or baklava, should be consumed after drinking Turkish coffee.
Do not stir your Turkish coffee after it is brewed. You should drink it slowly, and stop drinking once you begin to feel the heavier ‘sediment’ at the bottom of your cup. If you’re feeling lucky, you can even learn about the art of Turkish coffee fortune telling, where symbols and pictures are read in the remaining sediment to predict the future!
Take Your Taste Buds on a Journey
Making Turkish coffee at home may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation and a few key ingredients, you can actually brew your own Turkish coffee in just a few minutes. Just make sure to try and use medium-roast coffee beans since the method requires boiling your coffee grounds directly with the water, which essentially re-roasts them. Dark-roast beans will risk becoming too bitter if you use them to make Turkish coffee.
While it may be a little tough to get on the next flight to Turkey right this moment, you can make your own Turkish coffee at home and enjoy a small taste of the culinary delights that Turkey has to offer!