For the first 25 years of my life, coffee was brewed at home Turkish style, using an Ibrik, or Finjan as we called it in Israel. The added ingredient which made all the difference in the cup was cardamon. We used to hand grind it, add it to the Ibrik and brew it with the coffee. Espresso at that time had its own shrine - the coffee house, and we did not brew it at home. Turkish coffee had an additional advantage: the brew apparatus is portable. You can take it with you when trekking in the mountains, or getting lost in the desert. It weighs no more than a few oz, and unlike the glass french press, it is indestructible.
For the past two years, I've been thoroughly seduced by espresso. I could see nothing else. But when it comes to food, we cannot outrun our past. Scents and flavors are memory triggers and as my mind drifted back to that time, my craving for the cardamon scented coffee of my youth became undeniable.
Last weekend, for the first time in years, I uncovered my Ibrik and got back to work. I have an electric spice grinder which I used to grind 4 dry cardamom pods, set my coffee grinder to very fine grind, added coffee, cardamom, water & sugar to the ibrik, stirred it well, and brought it to a boil 3 times. The brew is served in very small cups ~ 1 oz and it is strong. Each sip was pure nectar. I wanted more of it, but without a caffeine overdose. Enter the french press.
I set my grinder to coarse, added the cardamom ground coffee and water to the french press, and voila: 5 oz of cardamom scented coffee to die for. If you wish to try this treat, when grinding the cardamom, all you need is to grind it enough so that the skin is shredded, and the little seeds are released (2 seconds on an electric spice grinder). you throw the whole thing in the french press, including the shredded skin.