Making Turkish Coffee

After spending some time in Greece and now Egypt, I’ve come to appreciate Turkish coffee (they call it Greek Coffee in Greece although it is made in the exact same way). There is a cezve (the Turkish pot used to make this coffee) in my apartment here in Sharm el Sheikh, so I’ve been making it daily and after weeks of experimentation I’ve finally gotten the knack of doing it right.

I first fill up my cezve with cold filtered water and then add 3 tsp of ground coffee in the pot (tsp size is respective to the size of my cezve). I set the flame to as little as possible and put the pot on the stove and after a couple of minutes the coffee grains sink down to the bottom of the pot.

That’s the easy bit and now comes the tricky bit. Once all the grains have sunk down to the bottom, I stir the coffee a couple of times (keeping the grains away from the base of the pot so the pressure doesn’t build up too quickly, allowing me to get a thicker crema/foam). Eventually though, a ring of foam develops on top – my cue that the pressure is getting stronger now and brewing time left is very limited. So I take the pot off the heat, remove the bit of foam that did develop (and put it in the cup that I will drink the coffee from) and give the coffee a quick stir.

I put it back on the stove and await for another ring of foam to arise and repeat the process. I only do it twice myself, although the debate between purists on the optimum amount of times ranges from two to four. Apparently, four will give the thickest foam and best taste (but you are not supposed to stir the fourth time, just remove the ring of foam). Others say twice is best as leaving it longer will cause the coffee to get too hot (and reach boiling point) which will simply let the foam evaporate. As we all know you should never use boiling water with coffee, and apparently 70 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature for Turkish Coffee.
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Some methods argue to wait until the brew rapidly rises and this is the signal that the coffee is done, but if you reach this point you have brewed it too long as the water temperature is practically boiling.

The result of this whole ceremony is a nice dark, creamy Turkish coffee!


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