How to make Turkish Coffee – Everything You Need to Know About It

Dusky complexion, tantalising aroma and the heavenly bittersweet flavour…a cup of coffee is the very definition of bliss! And what better that pure, unfiltered Turkish coffee? Honoured by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Turkey, Turkish coffee is globally famous for its distinct taste and aroma. Don’t worry though you don’t have to go all the way to Turkey! Discussed below are some simple recipes and other historical facts about Turkish coffee:

Don’t worry though you don’t have to go all the way to Turkey! Discussed below are some simple recipes and other historical facts about Turkish coffee:

Honoured by UNESCO as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Turkey, Turkish coffee is globally famous for its distinct taste and aroma. Don’t worry though you don’t have to go all the way to Turkey!

Discussed below are some simple recipes and other historical facts about Turkish coffee…

How-to-make-turkish-coffee

History and Traditional Significance

Although coffee is usually connected to the cosmopolitan society and considered to be a modern drink, it has its history. Discovered in Ethiopia in the 11th century, the coffee plant was soon spread over to other parts of the then known world.

Introduced in Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Suleiman, coffee slowly made its way into the Ottoman Empire and was a vital part of the Turkish court life.

Back in those days, the art of coffee making was quite an elaborate affair. The coffee beans were first roasted then finely ground and cooked with charcoal ashes giving the coffee its unique flavour.

Originally a drink meant only for the royals; coffee was served exclusively to the king and other noblemen. Back then coffee was so much more than just a beverage, secrets were exchanged, alliances formed and broken, wars discussed…all over cups of coffee.

The chief coffee maker was the king’s secret keeper and a key player in the court politics. You’ll find many chief coffee makers or Kah EC BAs rising to the ranks of grand viziers or counsellors to the Sultan.

Soon the common people of Istanbul were drawn into the many wonders offered by this tempting beverage. Coffee now moved out of the courts and onto the streets of Turkey, people bought green coffee beans and roasted them at home.

The roasted beans were ground to fine powder and brewed in coffeepots or “cezve”. It even had an impact on the society; a woman’s worth was judged by the kind of coffee she’d serve her in-laws.

Also back then, a woman could divorce her husband over coffee, i.e. if the man was unable to provide her daily coffee.

And with the growth of coffeehouses, there emerged a whole new class of intellectuals who would socialize over a cup of coffee, reading, playing chess, discussing literature, poetry, politics and a whole array of stimulating topics; an atmosphere very similar to that of the post-modern culture, which would come centuries later.

These coffeehouses also hosted entertaining but thought to provoke puppet shows that presented a sarcastic comment on the prevalent conditions of the time. The craze for coffee was so bad that men preferred staying at coffeehouses rather than attending their daily prayer at mosques!

Coffeehouses were not only places for social gatherings and casual entertainment but also revolutionaryrebellious ideas of revolution. The youth connected over coffee cups discussing the downfalls of the administrative system.

This eventually led to coffee and coffeehouses being banned altogether as the monarchy was threatened by these gatherings. But even with severe and at times inhuman punishments the people continued with their caffeine indulgence!

Another interesting fact about the Turkish coffee was that it was quite popular in the field of astrology. Remember Professor Sybill Trelawney from Harry Potter? Her fortune telling techniques were inspired by this Turkish tradition where one could make prophesies about the future just by upturning a person’s cup and decoding the random patterns formed by the left over coffee beans and mud. Popular even today, “fal” or fortune reading is still practised by women in Turkey.

Coffee also played an important role in the city’s commerce, it was a major export item sent to European countries and gradually coffee was shipped all across the world. A high energy beverage, caffeine was considered the life of a party or social gathering.

In fact, the most expensive and treasured coffee known as the ‘Black Pearl” was a drink for the elite circle. It was a status symbol among prominent men at public events and women t private parties.

A refreshing and energising drink, coffee was preferred by soldiers and travellers who’d stock up their pantry with coffee to prepare for the long journey ahead.

Coffee was even symbolically associated with hospitality and values of the house; the guests were welcomed with steaming cups of delicious Turkish coffee.

Over the years the city has up held its love for coffee, even today you’ll find coffeehouses at almost every corner in the streets of Turkey. Coffee is now an indispensable part of Turkish tradition. Usually frequented only by men, the modern coffeehouses in the city are now open to women as well.

