Making Turkish coffee

What is Turkish coffee.

Turkish coffee, sometimes known as Greek coffee, has quite the history. The Turkish coffee brewing method is unlike any other, not only is it a full immersion brewing method, but the coffee grounds stay in the cup you drink from.

There is an old saying that describes Turkish coffee, saying it should be, “black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love,” meaning that the coffee should not have milk, it should be strong, but with an optional sweetness.

The growth of these Turkish coffee shops in Turkey brought coffee to the people, along with a nice and luxurious place to relax and spend time with friends and family.

Every family seems to have their own method of brewing Turkish coffee, so I’ll go over the one that works for me.

How to make Turkish coffee

To make Turkish coffee, you will need an Ibrik, coffee ground very finely (Brazil Santos and Java work well), at least one demitasse, any desired sugar, and water. (A demitasse is a small three ounce glass, and an Ibrik is the special copper pot used to actually brew the coffee in.)

First, fill each demitasse you plan to use with water, and then empty each one into the Ibrik, and turn the stove or fire on a low heat setting. This is the point where you would add sugar and stir.

Then, when the water and sugar mixture starts to simmer, add one heaping spoonful per serving of extremely fine ground coffee, resembling a fine talc. The super powdery coffee is essential for forming the crema on top of the finished coffee. It will also sink to the bottom.

Once the coffee is added, you can stir it again if you wish, but it is crucial to keep a sharp eye on the brewing process.

The goal is to let the coffee rise slightly two or three times, and then slowly pour it into the demitasses. But, because the coffee can boil over in just a fraction of a second, it must be watched.

After the simmering returns to the Ibrik, watch for a point where the simmering starts to almost take control and form a boil, and then pull the Ibrik off of the heat (DO NOT LET IT BOIL THOUGH!). Repeat this process one to two more times to achieve the crema that Turkish coffee is known for.


How to serve Turkish Coffee

When serving Turkish coffee, it is best to slowly and equally fill the cups a small amount at a time, going back and fourth to distribute the crema evenly between everyone.

Once it has been poured, allow the coffee to sit for a minute so all the grounds can settle to the bottom.

Traditionally, it is served with a small amount of Turkish delight, which is a sort of confectionery. Drinking Turkish coffee is supposed to be a slow and relaxing activity, and not rushed by drinking the coffee too soon.

In Turkey, there used to be a law that stated that if a husband could not keep the family Ibrik full, and not make enough money, then the wife could legally divorce him; coffee in Turkey was, and still is, extremely serious.