What is Turkish coffee and how is it made?

When you think about coffee, Turkey isn’t one of the countries that instantly springs to mind. Yet, Turkish coffee seems to have skyrocketed in popularity and we wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Turkish coffee is a strong, robust drink with a very prominent flavour with a consistency much like espresso. Turkish coffee is brewed in a pot called a cezve or Ibrik and sugar is often added to make it a very sweet drink. It can be made at home by anyone in a Turkish coffee maker.

Arzum OK004-K Turkish Coffee Machine, Plastic, 480 W, Black/Chrome
  • 1-4 cups capacity
  • Smart overflow prevention system
  • Washable pot

If you are looking for a new style of coffee to tantalise your taste buds then this could be a real contender. But what is Turkish coffee and is it readily available in Europe and the US or do we all have to jump on a flight to Istanbul to get a cup?

Turkish coffee video

Discover what Turkish coffee is and see it brewed in our video. The article continues below the video.


What is Turkish coffee and what’s in it?

Turkish coffee is popular throughout the middle east though each country does things a little differently. It’s drunk in other Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and as far into Europe as Greece and Russia where it’s brewed in a pot called a turka.

The drink is made with similar ingredients to other types of coffee but in this case, the ground coffee is incredibly fine. This is mixed with water and quite often, a sweetener such as sugar is added. It can be served without sugar but owing to the robust flavour, this is not as common and to be honest is a bit of a challenge. Turkish coffee without sugar is very strong and very much an acquired taste.

As well as sugar, baristas making this type of drink will also add cardamom which is a warming spice, giving the coffee a very unique twist. However, there are a lot of recipes that call for the use of a wide variety of other spices including, but not limited to, anise and cinnamon. What’s great about the drink is that you can really experiment with spices to create something personal to your tastes.

How is Turkish coffee different and what makes it unique?

One of the biggest differences with Turkish coffee when compared to other types is that the grounds are served in the cup with the drink itself. This is something that a lot of people won’t be used to and may even seem a little odd at first.

However, the benefit of this is that you get a much more highly caffeinated drink. If you’re looking for something to give you a boost in the morning, this is a real contender.

One of the reasons that the coffee grounds must be so fine is because they will end up in your cup so it’s super important to grind those beans until they are as good as powder. That said, once the drink is brewed, you’ll have a much thicker, denser drink compared to many of the other coffee drinks you will have been used to drinking.

What’s more, Turkish coffee is flavoured with spices. OK, you can head to Costa or Starbucks and have a plethora of flavoured syrups put into your drink but this uses natural spices and gives the coffee a very unique taste.

Why is Turkish coffee so popular?

If you haven’t jumped on the Turkish coffee bandwagon, you will only need to try this delicious and unique drink before you’re hailing it as one of the best coffees you have ever had. But what is it that makes this drink so darn good?

Well, one of the main reasons that so many people are enamoured with Turkish coffee is its strength. As we have already discovered, leaving the coffee grounds in the drink means that you get a much higher caffeine content. With around 25mg of caffeine in each fluid ounce Turkish coffee has more caffeine than most regular coffees.

Turkish coffee vs espresso

That said, it still doesn’t quite match up to the caffeine content of a cup of espresso which has more caffeine per fluid ounce. On the other hand, where taste is concerned, its fans claim Turkish coffee wins hands down. It has a far stronger flavour than espresso so is a great choice for people who like a very robust coffee.

Another reason that Turkish coffee is so popular is because of the unique way that it is served. Many would agree that there is something of a ritual or show about making and enjoying Turkish coffee so the whole experience just feels that little bit more special.

What’s more, it is heavily ingrained into Turkish culture so it gives others a chance to experience this. You’ll find this drink being consumed at everything from Turkish spiritual readings to Turkish weddings.

Any health benefits of Turkish coffee?

One of the most significant health drawbacks to regularly consuming Turkish coffee is that this drink is flavoured with huge amounts of sugar. As we all know, too much sugar is not good for you so it is important to try and drink this in moderation. That said, you could try replacing the sugar with more spices, which are far healthier.

Additionally, there is a lot of caffeine in Turkish coffee and while, in small amounts, this does have health benefits, too much can raise your blood pressure.

On the other hand, there are far many more health benefits to drinking Turkish coffee and some of them may be surprising. For starters, Turkish coffee traditionally contains cardamom which is known for its antioxidants which can help contribute towards a healthy immune system and reduced inflammation.

There has been evidence to suggest that drinking coffee every day could lower the risk of heart disease as well as bringing down the risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes. Of course, that high sugar content may have the opposite effect so, as we mentioned; everything in moderation.

With mental and neurological health at the front of everyone’s minds, it is encouraging to hear that coffee may have a positive effect on mental decline with studies showing a lowered risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And let’s not forget the boost of energy that the caffeine in coffee gives you which may improve your athletic performance and stamina.

Having said all that, we’re coffee lovers not doctors so make your own minds up about the health benefits of Turkish coffee or its drawbacks. Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice.

What is a Turkish coffee pot called?

Turkish coffee is made in a pot that is known as a cezve but it may also be called an ibrik. This pot features a long handle and is bell-shaped. That said, you don’t necessarily need one of these coffee pots to make the drink as it is possible to brew Turkish coffee in any small, heat resistant pot.

