Turkish coffee started its journey in Istanbul in 1555 when two Syrian traders brought coffee to the city. At the beginning it was known as the »milk of chess players and thinkers.” But soon in 17th century it became a part of ceremonies involving the Ottoman court where coffee makers with the help of assistants ceremoniously prepared and served coffee for the sultan.
In ancient times, women received intensive training in the harem on the proper technique of preparing this Turkish beverage. Perspective husbands would judge a woman’s merits based on the taste of her coffee.
From the days of Ottoman Empire throughout present, coffee has played an important role in Turkish life style and culture. Coffee houses have become social institutions where people could meet and talk. Even today the traditional coffee houses play an important role in Turkish culture as they serve as a meeting place for tourists and locals.
Today Turkish beverage is popular in the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus, the Balkan, basically all over the world. It is derived from the Arabic beans and made in small pot called ibrik.
How to make Turkish coffee
Traditionally we boil water in a pot or ibrik and add some coffee when the water boils. The process of boiling water in a coffee pot involves repeatedly bringing the coffee in the ibrik just to a boil, and then removing it from the heat to let it cool.
The most important thing to know when brewing this beverage is the foam that appears when we bring it to boil. It has to boil just for few seconds. As the foam is the essence of Turkish coffee we have to make it enough so the coffee will have distinct flavor. But we need to avoid bitterness that can appear if we boil it to much.
Sometimes aromatic spice cardamom is added to the coffee while it is being ground. Traditional Turkish coffee has six levels of sweetness ranging from very sweet to black. After the coffee is brewed we distribute coffee foam evenly among coffee drinkers and pour out the remaining coffee. Before we serve coffee, we wait for a minute or two to let it cool down.
Easy to follow steps to great Turkish coffee
1. We boil cold water in an ibrik
2. Remove from heat and add finely ground coffee and sugar and put it back on heat
3. Repeatedly bringing the coffee in the ibrik just to a boil (twice or three times should do it)
4. Pour foam equally among all drinkers (you can use a spoon to do that)
5. Pour out the remaining coffee into coffee cups
6. Allow it to cool down and wait for the grounds to settle to the bottom of the cup
Ingredients for one cup
o 1 cup of cold water
o 1-2 tablespoons of ground Arabic coffee
o 1 spoon of sugar
o Aromatic spice cardamom
Congratulations! You now know how to make Turkish coffee. Just remember one more thing: do not stir coffee after pouring into cups as the foam will collapse.