When you hear the country Turkey, hot air balloons, grand, historical structures and their world-famous dessert come to mind. But one thing that might not ring a bell for many is its other gem, the Turkish coffee. Brewed in the desert for hundreds of years, the Turks have made sure this technique would not fade into memory. In fact, it is now considered one of the country’s Cultural Intangible Heritage by UNESCO. Feeling curious yet?
This technique has been likened to the French press because it has to be steeped a few times. Where they differ is in the beans. While French press coffee require a coarse grind for the best brew, Turkish coffee requires beans that are ground finely --much like the consistency of powdered sugar.
The pot used for Turkish coffee is an ibrik (also called a cezve). This coffee pot is usually made of brass or copper. It has a wide base and a narrow neck which makes pouring easy. Its handle is pretty long and some are made of wood so it wouldn’t be too hot when it’s time to take it out of the stove. You’d be surprised to know that some varieties even have intricate patterns embossed on the metal, some even painted. There are gold and silver versions, too. Talk about fancy. If you’re beginning to think that getting one of these would cost an arm and a leg, don’t fret. Some are sold as milk warmers by mistake, so it’s easy to score one.
Let’s Brew This!
Brewing at home is always fun as it brings out your inner connoisseur. See yourself squint when you scrutinize while brewing with a Chemex or a French press. Or get the trusty drip pot for days you want to take it easy.
Making Turkish coffee is fairly simple and might just help make your mornings. Many are no stranger to feeling woozy a few minutes after waking up and having good coffee could be a good motivation for you to get the day started.
What you need
- Cold water
- Finely ground coffee
- Fill the ibrik with water. Put ground coffee on top and just let it float. Adding sugar is optional. Do not stir at all costs.
- Place the ibrik on the stove and wait for it to slowly simmer.
- Wait for the coffee (and sugar) to be dissolved before stirring several times. Lower the heat after that.
- Once you see small bubbles forming, lower the heat a little.
- The idea is to produce a lot of foam to make a rich and thick consistency, so it is important not to let it boil. It is okay to stir it a little a few times
- Remove the pot from the stove after it has produced enough foam and pour in a demitasse.
A few suggestions…
- If the coffee is too strong for you, add ground cardamom or a cinnamon bark.
- Have a glass of water as you drink the coffee to cleanse your palate in between sips.