Turkish coffee is known not only for its intense flavor and strength, but also for the artful and meticulous preparation methods it goes through. Just like the preparation of traditional Japanese green tea, the brewing of Turkish coffee involves specific measurements, timing, attention to detail and the use of traditional brewing tools.  Read on and learn how to use a Turkish coffee pot called an “Ibrik” to brew Turkish coffee.

Your Equipment

An ibrik – also called a cezve, is a small pot with a long wooden handle. It has a wide base and a narrow top and is usually made of copper; although they can be made of other metals like steel. An ibrik comes in a variety of sizes, depending on the number of cups to brew. An ibrik’s cup measure is about the size of a large espresso cup, amounting to 3 ounces or less. The ibrik is probably the most critical part in how to brew Turkish coffee.

So a Turkish coffee set will normally be made out of four main parts:

  • a heat eat source – an electric or gas stove is usually used for heating and brewing;
  • metal stirring spoon – a stainless steel spoon with a long handle;
  • demitasse cups – these are small cups used in serving of the coffee. They are about the size of a large espresso cup. They of course are used to measure the water needed for brewing; and
  • a Turkish mill – a Turkish coffee grinder that turns the coffee into a fine, smooth powder. Alternatively, a fine grinder may be used in its place.

Ingredients for the Coffee

We next move onto the ingredients you will need. Again, keeping it to fours, you will need the four following items:

  • roasted coffee beans – you can actually use the coffee beans of your choice. The label Turkish coffee refers to the preparation method of the coffee, not exactly the kind of coffee used. Having said that you might want to check out our article here, which looks at the best coffee to be using;
  • sugar – this is a traditionally essential ingredient for Turkish coffee.  In keeping with the old Turkish coffee proverb, “coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death, and as sweet as love”;
  • spices – an optional ingredient; but if you prefer adding some spice to your coffee, you can use cardamom or anise; and
  • water – use good quality water that is cold and crisp.

Steps for Brewing Coffee

So we have the equipment we need and the ingredients we are going to use. Next are the steps to follow. Set out below explains how to brew Turkish coffee using an ibrik.

  1. grind the coffee using the Turkish mill or fine grinder. The coffee beans should be ground very finely into something smoother and finer than espresso;
  2. measure the amount of water using the demitasse cups. The cups of water will depend on the number of coffee cups you are going to serve and the size of your ibrik. If you are going to serve 2 cups of coffee, pour in 2 cups of water;
  3. add the ground coffee and sugar to the water in the pot; they are best mixed with the cold water before heating. The coffee should be one heaped teaspoon per cup of water. If your pot contains 2 cups of water, you should mix in 2 teaspoons of ground coffee. The amount of sugar can be adjusted according to your taste. You can also add the spice of your choice during this step;
  4. stir and dissolve the coffee and sugar mixture in the water thoroughly. The sugar should be dissolved before the pot is heated. This will also be the only time in the whole process that you will stir;
  5. heat the pot over a low or medium-low flame until it boils;
  6. remove the ibrik from the heat when it boils to prevent the froth from flowing over the top. Allow the froth to settle before replacing the ibrik back on the stove;
  7. heat it again until it boils for the second time and then remove it again from the heat when it starts to froth;
  8. after the second boil, the coffee may be served, but a third boil is usually done to ensure a cleaner cup;
  9. cool the coffee for a while before serving;
  10. serve the coffee without stirring. Pour only a bit of coffee at first into the cups.  Slowly fill the cups with alternate pouring. Fill one cup with 10 or 15 ml of coffee. Pour the same amount into the other cup. Then, go back to the first cup and pour another 10 or 15 ml of coffee, and so on, until the cups are filled. The cups should be filled with a foamy coffee mixture; and finally …
  11. enjoy your Turkish coffee.

Since the coffee is manually grounded, you should expect some residual coffee grounds at the bottom of every cup. You do not have to drink up any of those coarse grounds, just sip up the fine coffee liquid.

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