What is Turkish Coffee?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Whole coffee beans.
Whole coffee beans.

Turkish coffee is a particular preparation method for coffee, which is not exclusive to Turkey. It is strong and usually sweetened. So-called Turkish coffee is enjoyed in Greece, Armenia, and Arab countries, as well as in Turkey. It differs from other preparation methods in that the grounds are not filtered.

The vessel for preparing authentic Turkish coffee is unique. It is a small metal vessel with a long handle. It is called, variously, a cezve or ibrik (Turkish), mpriki (Greek), rakwa (Arabic), and finjan (Persian). The technique for preparing Turkish coffee is one thing that sets it apart. Coffee type, grind size, water temperature, and equipment are all important elements.

  • The coffee should be ground to powder. The grind for Turkish coffee is finer than for espresso. Some coffee grinders come with grinding burrs that you can adjust to achieve the desired grind.

  • The proper amount of coffee and water is placed in the vessel and heated over medium heat. Sugar, if it is to be used, is added immediately prior to the coffee approaching a boil. Turkish coffee without sugar is called sade.

  • In the meantime, warm a demitasse cup, or fincan – one way to do this is to run the cup through the dishwasher just before serving.

  • While Turkish coffee is not allowed to boil, it is brought to the point of developing a froth or foam. The froth only is poured into the warmed cup. This is repeated once or twice, depending on the recipe you are following. On the final time, all of the coffee remaining in the vessel is poured into the cup.

  • Wait a few minutes for the grounds to settle before serving your freshly brewed coffee. It is very important not to mix it. The sediment is not good to drink.

Some people consider it anathema to introduce any variations to Turkish coffee. Others consider it appropriate to add spices--for example, cardamom or cinnamon--to the coffee at the beginning.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to DelightedCooking about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to DelightedCooking about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Discussion Comments

anon110767

Turkish coffee is a great thing! Also it's easier to prepare than most people think.

malena

Turkish coffee is also common in East European countries. Just go into easy if you are trying it for the first time -- it packs a powerful punch!

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    • Whole coffee beans.
      By: Feng Yu
      Whole coffee beans.
    • Some people like to add cardamom to Turkish coffee.
      By: margo555
      Some people like to add cardamom to Turkish coffee.
    • Turkish coffee is made with coffee grounds that are finer and essentially powder.
      By: andriigorulko
      Turkish coffee is made with coffee grounds that are finer and essentially powder.
    • Turkish coffee is usually served in demitasse-style cups, much like espresso.
      By: pressmaster
      Turkish coffee is usually served in demitasse-style cups, much like espresso.