Coffee is processed and brewed in many different ways around the world, but have you ever heard of Turkish coffee? When you hear Turkish coffee, you may think of coffee beans from Turkey, but coffee isn’t grown in this Middle Eastern country.
Turkish coffee refers to a special brewing method that originated in Middle Eastern countries using finely ground coffee.
We’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about this special type of brew and suggest some Turkish coffee brands to try at home!
About Turkish Coffee
Coffee plants aren’t grown in Turkey. The country is located just north of the Bean Belt, where conditions are ideal for coffee growing.
Even though Turkey doesn’t grow its own coffee, it does import coffee beans from around the world to make extra finely ground coffee.
Turkish coffee, also locally referred to as Türk Kahvesi, is a type of brewing method used to prepare coffee in Turkey and surrounding countries such as Iran and Greece. The preparation method causes the drink to have a robust flavor and is stronger than most coffee.
Ground Turkish coffee has a powder-like consistency. The grind is finer than espresso. It’s brewed unfiltered in a small pot and served in a tiny cup.
History of Turkish Coffee
The Turkish coffee brewing method dates back hundreds of years, shortly after coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia. Coffee made its way to Yemen, which became the largest coffee-producing country at the time.
When the Ottoman Empire invaded Yemen in the first half of the 16th century, they discovered coffee. The Ottomans brought coffee back to Istanbul, Turkey. They began to import roasted coffee beans from Yemen to enjoy in coffee houses in Istanbul, which later spread throughout the country.
Turkish coffee is one of the oldest coffee brewing methods in the world. It also goes by other names, depending on where you are located.
For example, Greek or Bosnian coffee is prepared similarly to Turkish coffee. The flavors may slightly differ depending on various regions, but the brewing processes are very similar if not the same.
What Does Turkish Coffee Taste Like?
Turkish coffee can have many different flavor profiles because the beans don’t come from Turkey and can be from all over the world. If you plan on making Turkish coffee, you can use any type of beans that you like.
There are a few different ways that Turkish coffee is enjoyed in Turkey.
The coffee beans used to make Turkish coffee locally are usually lower-quality beans. This makes local Turkish coffee somewhat bitter and it lacks flavor overall.
Sugar is often added to Turkish coffee for those who don’t like bitterness. Traditional Turkish coffee generally has a bold and creamy body with little to no acidity.
Tools to Make Turkish Coffee
The traditional Turkish coffee brewing method may slightly differ depending on who you ask. It’s very culture-specific.
There are a few critical steps and techniques that are taken in order to make Turkish coffee. A few items that are traditionally used to make Turkish coffee include:
- Cezve (ibrik)
- Wooden spoon
- Coffee mill (manual hand grinder)
Some coffee is measured by volume using measurements like teaspoon or tablespoon. Traditional Turkish coffee is measured by weight using grams for the preciseness of coffee to water ratio.
If you don’t have a scale, that’s alright! You can still measure your coffee out by using volume-based measurements. The ideal ratio for Turkish coffee is between 1:9 and 1:11.
If you use a 1:10 ratio, for example, you could combine 8 grams of coffee grounds with 80 grams of water.
Turkish coffee is generally served in small, espresso-like cups that hold 60 to 90 ml. The water and coffee are added to a cezve, or ibrik. This is a Turkish coffee pot.
It is typically small, only holding about one or two cups of coffee at a time. It has a long handle and can be made of various metals, such as silver, copper, aluminum, or stainless steel.
A copper cezve with a silver-plated interior is generally preferred. Silver has the best heat conductivity. Copper is the second best for heat conductivity and is less expensive than silver.
Stainless steel has the worst heat conductivity, although it is typically the cheapest.
Heat conductivity is important for controlling the brewing process to prevent over-extraction. When coffee is over-extracted, it can make it bitter.
A wooden spoon is used for mixing the coffee grounds and water together before heating. A hand grinder that is able to create extremely fine-ground coffee is recommended.
If you want a deep dive into Turkish coffee, we recommend checking out this masterclass on YouTube.
How to Make Turkish Coffee
Now that you know what it takes to make Turkish coffee, it’s time to talk about how you can make it at home!
Pre-ground Turkish coffee brands are available to help you with the special grind needed to make Turkish coffee. The grind is very important because it cannot be too coarse since it is unfiltered.
You may also buy a hand grinder that is capable of grinding coffee beans into a fine powder. Traditional Turkish coffee is ground so fine that it has a powder consistency.
