The Turkish coffee is a love affair spanning back centuries. The technotropy of preparation coupled with the very strong blends, traditionally used in this style of coffee make the Turkish an oriental delight that has to be savoured at least once in a lifetime.
If speaking about Turkish coffee doesn't make you imagine of dervishes and cobbled back streets in Istanbul with all the colour and romance of centuries past then it's probably because you've never tasted the best kept secret to ever come out of that country.
That is infact it's coffee! The way Turkish coffee has been made throughout the centuries has remained pretty much unchanged. However one of the things most people don't realise is that Turkish coffee is not infact a distinct blend, but rather a way of preparation, much like the well known latte's and macchiato's we know and love here in the States.
To make Turkish coffee you also need props! Starting with fine grinders the idea is to take the most flavoresome beans around, usually Robusta, and grind them to the finest grind available. Sometimes the grind is also pounded to make it more compact.
Making this coffee requires a cooking utensil, usually made of copper in which you should add at least two generous spoonfuls of coffee and hot but not boiling water. You then need to cook the coffee for a short period in medium to high heat and you will note that the mixture froths and rises. In most Balkan cultures it is considered simultaneously good luck and bad craftsmanship to let the coffee spill over...
Overcooking the coffee will give it a distinctly bad taste so you should be careful! The ideal time to take it off the heat is as soon as you've started smelling the wonderful aromas that have released into the water.
You should then pour your coffee into a small cup unfiltered. This will of course leave sediment in the bottom of the cup which should not be drunk, and which traditionally is used by to "read your fortune" after you've finished your drink (although you may need to find a cafe that's not featured in your travel guide for that :)
Serving Turkish coffee is an art-form all in itself!
After the beverage is ready it is usually served within small cups, the kind we usually use to serve Ristretto's, however it is not uncommon to find this type of coffee in your travels, served as a triple measure in much larger cups.
Traditionally in most cafes in Turkey you will see this drink served with water and possibly a sweet little something on the side , such as Turkish delight. There is a reason for this. Even though you may wrongly guess that this coffee is served without sugar this is not actually the case. In fact there are different ways of ordering this coffee to denote how much sugar you would like in it. The water and sugary sweet is served because this way of making coffee produced a very VERY strong case and very high, or at least it seems so, caffeine content and it therefore advisable to drink the water as you sip your beverage.
In most traditional cafes' you will see ornate intricate cups and saucers which are a delight all in themselves, let alone the wonderful goodness they contain. This type of serving coffee spread in the Balkans and is enjoyed today in most countries you may visit. Albeit, in most places it tends to be called something different you would not go far wrong asking for a Turkish coffee in most parts of the world.
To conclude the Turkish coffee is one of the most robust and seriously flavorsome ways of making coffee out there simply because of the way it is made. This strong tradition has helped it gain both recognition throughout the world but also stand the test of time.
We hope you've enjoyed this entry and that you'll visit again for our next in the series or simply to buy some delicious coffee :) #whatsinyourcup?