DEMMEX 9 Oz Thick 2mm Copper Turkish Greek Arabic Engraved Coffee Pot Stovetop Coffee Maker Cezve Ibrik Briki with Wooden Handle & Wooden Pot Spoon, for 3 People (Copper)
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The cezve is filled with water and placed onto a heat source with a low to medium heat until it just reaches boiling point. Now the coffee and sweetener are added as well as your chosen point. The cezve is now left off the heat and the coffee is left to brew for four minutes.

Must read article: How to make Turkish coffee at home without a cezve

Once it is ready, the liquid is poured into the cup. What’s different here is that you’ll also have the coffee grounds in your cup which will sink to the bottom while you drink the liquid on top.

Where can I try Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee is quite often served with a small glass of water and a piece of Turkish delight. These are typically consumed before drinking the coffee.

If you’re a guy who is fortunate enough to be marrying a Turkish lady then you might find yourself trying this drink as part of an engagement tradition. Upon becoming betrothed, the families of the couple will get together for a coffee.

The drink is made by the future bride who will contaminate her beloved’s coffee with something like salt or soap. If he manages to get through the entire cup without complaint, then this is evidence that he will be a good husband.

But for most of us, we won’t be able to enjoy Turkish coffee with our future in-laws so short of heading to a cafe where it is served, it’s entirely possible to make the drink at home.

Of course, you could head off to one of the many countries where Turkish coffee is a staple part of the culture and diet. Places like Slovenia and Bulgaria as well as countries like Israel and Hungary all have their own take on this delicious coffee.

Can you buy Turkish coffee in shops?

The correct grind for Turkish coffee is very fine so in theory, you could use any extra fine coffee grounds. Traditionally Turkish coffee is made using Arabica beans so if you are going to grind the beans yourself, you’ll get the most authentic results using this type.

That said, since this type of coffee has gained in popularity over recent years, it’s not surprising that it is now widely available as its own blend in stores and online with many retailers.

Online retailers like Amazon are indispensable when looking to buy Turkish coffee and you’ll find some of the best products here. What’s even better is that they are very wallet-friendly but don’t compromise on quality.

What is the best Turkish coffee?

Unless you are familiar with Turkish coffee, it may surprise you to learn that there are a lot of excellent brands to choose from. One of the most well respected is Mehmet Efendi which is directly imported from Turkey and is considered a premium brand. This is perhaps the most popular Turkish coffee in the world but there are other brands to consider.

For example, Al Ameed gourmet Turkish coffee is a beautiful artisan blend that has strong cardamom flavours and features beans farmed in Turkey.

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Arzum OK001 Automatic Turkish Coffee Machine, 710 W, 1 Liter, Black/Copper
  • automatic turkish/greek coffee machine
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The best Turkish coffee makers

As we have discussed, Turkish coffee is traditionally made using a cezve which is placed over a source of heat. These small pots are usually made from materials like copper and are handmade following a design that dates back many years.

However, modern coffee lovers often don’t have the time to spend making coffee in the traditional manner and need a quick solution to this – we all know the advantages of having a coffee machine at home. That’s where the electric Turkish coffee maker comes in and these little devices are super affordable. They look similar to a traditional cezve but automatically heat the coffee and are often cordless.

Bestseller No. 1
Arzum OK004-K Turkish Coffee Machine, Plastic, 480 W, Black/Chrome
  • 1-4 cups capacity
  • Smart overflow prevention system
  • Washable pot
Bestseller No. 2
Arzum OK001 Automatic Turkish Coffee Machine, 710 W, 1 Liter, Black/Copper
  • automatic turkish/greek coffee machine
  • can automatically brew and pour coffee directly into the cup(s)
  • self-cleaning function
SaleBestseller No. 3
Arzum Okka OK006 Minio Duo Turkish Coffee Maker with Copper trim, Black
  • SMART overflow prevention system
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  • WASHABLE Pot
Bestseller No. 4
Arzum OK004-N Automatic Turkish Coffee Maker, Plastic, 480 W, Red/Chrome
  • 1-4 cups capacity
  • Smart overflow prevention system
  • Washable pot
Bestseller No. 5
Arzum OK0013-K Okka Jet Automatic Turkish Coffee Machine, 400 W, Black/Chrome
  • AUTOMATICALLY brews up to 5 cups of Turkish/Greek coffee at a time and pours directly into the...
  • The same PERFECT TASTE and CREAM every time
  • MODERN DESIGN, can be used with either hand

For people who are in a hurry to get their morning caffeine fix, they’re a great option since they require the user to do nothing more than press a button. With many of these products, the device can also be used to make other drinks such as tea and milk so they’re excellent if you are looking for something a little more versatile.

Let’s recap

Turkish coffee is vastly different from many other types of coffee owing to the ingredients and the way that it is made. Instead of filtering the coffee grounds, as would be the case with many other types of coffee, they are left to sink to the bottom of the drink. The beverage is much thicker and comes with a light foam on the top and is often enjoyed with Turkish delight and refreshing cold water.

What really sets it apart from other types of coffee is that it is blended with various spices. Most commonly, coffee lovers will add cardamom but there are a number of other spices that are popular and it’s all about finding a blend that meets your personal preference.

 

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