What You Didn’t Know About Turkish Coffee

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Turkish coffee is one of the most popular, best-tasting coffee varieties around the world today. It is different than regular coffee. However, most people don’t know that this drink has quite an exciting and rich history behind it. If you think you know everything there is to know about Turkish coffee, take a look at these fun facts about Turkish coffee and see if you can learn something new!

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Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia around 1,000 AD. Still, it wasn’t until 1543 that Turkey’s Sufi monks—who became quite a force of social activism during their time—found their way to Constantinople. At that point, coffee had still not caught on outside of Islamic circles due to its illegality under Sharia law.

But once it reached Istanbul, everyone wanted it: Coffee-houses soon began popping up all over town. Within just one century after it arrived in Istanbul, coffee drinking was totally normalized throughout Turkey. By 1650 there were more than 3,000 coffee houses across Constantinople (or Istanbul as we know it today). Needless to say that at some points, people were drinking almost one liter of caffeine per day per person! In fact, according to Greek historian Kritovoulos from the 17th century, no Turk could be considered an adult if he did not drink 3 cups of coffee every day.

what is turkish coffee
turkish coffee facts

How it’s made

Art of Coffee making: Most of us are familiar with drip-brewed coffee, where hot water drips down through grounds in a filter and emerges from a spout. But did you know that Turks have very different brewing methods? Turkish coffee is strained through an egg-shaped silver contraption called an ibrik and then served in tiny cups called fincan.

Brewed for four to five minutes, it’s often served with sugar syrup on top. Traditionally, this coffee is made in hot sand. A cup of Turkish coffee is brewed using a pan filled with sand, with a heat source of an open flame. The sand-filled pan allows for total control over the heat. Cups left on the surface stay warm and the heat used for brewing can be adjusted by the depth of the coffee in the sand. It is considered to be the most authentic coffee.

Why does it take so long to make

Unlike drip coffee, where hot water slowly drips through a bed of grounds for hours, Turkish coffee is made in one go. It’s a labor-intensive process: Let’s look at its preparation method.

Place the water, coffee, and sugar likings in a metal Turkish coffee pot (traditional cezve). (If one or more of the guests don’t prefer sweet coffee, prepare and pour that cup first. After returning the coffee pot to the heat, begin adding cubes of sugar to suit the remaining guests.) Stir briefly with the help of a teaspoon of coffee.

The coffee beans are grounded (often with a mortar and pestle) Over medium heat, boil the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. Next, they’re put into a cezve—similar to an ibrik—and left to brew. The brewing process usually takes 15 minutes. It gives an aromatic brew. Finally, you have to serve it by pouring its contents from several feet above to foam up on top, making it a frothy coffee. This creates a cascade effect, which helps dissolve sediment that would otherwise be undrinkable.

Then comes the foam topping! Use a teaspoon to transfer some foam into each of your two Turkish coffee cups. Return the coffee pot to the stovetop and boil the remaining coffee for an additional 15 to 20 seconds. Pour the remaining fresh coffee into the 6-7 coffee cups to the rim and serve alongside a cup of water.

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know about turkish coffee

Why it’s served in small cups

Turkish coffee, as opposed to the other types, is not filtered at all; it still contains the Turkish coffee grounds and is boiled slowly on a medium heat source. The beverage is served in small cups, accompanied by a glass of water. Turkish coffee is served in small cups/copper pots because it’s a concentrated drink which makes the coffee stronger, which means there’s more flavor per cup.

In addition, when one-cup portions are served, people have an easier time controlling how much of it they drink at one time. It’s customary to talk with friends or business associates while drinking your cup of coffee; if you’re drinking a large pot of coffee, you may be tempted to empty your cup and thus consume too much caffeine at once. Drinking several smaller cups will prevent that temptation.

Where it’s served

Despite what you may have heard, Turkey is not the only place that serves Turkish coffee. This special drink caught the attention of people from all around the world. The brew can be found in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, including Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Greece. It’s also made in some Balkan countries (including Bosnia-Herzegovina) as well as in Romania, Ukraine, and Russia. This makes sense when you consider its likely origin: Ethiopia.

The best places to drink it

The traditional setting for drinking coffee is in a cozy kafe, or cafe. Istanbul was one of history’s first great cosmopolitan cities; throughout its long and checkered past, it has had many names: Byzantium, Constantinople, and finally Istanbul. These days it’s one of Europe’s most stunningly beautiful capitals with some of its richest cultural attractions including the Turkish culture: there are plenty of places to choose from when choosing a spot to enjoy your Turkish coffee cup!


Frequently Asked Questions

Although much Turkish coffee ritual is not prevalent in today’s society, coffee has remained an integral part of Turkish culture. This Turkish coffee culture symbolizes hospitality, friendship, refinement, and entertainment. Derived from the Arabia coffee beans, Turkish coffee is a type of coffee that is an excellent, powder-like grind. It is usually described as bitter coffee.

Tasseography is an art of fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, and even wine sediments. For centuries, the art of reading Turkish coffee grounds has been a tradition in countries that prefer Turkish coffee (not just Turkey).

All these reasons make this drink so unique.

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