How To Make Turkish Coffee

On our latest trip to Istanbul, we paid a visit to the historic headquarters of Turkey’s most famous ground coffee producer, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi and Barry bought a small packet of ground Turkish coffee to bring back to Fethiye; a souvenir of our time in Istanbul.

It seemed a shame to do anything else with this souvenir other than make a traditional Turkish coffee with it – except we had never attempted to make our own before. Well, there’s a first time for everything. I don’t like Turkish coffee so this one was Barry’s little experiment. He’s made a few more since these photos were taken, tweaking quantities here and there and improving the appearance and the taste of the coffee each time. Perfection isn’t achieved overnight!

Make Your Own Turkish Coffee

Before you can make your own Turkish coffee, you need to get yourself some Turkish coffee cups (the same size as an espresso cup) and a cezve ; the tiny, long-handled pot used to boil the coffee. These days, you can buy practical stainless steel coffee pots but well, it just doesn’t look right to us. We like the traditional approach. You can buy cezve in different sizes (you can find a selection on Amazon) – but our Turkish coffee pot is perfect for 2 cups.

Turkish Coffee Pot - Cevze

A cezve is used to boil Turkish coffee

As well as the three normal rings, gas hobs in Turkey come with one small ring and a little bracket to bridge the gap over the flame so that the cezve can sit on top of it. You can just make it out in the photo above. Obviously, this isn’t necessary for electric and halogen hobs.

So, let’s find out how to use our cezve to make ourselves a Turkish coffee:

Making Turkish Coffee

The Turkish coffee-making process

Turkish coffee is different because all of your ingredients, including the sugar, are added before you bring it to the boil. This recipe makes 2 Turkish coffees.

  • Add 2 Turkish coffee cupfuls of water to your cezve and then add a quarter of a cup more.
  • You need to experiment over time with whether you prefer your Turkish coffee sade (without sugar), orta (medium sugar) or şekerli (proper sweet!). We plumped for orta on this occasion and added a level teaspoon of sugar to the cold water before giving it good stir.
  • Now add 2 rounded teaspoons of Turkish coffee to the solution and mix thoroughly.
  • Place the cezve on the smallest ring of the hob on the lowest heat and watch over it carefully.
  • When the froth forms and begins to rise and roll over, remove the cezve from the heat. Skim the foam from the top with a spoon and share between the two cups along with a little of the coffee so that they’re about a quarter full.
  • Place the cezve back on the heat until the coffee boils again (this doesn’t take very long).
  • Remove the cezve from the heat and top up your cups.
Turkish Coffee

Not perfect yet, but not a bad attempt at Turkish coffee

As our cezve is designed to make 2 Turkish coffees, I’ve been practising my coffee consumption and I actually managed to finish my first full cup of Turkish coffee a couple of days ago. A major achievement. It fell short of being enjoyable but progress is being made.

A Turkish coffee tip: The ground beans do not dissolve in the hot water so sip your coffee slowly as you get to the bottom, otherwise you will end up with a mouthful of sediment resembling mud.

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  1. I don’t normally like coffee, but Turkish coffee with loads of sugar is an exception, so thanks for explaining how to make it. I just don’t understand why you have to boil the last drops twice?

  2. @ Italian Notes: Now that’s a good question! 🙂 We think the first time you take it off the heat is just to get the froth and then you put it back on the heat to reboil. Because the froth’s gone, it should boil at a higher temperature without boiling over. So, it’s red hot when you serve it – although you’re supposed to let it stand for a couple of minutes after it’s served as well… 🙂

  3. I still hope to add this to my bucket list of what to try when I visit Turkey, where I can purchase an authentic brew pot.

  4. @ bellini: Hope you like it. It seems to be a love/hate thing with Turkish coffee. LOADS of places where you can buy the authentic Turkish coffee pot from in Turkey. 🙂

  5. Most of the Turkish coffee made in restaurants hereabout is terrible. Our Turkish neighbour makes a delicious brew and gave us a cevze and two little cups as a gift. She tried to teach Liam how to make it properly but he’s still struggling. There’s definitely an art to it.

  6. This is so very helpful, Julia. I think I mentioned before that I have some Turkish coffee and that I don’t seem to be able to make a good cup of of it. Time to try it again. Thanks!

  7. @ Jack Scott: Well I just can’t help but think that if we shared our Turkish coffee with any of our Turkish friends, there would much face pulling going on! 🙂 Nice that you got the cevze and cups as a gift.

  8. @ Ping: Ha ha, we hope so. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Good luck in your efforts and hope it works out for you! 🙂

  9. Wonderful! I love that copper – the look alone is enough for me to buy it (even though I don’t drink coffee!)

  10. @ Belinda: Yeah, we’re suckers for the traditional looking cevze as well. we’ve got a few ‘ornaments’ in our house that aren’t used for their practical purposes. 🙂

  11. There was a time when this was the only coffee I liked to drink! Unfortunately, the caffeine is what I stay away from and when in Lebanon I get decaff Turkish coffee from ..Starbucks! No one else offers decaf!
    What I would like to learn is how to read in the coffee grinds. Do you know?:)

  12. @tasteofbeirut: Starbucks of all places, eh?! That’s good marketing. 🙂 We have no idea how to read the coffee grinds but we had ours read when we first came here. Funny!

  13. Awesome Turkish coffee tips. It looks so good I can almost taste it, and I’d love to! I would also order/make it orta.

  14. @ Mark Wiens: Yeah, definitely orta. Sade is too bitter. 🙂

  15. Absolutely my favourite way to drink coffee – and they add cardomom in Arab countries. Yum!

  16. I enjoy Turkish coffee every time I’m at a Turkish restaurant, it’s one of the very few non-Italian coffees I like 🙂

  17. @ Robin: Heard about the cardamom being added before. I think that would make it more palatable for me. 🙂

    @ Angela: Interesting. I’m slowly learning to enjoy coffee more. Can’t see me ever becoming addicted. 🙂

  18. i can’t figure out if i love turkish coffee or hate it. i think i need to give it a few more tries

  19. @ Jen: I can just about manage it when Barry makes it at home now but he makes it a bit weaker if I’m having a cup. I definitely need to give it a few more tries. 🙂

  20. I do enjoy Turkish coffee, nowhere as strong as Lebanese coffee which is a darker roast. Sweet is best, and you’re right about sipping slowly! 🙂

  21. @ Corinne: We’ve heard in the past that Lebanese coffee is stronger. How strong can a coffee possibly be? Turkish coffee gives me a rush as it is! 🙂

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