Authentic Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee in a glass and cardamom pods in a bowl

The Spruce

 

  • Total: 13 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
0 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 12mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Delight your guests with this authentic Turkish coffee recipe, which refers to the special brewing method that is most common in the Levant. It is made unfiltered with coffee beans ground so finely that they resemble the texture of cocoa powder. The ground beans are boiled with sugar and cardamom in a cezve or ibrik, a small coffee pot that is heated. This process produces a cup of coffee with a strong taste whose grounds remain in the cup—and which you don't customarily drink.

Coffee is an important part of Middle Eastern culture, and it's prepared and served quite differently than in the West. In fact, the term “Arabic coffee” generally refers to one primary method of coffee preparation (Turkish), with several variations. One important distinction between Turkish coffee and typical drip coffee: Turkish coffee is actually cooked with sugar rather than adding the sweetener later. Also, the coffee is served in small cups and sits for a few moments before serving, to allow the grounds to sink to the bottom of the cup and settle.

Cream or milk is never added to Turkish coffee, but additional sugar is optional. Turkish coffee is always served in demitasse cups and if it's prepared properly, it should have foam on top. It's often served with a glass of water as a palate cleanser and a small sweet such as chocolate or Turkish delight. In some regions, much like with tea leaf readings, your fortune can be told by the coffee grinds left in the cup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water (cold)
  • 1 tablespoon extra finely ground coffee (powder consistency)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (or 1 cardamom pod, crushed)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar (or more, to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turkish coffee recipe ingredients
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  2. Bring water and sugar to a boil in an ibrik. If you do not have an ibrik, a small saucepan will work.

    Sugar and water coming to a boil for Turkish coffee
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  3. Remove from heat and add coffee and cardamom.

    Adding coffee and cardamom to the water and sugar for Turkish coffee
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  4. Return saucepan to heat and allow to come to a boil. Remove from heat when coffee foams.

    Boiling all the ingredients for Turkish coffee until it foams
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  5. Again, return to heat, allowing to foam and remove from heat again.

    Return to heat and let the Turkish coffee foam
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  6. Pour into 2 demitasse cups, and let them sit for a few minutes so the grounds can settle to the bottom of the cups. If using a cardamom pod, it can be served with the coffee for added flavor. Serve and enjoy!

    Turkish coffee in demitasse cup with cardamom pods
    The Spruce

Is Turkish Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

Yes. Because it brews longer, more flavors are extracted from the beans; the lack of filter also contributes to the robust taste. However, generally speaking, espresso still has less caffeine per serving than both Turkish and regular automatic drip coffee.

Tips

  • Turkish coffee must always be served with foam on top.
  • If you can't find finely ground Arabic coffee, you can purchase coffee beans at any coffee roaster and ask them to grind it for Turkish coffee, which requires a powder-like consistency.
  • Do not stir after pouring into cups; the foam will collapse.
  • Always start with cold water for best results.