Turska Kafa: Serbian Turkish-Style Coffee

Turkish coffee
Froemel Kapitza / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings

This version of Turkish coffee is common among Serbians (who call it Turska kafa) and Croatians (who refer to it as Turska kava), as well as Bulgarians, Romanians, and other Eastern Europeans. It is made in a special long-handled copper pot with a lip (but no lid) that is called a djezva, which is its Turkish name; you can find a djezva at Eastern European shops and delis. The coffee can, however, also be made in a stovetop coffee pot.

Although you don't need much to make Turska kafa, what you do need is specific. One necessary ingredient, of course, is the ground coffee—which must be Turkish and should be finely ground. The other unique item is a demitasse cup, which is a small coffee cup that is what espresso is served in. This style of coffee cup is not only used to serve the Turska kafa but is also employed as the measuring vessel for the water called for in the recipe.


  • 1 1/2 demitasse cups of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons very finely ground Turkish coffee

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the cold water and sugar in a djezva or stovetop coffee pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Pour some of the sugar water into a demitasse cup. Stir the ground coffee into the boiling water in the pot and let it return to a boil.

  3. Remove the pot from heat and add the sugar water from the demitasse cup; cover with a saucer and let it steep 30 seconds.

  4. Pour the coffee into two demitasse cups and serve at once, or bring the dzezva to the table and pour the coffee in front of your guests.

Recipe Tips

  • When buying Turkish coffee, look for the darkest roast that is available. Unless you can find Doncafe or Grand Café brands, avoid anything prepackaged. Also, make sure to get "finely ground" and not "espresso."
  • This recipe calls for 1 teaspoon sugar, but feel free to increase or decrease the amount depending on your taste, keeping in mind Serbian coffee is stronger than American coffee. You can also try brown sugar or raw sugar in place of white granulated sugar.
  • Turkish coffee is meant to be enjoyed in a group; double or triple the recipe to make enough for all of your guests to drink together.


No matter the nationality, it seems everyone enjoys coffee with a cake or cookie. Accompany this Serbian Turkish-style coffee with a batch of krofne, Serbian doughnuts. Or try a recipe for a Serbian nut roll, a flaky pastry filled with walnuts. A Serbian multi-layered chocolate cream cake is also a wonderful complement to the Turska kafa.