Turkish coffee is not as well known outside of its native regions; mainly the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. In modern times, the countries where it’s more commonly served tend to incorporate the respective country’s name into it. So instead of Turkish coffee it can be Moroccan coffee or Serbian coffee. It’s one of the more finely ground coffee types, almost powder-like in its texture, which adds an extra layer of delicacy to the preparation. There are a myriad of different styles and additives that can be enjoyed with the coffee, but there are also a myriad of ways for the brewing process to go wrong. In today’s article we look into the most common mistakes people often make in brewing their Turkish coffee.
Minor Mistakes in Making Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is very easy to mess up, especially for beginners. The most common mistake is not using the correct instruments to prepare your Turkish coffee. Proper Turkish coffee needs an ibrik – which is a coffee pot with a wide base, an extremely narrow neck, a long handle and a narrow spout or two four pouring the coffee into small cups. The proper cups, often called demitasses, are also essential. Another common mistake is using too much water or too much coffee, which not only distorts the flavor but also the texture of the coffee.
By far the worst mistake is not grinding the coffee beans into a fine enough powder. The typical grounds that can be bought in a store are too coarse. Filtering the coffee before serving is also a mistake. The grounds are fine enough to sink to the bottom of the cup. Likewise, stirring a cup causes problems because all of the grounds rise up and cloud the coffee, disturbing their settled position on the bottom of the cup.
More Devastating Mistakes
A very big mistake comes when, during the brewing/cooking process, the coffee is not stirred thoroughly enough and there are lumps of grounds that are not broken up. This reduces the flavor of the coffee and can lead to one cup getting a large amount of grounds but very little actual coffee. The coffee should be brewed with cold water that is slowly warmed. Starting with hot or boiling water can ruin the taste of the coffee; the reasons being the grounds are too delicate when they are that finely powdered.
On a similar note, allowing the Turkish coffee to reach boiling point will always kill the flavor, rendering it flat and bland. The worst mistake possible after the brewing of the coffee is drinking it immediately after pouring. This doesn’t allow the grounds to settle and the drinker gets a mouth full of coffee grounds.
When done properly, Turkish coffee is a delight to the palate, smells divine, and is very pleasing to look at. When it is mis-prepared, either through ignorance or rushing, it can be gritty, tasteless, foul-smelling, flat, foamless, and disappointing.
The trick is to balance between thoroughness and over-cooking, especially when making only one or two cups, or when choosing to add sugar to the cooking process. Despite the difficulty, Turkish coffee is well-worth the effort, and can be sipped and enjoyed for hours. You may wish to check out our article here that takes you through an easy step-by-step guide in how to make a good Turkish coffee at home.