When Som’s Café restaurant was open, we always hosted a yearly event around the holidays
called the Nutcracker Tea. The tea featured a menu based on the different acts of the Nutcracker ballet.
To represent the coffee dance, we served our guests traditional Turkish coffee. Now, whenever I think of
Turkish coffee, I always remember serving it to our guests at the Nutcracker tea and talking to them
about its history and preparation. I decided to feature Turkish coffee for December’s monthly recipe
because it reminds me of happy memories and it is also a simple and unique way to serve coffee to
Coffee was first introduced to the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. At this time, the Ottomans ruled much of the Arabian Peninsula and had access to high-quality coffee grown in Yemen. In 1540, the Ottoman governor of Yemen heard about the popular drink prepared by the locals and soon introduced it to the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman I. Once the Sultan had tried the coffee, he decreed that it would be made for him and his household at his palace, and coffee drinking spread throughout the empire among the royalty and the common people alike.
The traditional method of brewing Turkish coffee in an Ibrik, a small pot with a long handle, was innovated by the Sultan’s cooking staff. Over the centuries of Ottoman rule, this method of brewing coffee was adopted by people living throughout the Ottoman empire. Today you can find the Turkish coffee brewing method used in modern Turkey, Greece, and Balkan nations.
Ingredients and Brewing Equipment
- 4 rounded tablespoons of Som’s Café Mokka Java, ground for espresso or Turkish coffee (use
the finest setting on the grinder) https://somscafe.com/product/mokka-java-2/
- A traditional Ibrik can find them on Amazon and many other websites. The following link
has many options: Turkish Coffee Pots – cezve/ibrik (turkishcoffeeworld.com) This recipe is for
an 8oz Ibrik.
- 7oz cold water
- 2 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute of your choice
The brewing method for making Turkish coffee is quite different from the ways we make coffee
in the U.S., but it is very easy. The method involves boiling the coffee in the Ibrik on the stovetop and
removing it from the heat periodically. I have made a short video of the brewing method to provide a
visual aid to demonstrate the brewing method, as it requires some improvisation.
You can access the video here: https://youtu.be/UCwokw0LYoQ
- Place the Ibrik on the stovetop burner and set it to boil.
- Stir to get the sugar melting and to get the coffee grounds mixed into the water
- When it boils, remove the Ibrik from the burner briefly
- Stir the coffee grounds back into the water
- Place the Ibrik back on the burner to continue boiling
- Repeat these steps two or three more times until you see a golden-brown colored crema start to form on the top
- Take the Ibrik off the burner and give it one last good stir
In the video, you will see the color and thickness of the crema will be when the coffee is done brewing
and notice that the coffee has gotten darker throughout the brewing process. Once you see the coffee
has finished brewing and is dark and the crema is a golden brown on the top you will know that the
coffee is done brewing.
Turkish coffee is traditionally served in small demitasse cups that hold about 4 fl. oz. There is a wide selection of traditional-style cups available for purchase online, but you can use whatever kind of cup you want. I used a demitasse cup that was more of an Italian-style espresso cup and you can also use an 8oz coffee mug.
Your cup of coffee will have some grounds at the bottom, so be aware when you are drinking it that when you get to the bottom, the consistency will be a bit grainy. Most of the grounds will stay at the bottom while you are drinking your coffee. The resulting beverage is sweet, strong, and hot. Turkish coffee is traditionally served with Turkish Delight, a sweet, gummy Turkish confection. However, this coffee would be a delicious pairing with any holiday dessert.