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How to make Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee: A Fermentation Guide for Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee is a unique brewing method that dates back to the 16th century, making it perhaps the oldest style of beer still used today. The ancient Turkish proverb perfectly describes traditional coffee: “Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love”. The following is a guide to making this drink intense and succulent.

Equipment and supplies

You will need the following items to prepare Turkish coffee:


Turkish coffee is prepared in an ibrik. Also called cezves, the ibriks are small pots with a wide base and narrow neck. Some hills have a spout to pour, and others have two. Traditionally, the ibriks are made of copper, although today the producers also make stainless steel models. Ibriks are available in a variety of sizes, from 1 cup to 6 or 8 cups, but these cups are only 90 milliliters (about 3 ounces).

You will also need a heat source. Ibriks were traditionally heated on the warm sands of the Middle East. Unless you’re on a trip there early, you’ll want to use the stove. Both gas and electric cooktops work.

Turkish coffee can be made with coffee of any level of roast, but it is important that the coffee you use is fresh. The brewing process relies heavily on a foaming phenomenon (detailed below), and the gases in fresh coffee help produce foam. The old coffee that is completely degassed will not produce almost the same amount of foam, which is the best part of a cup of Turkish coffee.

For optimal taste, you should also grind coffee alone, immediately before doing so. Turkish coffee is made with the best grind settings, even finer than espresso. The reasons should be like a smooth powder. If you do not have a grinder that has a Turkish grind setting, there are manual mills specifically made for Turkish coffee. These may be less expensive than a conical grinder with a fairly fine setting.


You will also need sugar. Old recipes sometimes include other spices, such as cardamom or aniseed. These spices were used to mask a coffee of poor quality, however. If you have a freshly toasted freshly ground coffee that is decent, you should not use any additives other than sugar. (Note that the Turkish proverb does not mention anything about milk. If your guests ask for cream, be a generous guest or a hostess. For the authentic experience of Turkish coffee, however, give up any milk for yourself.)

Finally, you will need a metal spoon. Any metal spoon will do it, but a traditional Turkish teaspoon is slightly smaller than the standard teaspoons. The Turkish spoons used to make coffee measured 1 centimeter of 0.5 centimeters. Keep this in mind if your ibrik does not come with a spoon since the “teaspoons” below refer to a Turkish teaspoon. If you do not have a traditional Turkish teaspoon, use just under 1 teaspoon for each teaspoon in the infusion directions.

Making Turkish coffee at Home

Making Turkish coffee is easy, but it is important to never leave the coffee unattended. Coffee needs foam, but not to pour or boil. There is a fine line between a perfectly prepared Turkish coffee and a huge mess on your hob, and taking your eyes off the ibrik for a moment could be the difference between the two results.

To prepare an authentic Turkish coffee, follow these steps:

  1. Add the sugar to the ibrik to taste. Sade is not sugar. Orta is a medium amount of sugar, approximately one tablespoon of Turkish tea (see above) per cup (90 milliliters). Sekerli is sweet, two teaspoons of sugar tea per cup.

  2. Fill the ibrik to the bottom of the neck with cold water. The water should be up, but not in, the neck of the ibrik. (You cannot make a half pot of Turkish coffee, the water should reach the neck).

  3. Once the sugar dissolves, add the coffee. 2 tablespoons of Turkish coffee should be used for each cup. The coffee grounds should float in the water, do not stir them!

  4. Slowly heat the ibrik. Never leave it unattended, not even for a second.

  5. The grounds will begin to foam, but they should not boil. The foam should be small and dense. This foam is lovely and the most preferred part of Turkish coffee. The boil will destroy all the precious foam. If your coffee boils, clean up the untidiness and start again.

  6. When the foam reaches the neck of the ibrik, remove the ibrik from the fire and use the spoon to “stir” the foam.

  7. Once you have removed the foam, repeat steps 4 to 6.

  8. After removing the foam a second time, repeat Steps 4 and 5. Do not shake the foam this time.

  9. The coffee is ready to serve. Pour into cups, pouring quickly at the beginning so that the foam comes out and then pour slowly. Do not pour the final drops, since the grounds will have settled on the bottom.

  10. Combine your Turkish coffee with a glass of water, which is the traditional way of serving it.

If you have not had Turkish coffee before, it is different from any other brewing method. Find an ibrik and try it.

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