Also, these coffeehouses offer customers a whole array of board and card games that are not for monetary gains but purely entertainment purposes.

The place even serves the traditional water pipes or nargile allowing customers to relive the glorious age of the sultans and visit the nostalgic years in history.

How to Make Turkish Coffee

A simple and easy to follow recipe

A cup of good quality coffee can uplift even the crankiest of moods, warm up the coldest of days and is a luxury everyone enjoys and appreciates. Turkish coffee making is a delicate and time taking process that involves a lot of patience, hard work and of course the love for coffee.

Rich in flavour and traditional, Turkish coffee is the yardstick for hospitality and the values followed in the house. Served as a welcome drink, it is a part of the Turkish culture and heritage.

So if you’re going to brew Turkish coffee, it is important that you do it properly. Mentioned below is a steps wise guide for preparing Turkish coffee:

Preparing the coffee

Roasting and grinding the beans:

It is highly recommended that you roast and grind the coffee beans just before brewing it; this locks the taste and helps retain the aroma of the coffee; and although you can also use pre-processed coffee powder it won’t be as good as the freshly ground ones.Mocha, Java, Viennese or oil free Arabic beans are usually preferred in Turkish coffee. Roast the coffee beans to medium brown and then grind them using a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee grinder. Ensure that the coffee is finely ground before you move on to the next step.

Mocha, Java, Viennese or oil free Arabic beans are usually preferred in Turkish coffee. Roast the coffee beans to medium brown and then grind them using a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee grinder. Ensure that the coffee is finely ground before you move on to the next step.

Mix it up:

For this part you’ll need the traditional Turkish coffee pot or cezve, a special pot with a wide base, narrow neck and long spout and handles, it offers a unique and fun coffee making experience. Add one teaspoon of freshly ground powder, sugar if you want some, and some cold water depending on the amount of coffee you’ll be brewing. You can even throw in some spices for extra taste, ½ tsp of crushed cardamom seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves ( Note: the Turkish spoon is smaller than a normal teaspoon.). Mix it thoroughly

You can even throw in some spices for extra taste, ½ tsp of crushed cardamom seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves ( Note: the Turkish spoon is smaller than a normal teaspoon.). Mix it thoroughly uses a fork or a whisker for the purpose.

Sugar preference:

The amount of sugar added varies from person to person you can even have your coffee without sugar. Sade is coffee without sugar; or implies normal sugar levels i.e. one cube, Sek re li is sweet coffee (2 or more sugar cubes). Use white sugar for frothier coffee, although brown sugar can also be used as it is healthier.

Heat it:

Originally the coffee was cooked on charcoal ashes, but you can even use the low flame of a gas stove. After the concoction is properly mixed, i.e. there are no lumps, place the cezve pot on low flame. Don’t increase the temperature; let the coffee brew slowly and gradually. Remember, the slower it heats, the better it will taste. Also, ensure that you don’t stir the contents any more, let it cook at its pace. Watch the coffee boil and brew, keep an eye on it.

Remember, the slower it heats, the better it will taste. Also, ensure that you don’t stir the contents any more, let it cook at its pace. Watch the coffee boil and brew, keep an eye on it.

Collect the froth:

As the coffee brews and starts to bubble, you’ll start noticing some froth slowly gathering around the mixture. Collect the froth as delicately as possible and transfer it immediately onto the serving cups. Replace the pot on the fire once you’ve collected the top layer of froth, this makes the coffee frothier. Take down the pot once the froth starts overflowing now pour the coffee

Replace the pot on the fire once you’ve collected the top layer of froth, this makes the coffee frothier. Take down the pot once the froth starts overflowing now pour the coffee into the serving cups. There is no need to filter the mixture the coffee is served along with the mud.

Serving:

Turkish cups are pretty small, made of delicate fine china, and have beautiful patterns and artwork drawn all round it. Ensure that the froth is not compromised on; the “crema” or froth can be preserved by pouring the coffee along the sides of the cup. Wait for the mud and grounds to settle at the bottom before serving. Turkish coffee is usually served with Turkish delight, a popular sweet meat of the land that sweetens the mouth after the coffee

Wait for the mud and grounds to settle at the bottom before serving. Turkish coffee is usually served with Turkish delight, a popular sweet meat of the land that sweetens the mouth after the coffee

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