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Turkish Coffee and Middle-Eastern Coffee

Turkish Coffee and Middle-Eastern Coffee

Turkish coffee is a very flavorful, strong coffee. Before explaining the preparation of Turkish coffee, it is first necesary to understand what a Turkish coffee pot is, what a Turkish coffee cup is, and what a Turkish coffee grinder is.

Turkish coffee is drunk in the Middle East, in Northern and Eastern Africa, in Greece, in the Balkans, and of course, in Turkey. The Turkish coffee maker is called an "ibrik" in Arabic, and a "cezve" in Turkish.

An ibrik (or cezve) has a wide bottom and a narrow neck. The ibrik (cezve) also has a long handle, so that it can be moved to and from the stovetop easily. Traditionally, ibriks (cezves) are made of copper or brass. Originally, Turkish coffee was made over a charcoal fire made directly on the hot sand in desert regions around the Mediterranean.

The traditional Turkish coffee cup is called a "fincan." The fincan is very small, having a serving size of about 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of Turkish coffee.

"Kahve degirmeni" is the Turkish coffee grinder. The kahve degirmeni is long, having a tubular design containing burrs that grind the coffee to a fine powder. A more traditional way to grind the coffee is to place the freshly (medium) roasted coffee beans in a mortar and pestle, and to pound them until you get a fine coffee powder.

To prepare Turkish coffee, put 1 tablespoon of powdered coffee into the ibrik (or cezve) for each fincan, together with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of water per fincan. The ingredients should fill the ibrik to just below the "neck," so it is advisable to own several sizes of ibriks to enable preparation of different amounts of Turkish coffee.

The traditional brewing process takes 15-20 minutes. Gently bring the mixture to frothing boil on the stovetop. Just before the froth goes over the top, remove the ibrik from the heat, and allow the froth to recede. (To speed the process you can stir the mixture.) Once the froth has receded, place the ibrik back on the heat, and repeat the frothing process. After the third frothing, pour a bit of the froth into each fincan to reduce the volume in the ibrik. Put the ibrik back on the heat for the forth frothing boil. Then pour the coffee immediately into the fincans.

Wait about a minute for the grounds to settle. You can start sipping the coffee at this point, but be careful not to drink the "mud" (grounds) in the bottom of the fincan.

In Turkey, you can order one of the four "Türk kahvesi" (Turkish coffees): sade, az sekerli, orta sekerli, or cok sekerly. Or you can order "American-style" coffee.

Sade is plain Turkish coffee, with no sugar. It can be fairly bitter. Az sekerli is Turkish coffee with a moderate amount of sugar - half a tablespoon per fincan. Orta sekerli is sweet Turkish coffee with medium sugar - about a tablespoon per fincan. And cok sekerli is very sweet Turkish coffee, using two tablespoons of sugar per fincan.

In Turkey, "American style" coffee is mainly served in restaurants and hotels. It is typically a dark roasted coffee of lower quality, but the final cup of coffee is very good. The American style coffee is always served with milk.

...written by your friends at The Coffee Brewers