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All About Coffee – Turkish Coffee

Bored of old beverages or just want to see what the world of coffee can offer? Check out how to make Turkish coffee to enjoy the boldest!

When the term “Turkish coffee” is used, it refers to a specific brewing method rather than a distinct coffee type. Despite its name, this technique did not originate in Turkey.

Unlike methods using espresso machines or drip coffee makers, traditional Turkish coffee requires a cezve or ibrik. This small, long-handled metal pot is designed specifically for Turkish coffee preparation. Notably, “ibrik” is simply the Arabic term for “cezve.”

Finely ground coffee beans are added to the cezve along with desired amounts of sugar and water. The mixture is then simmered for several minutes.

The term “finely ground” takes on a new meaning here. While espresso requires a fine grind, Turkish coffee demands an even finer consistency, resembling cocoa powder.

This brewing process may seem more akin to cooking than traditional coffee brewing, and rightfully so. There are few shortcuts involved, especially when preparing it manually. Thankfully, modern methods have replaced the use of hot sand for cooking coffee, a method used in the early days of Turkish coffee.

The resulting beverage is certainly worth the effort. Once a frothy layer forms in the cezve, the coffee, including the grounds, is poured into cups. Traditionally, Turkish coffee is served in small portions, around 2-2.5 ounces (60-75 milliliters).

A Flavorful Experience


Turkish coffee offers a distinct taste profile characterized by bold and bittersweet notes. This characteristic flavor is likely the reason for its traditionally smaller serving sizes. While some choose to consume the coffee grounds settled at the bottom of the cup, resulting in a stronger caffeine effect, many do not.

Sugar is often added generously, contributing to a sweeter taste. However, the most recognizable aspect of Turkish coffee lies in its foamy texture. A thick and aromatic foam signifies the completion of the brewing process and is a mark of well-prepared coffee. Thin and watery should never be used to describe Turkish coffee.

Cardamom, a common additive, is another element influencing the flavor profile. Pre-ground Turkish coffee frequently includes cardamom as an ingredient, offering an additional layer of spice to the bittersweet beverage. Its inclusion is optional, though many find it complements the unique taste.

Selecting Beans for Turkish Coffee

While a fine grind is necessary, there are no specific coffee bean varietals or blends required for Turkish coffee. When considering bean selection, medium or dark roast Arabica beans are commonly used in Turkish cafes, coffee houses, and restaurants.

Turkish Coffee Brewing Equipment

While regular coffee brewing requires minimal equipment, Turkish coffee necessitates a few additional tools. Some may already be in our kitchen, while others might require a visit to an online store. It’s important to note that the specific tools can vary depending on the chosen brewing method.

  • Cezve (Preferred) or Small Pot
    A small pot can be used in a pinch, but a traditionally crafted cezve is recommended.
  • High-Quality Burr Grinder
    Since Turkish coffee demands a very fine grind resembling powder, a standard grinder won’t suffice. A burr grinder ensures consistent results for this ultra-fine texture.
  • Stirring Spoons
    Long-handled metal spoons are ideal.
  • Turkish Coffee Cups
    Two small cups are required for serving.

Brewing Turkish Coffee

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Ibrik (Turkish coffee pot)
  • Coffee grinder
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee scale (optional)
  • Stirring spoon or paddle
  • Heat source (gas burner or stove)

How to make Turkish coffee

This guide outlines the brewing process for two cups of Turkish coffee. For larger ibriks, simply adjust the coffee and water quantities proportionally while following the same steps.

  1. Begin by preheating the stovetop on a low-medium setting. If using gas burners, select a low heat setting.
  2. Next, pour 120 milliliters of water into the ibrik designed for two cups. Following this, grind 14 grams of coffee beans to an exceptionally fine powder and add it to the water.
  3. Place the ibrik on the heat source and allow it to sit undisturbed for 30 seconds. Then, gently stir the coffee grounds into the water.
  4. As the coffee brews, observe it between the one-minute and one-and-a-half-minute mark. The appearance of small, infrequent bubbles is expected. However, if the bubbles begin to resemble a boil, briefly raise the ibrik from the heat source.
  5. By the two-and-a-half-minute mark, a thick layer of foam should be forming on the surface of the coffee. Regulate the heat as necessary to achieve this desired consistency. Allow the foam to rise until it reaches the top of the ibrik, then promptly remove the pot from the heat entirely.
  6. The coffee, including the grounds, can now be carefully poured into two small cups. To allow for final brewing and cooling, let the coffee rest for an additional two and a half minutes. This resting period also enables most of the grounds to settle at the bottom of the cups.

Traditional Turkish Coffee Brewing

The traditional method involves repeatedly bringing the coffee to a simmer, allowing the foam to rise and fall three times. However, allowing the foam to rise just once before pouring and skip on continuous stirring will result in less bitter coffee.

Serving Turkish Coffee

Having explored the brewing process, let’s delve into serving Turkish coffee. After all, presenting it authentically can elevate the experience for guests.

Turkish Coffee Cups

Given the smaller serving size, Turkish coffee is traditionally presented in demitasse cups. These resemble espresso cups with a taller design. While espresso cups can be substituted, a dedicated Turkish coffee cup set is recommended for a truly immersive experience.

Regardless of the chosen cup type, a minimum capacity of 2 ounces (60 milliliters) is recommended to ensure proper serving size.

Complementing Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee pairs exceptionally well with sweet treats like Turkish delight (lokum). Alternatively, a glass of chilled water acts as a perfect palate cleanser due to the coffee’s bittersweet taste profile.

Following the pouring of coffee, consider sipping water while the beverage cools and the grounds settle. It’s also recommended to reserve some water for after finishing the coffee. This helps mitigate any potential caffeine buzz.

Customizing Turkish Coffee Experience

The previously described method serves as a foundation upon which variations can be built to suit individual preferences. After mastering the basic recipe, experimentation allows for the creation of personalized coffee experiences.

Adding Spice

Cardamom is a popular addition. Including a single cardamom pod or a touch of ground cardamom in the cezve before heating infuses the coffee with a touch of spice.


Turkish coffee’s sweetness level can be adjusted. Terms commonly encountered in Turkish cafes and restaurants are helpful in achieving desired sweetness:

  • Sekerli (Extra Sweet): Two tablespoons of sugar per cup.
  • Az Sekerli (Less Sweet): Half a tablespoon of sugar per cup.

Milk Variations

Water can be substituted entirely with milk in this recipe. Care should be taken to avoid scalding the milk during brewing. Non-dairy milk alternatives like oat milk can also be used, potentially offering a unique and delicious twist on the traditional recipe

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