If you enjoy strong and full-bodied coffee like espresso, you'll love a cup of Turkish coffee! It's a type of strong caffeine drink that is made in a special pot called a cezve.
The recipe is much more straightforward than you might expect, as long as you prepare the right ingredients and equipment.
In this article, you'll learn what exactly this hot caffeine drink is and how to pull it off at home. Who knows, it might become your brand new routine due to how simple and delicious it is!
Feel free to go ahead and jump straight to the recipe.
- What is Turkish coffee?
- Who discovered Turkish coffee?
- What does Turkish coffee taste like?
- What does Turkish coffee smell like?
- What is special about Turkish coffee?
- How many calories are there in a cup of Turkish coffee?
- How much caffeine is there in a cup of Turkish coffee?
- What is the difference between Turkish coffee and regular coffee?
- Difference between espresso and Turkish coffee
- How to make Turkish coffee
- Using Sand
- Turkish Coffee Set
- Turkish Coffee Recipe
What is Turkish coffee?
Turkish coffee is a type of caffeine drink made with a special coffee-making pot called a cezve or ibrik. The caffeinated beverage is boiled on an open fire with water until it thickens, then served in a small cup.
What makes Turkish coffee so special is that it is often made with extra finely ground coffee beans. This gives the drink a much stronger and bolder flavor than filtered coffee.
Who discovered Turkish coffee?
Despite its name, this caffeine drink didn't originate from Turkey. But, in the 16th century, it was introduced to an Ottoman governor stationed in Yemen, where it's known to actually be from.
The Ottoman governor then recommended it to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who went on to popularize it in Istanbul, Turkey as well as nearby countries and regions.
And, as the people in each region put their own spin on the recipe, new drinks were born despite similarities to the Turkish coffee preparation method. These included the Greek and Armenian variations.
What does Turkish coffee taste like?
Turkish coffee has a strong, bold, and bittersweet taste and a concentrated and rather gritty body due to the way that it's brewed.
The use of extra finely ground coffee and direct contact with boiling water the entire time helps effectively extract the flavor compounds.
What's more, this drink isn't filtered, so the bottom of the cup will have a noticeable layer of sludge and the coffee grounds will float freely around, giving it a much heavier body and concentrated feel.
What does Turkish coffee smell like?
Generally, Turkish coffee smells rather nutty, burnt, and spicy, especially when it's brewed with cardamom. However, it will depend on what type of beans you use.
In fact, this drink can be so aromatic that patients who are recovering from COVID-19 can partially regain their sense of smell for around 1 hour!
What is special about Turkish coffee?
Other than its taste and smell, here are 3 other factors that set this drink apart from other caffeinated drinks and make it so famous.
As previously mentioned, this hot beverage is made with a special pot called cezve or ibrik.
Different from the typical pots in your house, its neck is very narrow, making it resemble a vase with a pouring spout.
Without this feature, the foam that forms during the brewing process can't be built up and sustained, which gives this caffeinated beverage the infamous concentration.
The cezve also has a long handle to help the user handle the brewer more easily.
It can also be seen as a healthy drink because of its high levels of antioxidants.
In fact, a study has shown that people who drink this beverage regularly have a 27% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This is likely due to the high levels of caffeine and polyphenols present in the drink.
Other than that, the drinker can also help protect you from certain diseases and disorders like diabetes and depression.
And, its aroma can be of temporary assistance for patients recovering from COVID-19, as previously mentioned.
Lastly, this caffeine drink holds a lot of cultural significance in the regions where it's popular, especially in ceremonies, holidays, and traditions.
For example, Turkish coffee reading is performed by looking at the sludge that remains at the bottom of the cup after drinking. People will use it to tell fortunes as a form of tasseography.
How many calories are there in a cup of Turkish coffee?
Turkish coffee can have around 10 calories per ounce, if it's just coffee grounds and water. However, exact figures will depend on what you add to your drink.
How much caffeine is there in a cup of Turkish coffee?
