Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Make Turkish Coffee

A couple of months ago a new coffee maker was acquisitioned and my coffee making has continued to diversify, for better or worse.

Much like the difficult to make Vietnamese coffee, Turkish/Arabic/Greek coffee, etc. is a tough one to master. I partly blame misinformation, like me here, and an easy to mess up method.

The first important thing you need is the maker, which has a different name depending on the country of origin. I call this one an Ibrik, which may not be the right name for this maker as it came from Yugoslavia, when it still existed as a country. If you're making Turkish coffee, the pot is called a cezve. I found my maker at a garage sale for a buck or two. Next you need to get a very fine grind of coffee. You can either get this done at the grocery store or at your own home. A warning: grinding coffee fine enough for this type of coffee is one day going to kill my coffee grinder. Make sure your is up to the task.

1. Fill your maker with water. Remember, you aren't going to drink a huge cup of this stuff. Quality not quantity.
2. Grind your coffee. Add one or two heaping teaspoon fulls of finely ground coffee per (small) cup. My maker is good for a couple of cups, so I used five heaping spoonfuls. Some recipes suggest adding cardamom with your coffee, which is really quite nice. I sometimes throw a pod in when I grind my coffee. Add your coffee to the water.
3. At this point you can add sugar. This is the only time you can stir the mixture. From here on out, you will not touch your brew!

4. Turn on your stove at a very low heat. This is important. you want it to slowly approach a near boiling temperature.

Notice as the water get hotter, a foamy head begins to form. If you see this, you are doing well.

5. When the whole top of your brew is covered with this foam and near or at the boiling point, remove from heat and spoon the foam into your cup(s). You may then place the maker back on the heat to get more foam.
6. After serving up the foam, serve up the coffee and enjoy. Do not add milk or anything else!

If you've done this right, you'll have a dark, rich coffee with sludge at the bottom. Drink with a friend and discuss the finer points of nothing. Look elsewhere for information on how to read the grounds. My interpretation is always for dark days ahead.


Robyn said...

Great post! You forgot to add - for a truly Turkish experience, enjoy with a cigarette. Or at least, let a couple burn on the table until your head is wreathed with smoke.

a said...

Glad you like it. I think I'll skip the smokes, but I won't stand in your way.

Anonymous said...

Great entry!!!! Thanks. Do you happen to know where can I find turkish coffee in the US?

a said...

I imagine the best place would be in either your kitchen or a restaurant serving a similar coffee. Honestly, this is not a style of coffee that I grew up with or am intimately familiar with. Good luck!