How to prepare Turkish coffee - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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#11: Post by espressme »

Another question:
I notice that some web sites sell small heated "sand boxes" for making Greek coffee. Is it to reduce the flame against the maker? distribute the heat evenly from a flame, or to keep the temperature constant. Or... just for "atmosphere?"
Thanks! I am really enjoying this thread!
richard penney LMWDP #090,


#12: Post by Theodore »

I have also a say,because I use sometimes the kind of coffee,that we call Greek,while Turks call Turkish.
As for the snd device, I think that it is used, because heat, comes from all over the pot surface and not from the bottom end,and it is a slow procedure.
If you try to make a Greek coffee, using the hot water wand, of a espresso machine,and then the steam wand, as they use in ships,the coffee produced, is awfull.
Only slowly made coffee is good.
As for sugar, we have many variations, of the quantity of this.
So, we have black, which we call "sketos", meaning sole,alone,"elafris glikis",meaning sweet but with little coffee in it,"varis glikis", meaning sweet but with much sugar in it.
And as for the pot, it is better,if the upper opening, is narrower,and the metal, copper,but of course coated with Sn,ie Stannum.I don"t know,how it is called otherwise.
If you have some other questions, I would answer it ,if I know of course.
Espresso uber alles.

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#13: Post by espressme »

hi and thank you!
I appreciate the quick reply.
Stannus is tin, the metal.
I have an older 100cc cezve with tin plating inside and out. I may try it soon!
Thanks for an interesting thread!
richard penney LMWDP #090,

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kahvedelisi (original poster)

#14: Post by kahvedelisi (original poster) »

noizy wrote:What is the best material for a cezve? Copper? Stainless steel?
I was thinking of getting one this afternoon, but those I saw at the grocery store seemed to be made out of aluminum (which for some reason turned me off).
the one which distributes the heat well and evenly. in this case copper is preferred (of course it should be coated inside) to be honest last 4 years or so I'm using a stainless steel electric one mainly but since you can't find those there --> I have both material different sizes and personally I prefer 1 cup sized copper one when I brew for myself, and stainless steel one for more than 1 cup.

If you can't find one then you can use a small sized stainless steel pitcher for turkish brewing. the shape is similar (though shape has no serious effects)
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!

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kahvedelisi (original poster)

#15: Post by kahvedelisi (original poster) »

espressme wrote:Another question:
I notice that some web sites sell small heated "sand boxes" for making Greek coffee. Is it to reduce the flame against the maker? distribute the heat evenly from a flame, or to keep the temperature constant. Or... just for "atmosphere?"
Thanks! I am really enjoying this thread!
in turkiye there are several manufacturers producing and selling sand boxes for brewing turkish coffee. personally I believe it's for leaving an impression on customers, or as you said for atmosphere :D (same with pestle and mortar ground coffee --called dibek kahvesi-- which is very popular these days. I use a dibek photo as my avatar as a tribute to old times when it was the only grinder available but there are "very romantic and easily convinced blind people" out there who actually think and believe turkish coffee made from coffee ground with dibek is better than any machine ground coffee.. considering turkiye produces very high quality grinders specially designed for turkish grind only, coffee ground with dibek being preferred.. just unbelievable..)

whatever.. back to slow brew:

I've been working on turkish coffee for so long I forgot when I started. it's not much different than any other coffee brewing method, you need "grind fineness/water coffee ratio/brew time" combination

against all said and done I insist on turkish coffee at its best when it's brewed as fast as possible. actually that's the main reason I prefer an electric device over a stovetop one. just think about french press method. basics are very similar except you don't filter and you pour boiled water into press pot. ideal french press steep time is considered 4 minutes, but just the opposite of turkish coffee, grind size we use for french press is very coarse. now imagine using french press again and you steep 4 minutes again but this time coffee ground as fine as turkish :) that's one of the main reasons why people find turkish coffee oddly bitter (and most of the people can't consume it without sugar. some even found an excuse for this, claiming sugar is necessary for quality foam, which we all know not true)

whenever someone asks about this slow brew subject, I ask them to try and test both slow brewing and fast brewing side by side with same amount of coffee+water so far almost everybody found faster brew times resulting better tasting turkish coffee. anyways you should try and taste yourself, I had posted detailed instructions above.

ps. we tried almost every kind of "slow" heat source including hot embers, alcohol lamp, hot sand, candle flame (do I need to mention result was terrible with candle flame as heat source and it took forever.. and with forever I really mean "forever" you find yourself questioning the meaning of human existence while you wait for your coffee brewing and after some more time you decide to do your laundry and leave it all in good hands of candle flame.. with it at least you are sure and confident even if it gets boiled and overflowed that wont be today :mrgreen: )
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!

