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How To Make Coffee: Turkish Coffee

February 13th, 2014

turkishcoffee_side

Although Kasey and I both enjoy espresso, we rarely make it at home. When we want a strong and deep bite of coffee at home we brew a pot of Turkish coffee instead. The deep, earthy flavors of Turkish coffee are good anytime, but we particularly enjoy it following a meal.

To make Turkish coffee in your home you’ll need an ibrik (also known as a kanaka, cezve, or briki). It’s a special wide-bottom pot that narrows at the neck before widening slightly at the top and which is attached to a long wood handle. It’s typically made of copper but can be made of stainless steel, ceramic, or other metals. We have three in our home (stainless steel, copper, and ceramic) and the ceramic ibrik is our favorite.

Here is how you can make Turkish Coffee at home:

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1. Grind

It’s important to use the proper grind when preparing Turkish coffee. Set your grinder to the finest setting available (this should be even finer than what you’d use for espresso). The resulting grinds should have a powder-like consistency. The amount of coffee you’ll need for brewing Turkish coffee will vary depending on the amount of water you used in your ibrik (see below). We recommend using approximately 5-6 grams of coffee per 50 ml of water used to fill the ibrik.

2. Add Cold Water

Add enough cold water to reach just beneath the neck of your ibrik.

3. Add Sugar (Optional)

We often don’t add sugar to Turkish coffee in our home. Nonetheless, sugar is commonly used in Turkish coffee. If you’re planning to use sugar, add it to the cold water before adding the coffee. Stir the water until the sugar dissolves.

4. Add Coffee

Use a small spoon to stir the coffee into the water. Many people like to add fresh cardamom to Turkish coffee (we often do) but this is optional. If you’re brewing with cardamom, crack open 2-3 cardamom pods to taste and add the seeds to your coffee.

5. Bring To First Boil

Heat the coffee over medium heat. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of a lower heat – if it is heated too quickly there won’t be enough time for proper extraction. From this point forward you should watch the pot closely as Turkish coffee can boil over in a blink of an eye. As the coffee nears a boil it’ll start to foam. Once the foam looks close to spilling over, quickly remove the ibrik from the heat. Let it sit for a few seconds for the foam to settle.

6. Bring To Second Boil

Once the foam has settled, return the ibrik to the heat. The purpose of removing the coffee from the heat and returning it to a boil, is to maximize the extraction time of the coffee without burning the grounds (which could imparting a burnt or over-cooked taste). Let the coffee begin to foam again and remove before it can boil over. Let the foam settle again.

7. Bring To Third Boil

Return the ibrik to the heat for a third and final boil – again removing it just before it’s able to boil over. A good pot of Turkish coffee will have a lot of foam.

8. Serve & Enjoy!

Turkish coffee is typically served in smaller espresso-sized cups. However, if you’re not concerned with tradition, you can enjoy Turkish coffee from any mug. After pouring the coffee, wait about a minute for the sediment to settle before taking your first sip. The foam should be divided as equally as possible and the cup with the most foam is considered the most desirable traditionally. Turkish coffee is normally served with a glass of water.

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  • http://www.aidamollenkamp.com Aida Mollenkamp

    Matt, thanks for sharing this technique! My neighbor is Turkish and bought me all the accoutrements but I’ve never braved making it myself (she always treats me)!

  • http://eatwellpartyhard.com/ Claire Suellentrop

    Gasp! I love Turkish coffee and never knew it was so simple to make at home. Thanks for sharing the process :) Now all I need is an ibrik (adds to Amazon Wish List…)

  • http://cookingclassessandiegoca.com/ Joshua Hampton

    I never knew making Turkish coffee was this simple. Glad to learn something new today. Thanks for this.

  • gülce

    Hi there.I am from Turkey. Your coffee seems perfect and delicious like everything you cook. When you cook turkish cofee you can take the foam and put it in the cup every time you see the foam. And when you cant see any more foam you let it boil for a while and pour it very slowly, so the foam doesn’t dissolve. And low heat is better for turkish cofee. If you try it this way next time, you’ll see your coffee will be more foamy. And i am sorry for my english. It’s not good enough. I am very happy to see something about Turkey here. I always enjoy visiting here :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Happy to help Josh. If you give it a shot, let us know what you think,

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    They’re surprisingly easy to find here in San Francisco. If you can’t find one locally, this one from Amazon is very traditional: http://www.amazon.com/Turkish-Coffee-Medal-Handling-people/dp/B002MQH850/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392920211&sr=8-1&keywords=ibrik

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Let us know if you give it a shot. I’d love to hear how it turns out.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    I’m familiar with a number of different variations on the preparation. And, you’re right, low heat is often recommended. We turned up the heat a touch because we’re impatient. In my experience, medium heat works fine as long as you watch it very closely. I’ve not tried pouring off the foam after each boil, but I’ll give it a shot next time. Oh, and you’re English is perfect. Thanks for the comment!

  • gülce

    Thank you :) And one thing. Take the foam with a tea spoon , Don’t pour it. Thanks for the reply :)

  • http://eatwellpartyhard.com/ Claire Suellentrop

    Thanks for the heads up, Matthew!

  • Amy

    Hi. I was looking at google images to get some ideas for new turkish coffee glasses when I came across the photo of your ibrik and fell instantly and deeply in love: it is stunning! I make turkish coffee several times a week for myself, but my ibrik — while perfectly serviceable — is a boring stainless steel one. An internet search has yielded nothing similar to yours; do you think you could give me some info on where you purchased it? I’m not certain I can go on living without one (ok, I confess that I’m something of an overly dramatic design nerd!) Thanks so much!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Amy,

    Our ibrik was a gift that was hand-delivered from Moscow… so unfortunately, I can’t help you locate one.

  • Amy

    So sad! I guess I’ll have to come here periodically and visit yours then ;-)

    (and thanks also for such a quick reply)