The rules for a perfect Turkish Coffee

Originating in Turkey, today it’s widely popular throughout the Middle East, most of Northern Africa and Eastern Europe. Here are the rules to make a perfect Turkish coffee.

How to make it
According to the traditional Turkish recipe you need just a few simple ingredients:

  • Extra fine grind size coffee, similar to powdered sugar
  • Water
  • A cezve or ibrik, the typical Turkish coffee pot
  • Sugar or spices, according to taste.

The most important rule is to never let the water boil, so as to prevent it from burning and losing its sensory qualities. First, fill the cezve, the traditional Turkish coffee pot, with water. This is a pot in copper or brass with a long handle. Allow about 50ml of water per person. When the water is about to boil, remove the cezve from the stove and add the finely ground coffee (one teaspoon per person), sugar and your favourite spices – the use of cardamom is highly popular. Stir the blend carefully to enable the powder to dissolve and obtain a beverage with rich flavours and aromas.

After mixing all the ingredients, place the cezve back on the stove, making sure the flame isn’t too high. As the temperature rises, a thick layer of foam will start to rise to the surface. When the foam increases in volume, it means that the beverage is about to start boiling. At this stage, you can do two things: either serve the infusion, pouring it into coffee cups or remove the cezve from the stove, let it cool down for a moment and then put it back on the stove, twice, to obtain an even more intense coffee. Before you can enjoy your coffee break, the infusion needs to rest for a few minutes, to let the floating powder settle on the bottom of the cup and savour to the fullest the flavour of this Turkish delicacy.

A beverage inscribed in the Cultural Heritage of Humanity

According to tradition, Turkish coffee is served in small coffee cups without handles. In Turkey, Greece and great part of the Arabic world it is believed that the powder settling on the bottom of the cups can be used for fortune telling. The ritual of coffee reading can tell what the future holds for us. Future events in several aspects of life are predicted based on the reading and interpretation of the patterns made by the powder.

This beverage has been inscribed on the Representative List of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and has a museum dedicated to it in Istanbul. There you can discover all the secrets to making a perfect cup of Turkish coffee, retrace the main stages of its history and try your hand at preparing it, under the supervision of the staff of the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum.

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