Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee
The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 13 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Yield: 2 drinks
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
11 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 11
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 106mg 2%
*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.)

Turkish coffee is rich, thick, and a delightful drink to be enjoyed slowly with good company. It is brewed in a copper coffee pot called a cezve (jez-VEY), made with powder-like ground coffee, and sweetened to the drinker's taste. Creating the perfect cup of Turkish coffee is a splendid way to show off your coffee-making skills.

Enjoyed for centuries throughout the Middle East and Balkans, the method for making traditional Turkish coffee varies slightly by region and household. It is not difficult but requires practice to get the strong brew's signature foam on top.

This style of coffee is not filtered. Instead, the coffee is ground so finely that it resembles flour and becomes part of the drink. The methods of measuring are also different: Use the serving cup to measure the water and a teaspoon from your dinnerware for the coffee and sugar. You can brew the coffee with varying amounts of sweetness or leave it unsweetened.

Turkish coffee is served in demitasse-sized cups with tall sides that hold about 2 1/2 ounces. It is never stirred during or after brewing. Some people like to brew it with milk, and the additions (sugar and milk) are always added to the brewing pot rather than the cup. With an intense flavor similar to a really thick espresso, it's often served with a glass of cold water as a palate cleanser. Turkish delight is a popular sweet to enjoy with the coffee, though chocolate is a tasty alternative.

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 ounces cold water

  • 2 heaping tablespoons extra finely ground coffee

  • 1 to 3 heaping teaspoons sugar, to taste; optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Turkish Coffee
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  2. Pour two serving cups filled with water into the cezve. Add the coffee and sugar (if using). Mix well to dissolve the coffee and sugar. Do not stir after this point.

    Brewing Traditional Turkish Coffee
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  3. Place the cezve on the stovetop over medium heat. After a few minutes, the coffee will rise and foam up.

    Brewing Turkish Coffee in a Cezve or Ibrik
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  4. Just before it begins to boil, remove the cezve from the heat. Skim off the foam, adding a little to each serving cup. Return the cezve to the heat and let it slowly foam up again.

    Making Turkish Coffee
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  5. Pour the coffee very slowly into the serving cups so the foam rises to the top.

    Turkish Coffee
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  6. Let the coffee settle for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy.

    Turkish Coffee
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Recipe Variations

  • Adjust the amount of ground coffee to suit your taste.
  • There are three sweetness levels for Turkish coffee: "less sweet" (az sekerli) uses 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per cup, "medium sweet" (orta sekerli) uses 1 teaspoon per cup (equal to the amount of coffee), and "extra sweet" (sekerli) uses 2 teaspoons per cup. You can also skip the sugar entirely.
  • Create a richer cup of coffee by substituting milk for the water; take extra care to avoid scalding.
  • For a hint of spice, add a whole green cardamom pod or 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom to the cezve with the coffee and sugar.

Tips

  • Dark-roasted Arabica coffee is traditional. Other types of coffee beans will work, and a blend of dark and lighter roasts is enjoyable.
  • The powdery grind size is what makes it Turkish coffee (the espresso grind is rather coarse in comparison). It isn't easy to achieve from the average home coffee grinder, so it's best to learn this brewing method with pre-ground Turkish coffee.
  • Coffee shops may produce a "Turkish grind" on request, and it's available from brands such as Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi. Turkish coffee grinders will produce the perfect grind as well.
  • The goal is to create a thick foam (similar to crema) on top. Stirring or letting the coffee come to a boil will cause the foam to collapse. Boiled coffee will also add a bitter flavor.
  • Keep the heat in check and be patient. The setting will depend on your stove, but it should take between 7 and 10 minutes to brew Turkish coffee.
  • Due to the small volume of the cezve, it's easier to brew about 2 cups at once. A larger cezve can make 4 to 6 cups; use 1 teaspoon of coffee for each "cup" of water.
  • If you don't have a cezve, use the smallest saucepan possible (preferably tall and thin).
  • Espresso cups and small tea cups are good alternatives to Turkish coffee cups.

Is Turkish Coffee Stronger Than Espresso?

Both Turkish coffee and espresso are stronger in taste and caffeine content than regular coffee. Comparing the two is a little different, though. Since it's unfiltered, Turkish coffee does have a more robust taste than espresso. However, espresso tends to have more caffeine. A 2-ounce cup of Turkish coffee has about 50 milligrams of caffeine, while the same amount of espresso (a double shot) can range from 58 to 185 milligrams of caffeine.