Turkish coffee is highly caffeinated and contains around 25 mg of caffeine per ounce.
What is the difference between Turkish coffee and regular coffee?
Typically, regular coffee uses medium ground beans, while Turkish coffee uses extra fine grind coffee beans to optimize flavor extraction. This is the main difference aside from the brewing device and brewing method.
The Golden ratio for a regular cup of Joe is 1:16 - 1:17. But to achieve a concentrated brew with a heavy body like Turkish coffee, you need to adjust it to around 1:9.
And, obviously, regular drip filtered coffee is weaker and more diluted in comparison to the unique Turkish brew.
Difference between espresso and Turkish coffee
You may expect the grind size for Turkish Joe to be just as fine as espresso, but it's actually even finer! As fine as possible, in fact.
Why? Because there's no high pressure involved when making a cup of Turkish brew, unlike espresso. So you need as much surface area as possible to optimize caffeine-to-water contact and achieve that concentration.
Another difference between Turkish coffee and espresso is the roast. Dark roasts are generally used for making espresso, while many coffee lovers prefer to use bright light roasts for the Turkish Joe.
Is Turkish coffee stronger than espresso?
Turkish coffee is not stronger than espresso. However, taste-wise, it can definitely stand a chance with its thick and powerful taste. But caffeine-wise, espresso is still the ultimate energy shot, boasting as much as 51 mg of caffeine per oz.
How to make Turkish coffee
Turkish Coffee Beans
It's best to use traditional Yemeni Mocha beans to stick to the root of this caffeine drink, but any type of Arabica coffee beans is fine too.
You can opt for any roast profile, but lighter roasts with brighter compounds can really shine with this brewing method.
In terms of grind size, make sure to get it extra fine, even powder-like with the help of a quality burr grinder. Check this Breville Smart Grinder write-up, for instance.
The recommended coffee-to-water ratio is 1:9. Start there then adjust it according to your personal preference if you find the brew too weak or too strong.
This is optional. Feel free to add sugar to make it sweeter and easier to consume for those who find it too strong.
Traditionally the caffeine drink is brewed in a pan filled with sand and heated over an open fire. This method allows for better control over the heat used through adjusting the depth of the cezve in the sand.
However, you can also make Turkish coffee over a stove top over low to medium heat without sand.
Turkish Coffee Set
It is relatively easy to make Turkish coffee at home using a few simple ingredients listed above. However, if you’d like to get the full experience you can choose to get a Turkish coffee set. We love this set from Amazon which comes with the beans, a cezve, as well as two elegant yet functional cups and saucers.
Turkish Coffee Recipe
- 2 tbsps ground coffee (light-roast extra fine)
- 6-8 oz water
- 2 tsps sugar (optional)
- Fill the cezve with water until it reaches the neck of the pot.
- Add ground coffee to the Turkish coffee pot.
- Add sugar if you like it sweet. (Optional)
- Heat the cezve over low or medium heat until it's about to boil. Then, remove the cezve from heat.
- Scoop out the foam with the spoon and either add it to your serving cups or discard it.
- Stir the turkish coffee in the cezve and return the cezve to heat.
- Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 twice more but, for the last round, don't return it to heat.
- Slowly pour the turkish coffee into your serving cups and let the sludge settle down before drinking.
- You can also add 1 - 2 pods of cardamom to add a little bit of spice. Remember to grind it up finely as well.
- Sugar isn't the only way to add sweetness. Honey, milk, or cream works as well.
- You can enjoy this drink with a piece of Turkish delight, a type of Turkish confection, and a glass of water for the most authentic experience.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
This caffeine drink utilizes a unique and flavorful brewing method that has been around for centuries. The recipe is simple to follow, and the end result is a delicious and aromatic cup of joe.
Whether you're looking for an energizing caffeine fix or simply want to enjoy a tasty beverage, this is definitely worth a try!
Next up, learn how to make a dirty chai latte!