How the perfect aromatic cup of Turkish coffee is made

How the perfect aromatic cup of Turkish coffee is made

There is a story behind how coffee in Turkey is served, usually with a sweet accompaniment

How to make the perfect cup of Turkish coffee using Cezve (coffeepot) Video Credit: Anas Thachapadikkal/Gulf News

The correct way to drink Turkish coffee is right from a kahve fincanı or coffee cup while taking small bites of Turkish delights (lokum or sweet bites made of a gel of starch and sugar). A small copper or brass hand pot with a pouring lip and a long handle - Cezve or Jezve is what the coffee is made in.

So what makes Turkish coffee so popular? It is the brewing technique, sweet treat followed by conversations with friends and family that form the coffee culture. A local idiom - Bir fincan acı kahvenin kırk yıllık hatırı vardır - translates to 'one cup of bitter coffee is remembered for 40 years'. It infers that once you share a coffee with a Turk, you will share a long-lasting friendship of upto 40 years.

Tasseography is a method of fortune-telling that uses coffee grounds or tea leaves. In Turkey, this art is usually passed down from mothers and aunts to the younger generation.

Turkish coffee is had in a particular format, with small bites of sweets. This way the bitterness of the coffee gets balanced too. The cups have to be a certain size and coffee to be made using cezve (Turkish coffeepots), hand coffee grinders (dıbek) and trays. One can have it sade kahve (unsweetened), little or moderate sugar (orta sekerli), or tatli (sweet).

Turkish coffee
From left: Cezve, water, Turkish delights, coffee cups served on a tray


1 heaped tsp medium-roast fine ground Turkish coffee (any store brought packet will do)

1 Turkish coffee cup room temperature water

Sugar, if required as per taste

1. As a rule of thumb, for every cup of coffee to be prepared use an equal measure of water. If you want one cup of coffee, take one cup of water and one teaspoon of coffee powder. In case you are adding sugar, add one teaspoon to the coffee and do not stir. Allow it to caramelise with the heat. 

Medium roast coffee beans
Medium roast coffee beans Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News
Fine ground the beans
Finely grind the beans

2. Add coffee powder into the coffee pot or cezve. Followed by room temperature water.

Add coffee powder to the pot/cezva
Add coffee powder to the pot/cezva Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News
Pour room temperature water into it
Pour room temperature water into it Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

3. Place the pot on the stove, on low heat. Note: A popular way to heat is by tucking the cezve in heated sand. The heat from the sand heats the coffee evenly, creating a thick froth on top.

4. Don't stir as yet. Let the coffee heat up for one to two minutes and then stir slowly.

Heat the coffee [FOOD story image]
Heat the coffee but do not stir as yet Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

5. Once the coffee boils and rises up, collect one teaspoon of foam from the top and put in at the bottom of the coffee cup. Some believe, this is a fine practice and often a benchmark of a good coffee.

6. When the coffee froths up the second time, turn off the heat. Remove the pot and pour the coffee in the cups with the froth. 

Tuck the cezve inside the sand
Tuck the cezve inside the sand, keeping the top slightly above sand Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

7. Serve hot with some Turkish delight and water.

Serving traditional Turkish coffee
Serving traditional Turkish coffee Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Why is water served on the Turkish coffee tray? Watch Chef Ors explain the reason behind it:

Chef Muhammat Ors, shows how to drink Turkish Coffee Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

Tell us about your favourite coffee drinks at

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