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#16: Post by Fullsack »

The only drinkable coffee I found in Cairo and Alexandria was Turkish. The Starbucks was unusually bad and the highly touted Brazil Coffee Store was even worse. These dried out greens from the Brazil Store sat in the hopper the entire time the previous batch was roasting :shock:

I even liked the Sheshia better than the coffee and that is saying a lot considering I usually don't like putting anything in my mouth that is smoking :)
LMWDP #017
Kill all my demons and my angels might die too. T. Williams

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#17: Post by SlowRain »

I gave this a try today. Previously, my only experience with Turkish coffee was a Turkish restaurant here in Taiwan. The owner gave me a quick run through the basics, but he was using preground coffee.

I followed the instructions here in this thread, as well as from this blog. Both writers were very helpful, so thank you kahvedelisi and Mahir.

I made it twice today, both times using a dark-roasted espresso blend from a local cafe, about 20 days past roast. This blend was designed to have a chocolate profile.

The equipment was a Sozen Turkish grinder and a no-name copper cezve ordered directly from Barista Sepeti in Istanbul.

The first time was for two cups:

180ml water
20ml finely ground coffee
10ml white sugar

My cezve is, supposedly, good for a single or a double. The level of all ingredients combined came up to the bottom of the neck. I used a small burner on my gas stove that has an inner and outer ring of gas jets. On this burner, the outer ring can't be shut off, so I think it boiled very quickly. When it boiled up, I quickly took it off as I had heard so much about it overflowing. I enjoyed it, but found it a little sweet. My wife, who only likes flavored lattes, thought it was not bad (she hates French press coffee and cappuccinos).

The second time was a single cup, but less sugar:

90ml water
10ml finely ground coffee
2.5ml white sugar

This time, the contents were well below the neck of the cezve, down in the pot area. I used a different burner which allows me to use the center jets only. Even though the amount was smaller, it took longer to boil. When it did boil up, I waited an extra second or two so that it would froth up to the top of the cezve.

Even though I thought the first one was too sweet, I think I liked it better than the second one, not because the second one was bitter--it wasn't bitter at all--but it somehow had more of a flavor. The second one tasted a bit bland. Next time, I'm going to try one with 3.5ml of sugar and one with no sugar. After that I'll probably start messing around with the amount of coffee.

The only problem I had was the mud in the bottom of the cup. A cup of Turkish coffee makes a cup from a French press look like a cup from a Clover. I was unlucky enough to swallow a bit of mud on the first cup. The second time round I was more careful and kept looking cross-eyed down my nose into the cup to see separation of the coffee from the mud and how much I could still sip. Although it's dirt simple to make, it's not exactly the most convenient method to drink. Next time, I'm going to try a fine strainer that I have for straining tea leaves from tea. Any other suggestions on how to separate the mud from the beverage would be greatly appreciated.

It's a nice tasting way to drink coffee. It isn't as strong as I had expected, and certainly not bitter, although it does have a caffeine kick. It feels thick in the mouth. I'm only guessing, but I think I was lucky to pick this blend as my first try with Turkish coffee, however it does make me wonder if people will talk about fruit or berries if using this method with certain Ethiopian coffees, for example. I'm definitely going to be playing around with this a bit more.

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kahvedelisi (original poster)

#18: Post by kahvedelisi (original poster) »

slowrain, it's hard to ignore or not to appreciate your efforts at turkish coffee :) besides no need to thank me, actually I was way too slow replying some of your messages. I'm truly sorry for that but unfortunately I was dealing with some serious health issues concerning my mom and grandmom.

