All over the Middle East, people are downing Turkish coffee. All day, every day, men can be seen sitting at ahwas, cafes, smoking shisha and drinking these thick, delicious coffees. Even though they’re originally from Turkey, the drink is extremely popular in nearly every country over here. I am a huge coffee fiend. I love iced coffee, Moke coffee and espresso in Italy, and a nice pour-over. I make a point to always try the local coffee and, more often than not, it becomes a daily drink.
One of the first things I bought in Egypt was a cezve, a little copper or silver cup that you make the drink in. Then I bought the specific type of coffee from my local nut shop, strangely enough. I picked out the beans that I wanted and they ground it into a fine powder with a small variety of spices.
Before I actually made my first cup of Turkish coffee, I did my research. There are a lot of ways to make it, all very specific, and I have tried every one. I found the strategy that produces the best results, in my opinion. In this article, I’m going to teach you how to make a proper Turkish coffee, step by step.
Step One: Buy Your Coffee
The coffee can be any beans you like, Guatemalan and Ethiopian are my personal favorites. For the best taste, it’s best to have the beans ground in front of you rather than buying them premade. This makes for a fresher taste. However, if you get it from a specialty coffee shop, chances are it was made very recently with high-quality beans. So that is an option as well.
Step Two: Prepare The Coffee
You’re going to want two to three things with you for this step. The coffee, room temperature water, and, if you’d like, sugar. First, I put the sugar at the bottom of the cup. You want the sugar to be on the bottom because then it will caramelize and taste amazing. Next, add your water.Depending on how strong you like it, you can add between 1.5 and 2 ounces. Then add your coffee. One big teaspoon is enough. Some people stir it at this point and some people don’t. I like to stir it because otherwise the coffee just sort of floats to the top. One quick stir to mix it up should do the trick.
Step Three: Cook It On The Stove
Place the cezve on the stove and turn the flame on low. The flames should be directly under the cup, not coming out the sides. Let the coffee heat up a bit and once you see little bubbles, give it a little stir. Nothing more. Watch your coffee carefully because it is a fast process. You will start to see little, light brown bubbles forming at the ring of the cup. This means the coffee is almost done. They will increase and push the thick coffee to the middle of the cup. Right before it boils, turn off the flame and quickly take it off the stove. If the coffee boils, it will taste burnt.
Step Four, The Final Step: Pour and Serve
The top of the coffee will have thick crema on top. Take the teaspoon that you used and scoop it into the bottom of your coffee cup. Then slowly pour the coffee into the cup. It is imperative that you pour it slowly so that the crema cuts to the top, that is the traditional way to do it. It will be very hot so I usually let it cool for three minutes. The Arabs usually drink it pretty hot though and I think it tastes best when it is. It is often served in little copper cups and in the United Arab Emirates, they serve it with sweet tahini and dates. It is also always served with a cup of water to clear the palate. The oldest person present is the one who drinks first, to be respectful. Everyone joins in after they have had their first sip.
Turkish coffee is a delicious drink that has a specific and precise recipe to be made properly. If made right, it will be rich and sweet. This has become one of my favorite types of coffee and I know I will be drinking it for the rest of my life.
Do you have your own special way to make Turkish coffee? What is the traditional coffee from your country? Leave a comment below!
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