To make traditional Turkish coffee at home, you can try these steps or change it up a bit for your own preference!
- Hand grind beans into a fine powder or measure out pre-ground Turkish coffee
- Add the desired amount of ground coffee into a small pot or cezve
- Add filtered water consistent with the coffee-to-water ratio
- Stir coffee grounds and water together using a wooden spoon (about 10-15 stirs)
- Place cezve over a high flame or medium-high heat if using an electric stove-top
- Allow the coffee to brew for about 1 minute
- Lower flame or lower temperature to low heat
- Allow the coffee to brew for another minute until foam covers the surface
- Remove cezve or pot from heat and turn off the burner
- Let the coffee cool and the grounds settle for about 2-3 minutes and enjoy!
Sugar and cardamom are popular additions to Turkish coffee.
The amount of time the cezve stays on the heat and the temperature to brew the coffee depends upon the tools you have. Turkish coffee brewing can take some practice.
Some Turkish coffee brands may also offer different directions, such as boiling the coffee more than once or using lower temperature settings.
Turkish Coffee Brands to Try
Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee
- Naturally sweet
- Arabica beans
- Not very strong (depending on preference)
Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi is a Turkish coffee brand that was established over a century ago. This coffee is a medium roast made from Arabica beans. It produces a medium to full-bodied cup.
The Arabica beans give this coffee a slight sweetness and mild acidity. It’s not as strong as traditional Turkish coffee, but it offers some notes of spices and chocolate.
Elite – Turkish Ground Coffee
- Great powder consistency for Turkish coffee
- It may be slightly bitter
Elite Turkish coffee is a very finely ground roast made for the traditional Turkish coffee brewing method. It produces a strong and aromatic cup.
It’s a medium-dark roast and can be prepared in two different ways. It may be added to boiling water and act as an instant coffee, or be prepared like traditional Turkish coffee.
Since it’s a darker roast, it may taste somewhat bitter if prepared the traditional way.
Café Najjar Coffee – Turkish Coffee with Cardamom
- 100% Arabica beans
- Authentic Turkish coffee flavors
- The dark roast may cause bitterness
Café Najjar Turkish coffee is a dark roast made from Brazilian Arabica beans. The beans are finely ground and blended with a small amount of cardamom.
Commonly added to Turkish coffee, cardamom is a spice that has an herbal flavor. Its flavor resembles nutmeg, cumin, and coriander seeds.
The flavor of the cardamom is fairly subtle in this coffee, so it might be a good option if you’re interested in trying cardamom in coffee for the first time.
Café Najjar also makes a decaf of Turkish coffee and one without cardamom.
Al Ameed – Gourmet Turkish Ground Coffee
- Available in light and dark roast
- Bold flavour
- Strong cardamom flavor (depending on preference)
- Slightly pricey
If you’re looking for a Turkish coffee with a strong cardamom flavor, you might want to try Al Ameed’s Gourmet Turkish coffee. This is a smooth, medium roast coffee.
The coffee consists of finely ground Arabica beans. Light and dark roasts are also available. The Arabica coffee mixed with cardamom makes a smooth and bold flavored cup.
Mariam Coffee – Turkish Coffee with Cardamom
- 100% Arabica beans
- Coffee is grown at high altitudes
- Less traditional Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee is often described as lacking flavor. If you’re looking for a little less traditional Turkish coffee, Mariam Turkish coffee with cardamom may be a good choice.
It is made from very finely ground, high-quality Arabica beans that are grown 1,500 meters above sea level. This gives the coffee a nice fruity flavor. It’s a medium roast well-balanced with cardamom flavors
Turkish Coffee Brands
We suggest trying Café Najjar Turkish coffee with cardamom. It’s made from Arabica beans, which may reduce the amount of bitterness linked to traditional Turkish coffee, especially for a dark roast. This coffee is aromatic and the cardamom flavor is subtle, creating a well-balanced cup.
Turkish coffee is one of the oldest coffee brewing methods in the world. It involves extra finely ground coffee heated with water over a burner flame or stove-top. A special coffee pot called a cezve is used to brew the coffee, which is typically served in a 60 to 90 ml cup.
Traditional Turkish coffee is typically made from low-quality beans and has little to no acidity and a full body.
If you’re making Turkish coffee at home, it’s important to grind the beans very fine because this is an unfiltered brewing method.