Turkish coffee

One cup of coffee remains in memories for thirty years. — Turkish proverb

Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love. — Turkish proverb

Turkish coffee is made and served as a way of showing respect and affection for one’s guests.

Turkish coffee is served throughout what was once the Ottoman Empire. In Greece it is known as Greek coffee, in Cyprus as Cypriot coffee.

Coffee was introduced to the Ottomans in 1543, it became so popular so quickly that coffeehouses were opened and small shops opened specializing in roasting coffee. Coffee roasting is called “tahmis”. There is a street called Tahmis in the old part of Istanbul near the Spice Bazaar. Its name derived from the coffee shops located on this street 460 years ago.

Turkish coffee is made by boiling finely ground coffee beans in a small copper saucepan. It is poured into a small coffee cup where the dregs form a layer of sludge at the bottom of the cup.

Sade (sah-DEH) – plain, no sugar (fairly bitter)

Az şekerli (AHZ sheh-kehr-lee) – with a little sugar (takes off the bitter edge; less than a teaspoon per cup)

Orta şekerli (ohr-TAH sheh-kehr-lee) – with medium sugar (sweetish; about a teaspoon of sugar for each cup)

Çok şekerli (CHOK sheh-kehr-lee) – with lots of sugar (quite sweet; two teaspoons of sugar or more)

Put the finely ground coffee beans (about one teaspoon per demi-tasse cup of coffee) into a cezve (JEZZ-veh), a special pot with a wide bottom, narrower neck, a spout, and a long handle. Add sugar (if required|) and a Turkish coffee cup (fıncan) of cold water for each cup of coffee you’re making. Bring slowly to the boil over a low to medium heat, to frothing three times, each time removing from the heat. When the froth reaches the cezve’s narrow neck, it’s a sign to remove the pot from the heat and let the froth recede. Watch the pot carefully else it will boil over.

After the third froth-up, pour a little of the froth into each cup. Bring the liquid still in the cezve to the froth-point once more, then pour it immediately, muddy grounds and all, into the Turkish coffee cups, which are smaller than demi-tasse cups.

Wait at least a minute for the grounds to settle before you pick up the tiny cup and sip. Enjoy the rich, thick flavor, but stop sipping when you taste the grounds coming through. Leave the “mud” in the bottom of the cup.

Serve with a glass of water.

I walked on through the Spice Market in Istanbul and there on the corner of the narrow street beyond is a coffee shop. A long queue as people patiently stand in line to buy their freshly ground coffee.

When I took my friend Jane there she bought some to take home. I also bought some for my friend Sian.

On checking out of my hotel this morning they gave me a small pack of ground coffee from this shop.

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4 Responses to “Turkish coffee”

  1. Dances With Crayons Says:

    Waiting until my cold is gone to taste this coffee.
    Enjoying the aroma of the grounds!!

    Thanks Keith, Love

    • keithpp Says:

      When I checked out on Monday I was given a pack of Turkish coffee. It was from the same shop we bought from. They said it was the best coffee. Işil in the spice shop opposite said the coffee shop was very popular with long queues all day every day. At least you now know how to make it.

  2. Bright Light Warrior Nika Says:

    Reblogged this on Spiced Honey Tea and Cappuccino.

  3. Bright Light Warrior Nika Says:

    Real Nice!

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