An industry saying is that it takes a year for coffee to travel from field to cup, and a minute for the consumer to mess it up. To avoid doing so, we are here to help.
Characteristics of Turkish coffee:
The Ottoman Turks drank a dark, opaque beverage described by a contemporary poet as ‘the negro enemy of sleep and love’ – the forerunner of Turkish coffee, or kahve, today. The beans are blackened by roasting and then ground into a powder. The coffee is placed with water in a cezve (known outside Turkey as an ibrik), a wide-bottomed open pot that narrows before reaching a broader rim. It is brought to the boil, removed from the flame and foam from the top of the liquid is spooned into the cups. The liquid may then be brought back to the boil (at least once, often twice), and additional liquor poured into the cups, while an attempt is made to retain the foam structure.
How to prepare Turkish coffee:
The ibrik method, also called Turkish or Greek, consists of tossing pulverized coffee grounds into a vessel with water. The water is boiled with the grounds multiple times. There is no filter. The grounds settle, so carefully pouring the coffee is the only way to reduce the amount that ends up in cups. Some in the coffee industry consider the careful pouring part of ibrik coffee making an art form. To some, ibrik represents coffee brewing at its oldest and most basic form.
Traditionally, ibrik coffee is served sugarless at funerals or unhappy occasions and with extra sugar at weddings and other festivities. Also, in some Arabic countries, serving someone the coffee without any foam signifies “losing face” because the foam is considered the coffee’s face. Be careful. If you don’t divide the foam equally, you could send the wrong message.
Ibrik coffee maker (copper)
Freshwater, 3 ounces (90 ml) for every 2 tablespoons (10 g) whole bean coffee
Fresh dark roasted whole bean coffee, 2 tablespoons (10 g) ground superfine
Mortar and pestle “grinder” or a true ibrik grinder (which looks like a pepper mill)
Sugar + Stovetop or other heat sources
1- to 3-ounce (30 to 90 ml) demitasse cups.
Ibrik coffee is considered real coffee by much of the world. Properly made, it can be a powerful, aromatic taste sensation. Part of its art is in its creation, and its rituals are as rich as its taste.
Expert Notes on Ibrik
Here are some tips for ibrik brewing:
• To minimize the grounds in a cup, don’t constantly stir; a little stirring goes a long way.
• Pour ibrik coffee very slowly, as most of the grounds will have sunk to the bottom. The ibrik coffee pot automatically hangs at a forty-five-degree angle. Try pouring at that angle as well.
• Add a pinch of cardamom for flavoring. This is perhaps the earliest known form of flavored coffee. Also, try orange-blossom water. Add more or less to your preference.
1. Place 3 ounces (90 ml) of water into the ibrik.
2. Add 2 tablespoons (10 g) of powder ground coffee.
3. Add 1 tablespoon (12 g) of sugar per demitasse. Never fill an ibrik more than half full. It will foam up during boiling and could overflow.
4. Put the ibrik on medium heat and bring mixture to a boil. Once it boils, lowers the heat so it won’t overflow. Also, gentle heat produces a milder cup. Let it sit for 1 or 2 minutes.
5. Once the coffee stops boiling, repeat the process, bringing it to a boil twice more, reducing heat immediately upon boiling.
6. As it reaches a boil it’s third and final time (and likely, as the foam nears the top of the ibrik’s neck, in spite of our precautions), remove the ibrik from the heat.
7. Pour carefully into prewarmed demitasse cups. Divide the foam between the cups using a spoon.
For two servings: Place 2 heaping teaspoons (13 g) of powder-fine coffee in the pot along with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and 2 heaping teaspoons (13 g) of sugar. Bring to a boil. When the coffee foams, remove the pot from the heat source; let the froth subside; stir. Repeat this heating process twice to produce a thick, black, muddy brew. Then pour the coffee into two 2-ounce (60 ml) cups. The grounds should be allowed to settle before the coffee is carefully consumed.
Never fill the ibrik to more than half its capacity. The coffee foams lavishly and the pot must accommodate this expansion. Otherwise, it will spill over.
When the coffee foams and is about to boil over, remove the pot from the stove and pour a bit of the foam into the serving cups.
The traditional custom is to pour the coffee immediately to ensure that everyone receives equal amounts of foam and coffee grounds. Some people may prefer to have the grounds settle in the ibrik first, but this thick, sweet coffee has a tradition and taste all of its own, which requires serving the grounds along with the liquid coffee.
For spiced variations, add cardamom seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to the pot while the coffee is boiling.
In the Middle East, the usual proportion of sweetener is equal parts of sugar and ground coffee; however, this can be increased or decreased to suit personal preferences.
Last words: Modern Turkish coffee—ground to a powder with roast cardamom and thrice boiled in a long-handled ibrik—continues to have an exotic appeal to Western coffee drinkers, not to mention a powerful kick.
This is the end: Turkish coffee (Ibrik) Tutorial