hopefully back for now, so here are some suggestions;

if you read my previous posts, you'll find I recommend brewing turkish coffee as fast as possible (you'll also find detailed explanations in those posts) probably that's why you found your second brew bland compared to first one. here in turkiye I repeat this simple rule in no vain, "finer grounds=faster brew". actually when I relate this tiny info, most people treat me as if i'm insane.. don't know if there's a similar idiom in english, but we say prejudices are thicker than walls. especially turkish and greek people have a sweet spot for their "traditional --my a**-- coffee" they don't want to change "anything" about it. they're so devoted to their groundless "traditional" coffee rituals, most of the time they can't differentiate the good from the bad. you can't convince someone easily that turkish coffee brewed at an electric turkish coffee machine or over fast flamed stove-top is superior to one that brewed over hot embers sloooowly, sloooooooooooowwwwwly... that's of course unless you trick them in a way, which I enjoy doing sometimes :) for instance last week we had bbq so I decided to use this opportunity and told my brother and my aunt I'd brew turkish for them over remaining embers, made sure they saw my preparations, but later I served them coffee brewed with an electric machine, and both were "oooh aah that's it! perfect!" the problem about coffee here --> people are not into taste, they are into ambiance and conversation environment that born out of simple act of drinking turkish coffee. it's always like that, this is not a brewing style you prefer for staying up and awake or something for breakfast. I hope you get the picture. with this info all I can say is "find your own perfect way to do it" find your own ratios, brew time, amount of water you'll use etc. since there's nothing "actually" written on it, you're on your own. this is the brewing style you learn by watching someone else, if there's no one to watch then I recommend not to ask to those who claim they are "experts" at brewing turkish. hoping over hope that someday we will have our own turkish coffee standards as italians have for their espresso.

I read you say there's mud at the bottom, that's the part of the experience and that's one of the reasons why mrs. melitta invented paper filters :) you can always filter it but then what's the point of brewing and drinking turkish coffee? give it more tries with resins at bottom of the cup, you'll eventually become an expert at not swallowing those, just don't swirl the cup too much, it's not like espresso, not to be drank in 2 sips, here's where you should take slow, not at brewing but when you're drinking. that's another reason why we use ultra thin cups for turkis, so it can cool down faster and you can start drinking through your conversation (guess I'm a bit traditional too =P ) btw use the thinnest cup you can find, and if possible a tulip shaped one, that will help you more when dealing with resins.

speaking of resins, when it comes to grinding you have the best possible hand mill which is sozen. if those resins are ultra fine even after your brew, then you're grinding at right setting. if not then tighten the bottom screw as much as you can (of course you should be able to unscrew it back, so lets try not exaggerate this tightening part too much) if you unscrew it completely then you'll be able to grind somewhere between filter and french press (closer to french press) I also recommend using it for espresso, you may find it hard to caliber but once you get it you'll love the results which I'm sure of.

btw I suggest trying lighter roasts too. if you can, start with some brasilian roasted at city+ to full city. (as a starting point) due to its sweeter nature you may find brasilians suit turkish coffee better. if not then try any other beans roasted lighter than full city plus. for instance the most chocolaty and complex cup I got at tr brewing method was with a honduras coffee followed by a yemen which was more winey. I also like costa ricans with turkish brew. whatever, try as much bean alternatives as you can, you won't regret =)

and finally some pictures from my faux turkish coffee over hot embers (actually not so much faux, I drank it =P )

and this second picture.. you see the rising? that's where you should stop brewing. there's no boiling once or twice. no boiling at all. this last picture taken right before I got it off and start pouring into cup. hope these helps (edit: here I used brasil diamond boa vista roasted to full city, ground with a sozen hand mill --total 70 turns with joint arm at finest setting-- and cezve is 1 cup sized which is the smallest size and that glass cup is 80ml, app. 10ml left in cezve)

Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!

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#19: Post by SlowRain »

Thanks once again, kahvedelisi.

Two things:

When I made mine, I didn't have the froth like you do on the picture you posted of the cup. Could that be because I didn't grind finely enough?

Also, how close can I set the burrs before damaging them? I tightened up the screw so that there was just a slight--an ever so slight--bit of space before the burrs were touching. Can I still go finer?

I'll try the quicker burner next time. The reason I switched was because the flames scorched the bottom part of my wooden handle a bit. I think I'll just put some aluminum foil on it next time.

However, I don't know how much Turkish coffee I'll be drinking in the next little while. Summer has hit, so it'll be mostly iced coffee for me (and some espresso if my machine ever gets here). Otherwise, I'll have to wait for a typhoon day to try hot coffee again.

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kahvedelisi (original poster)

#20: Post by kahvedelisi (original poster) »


a) I know it's unnecessary to remind this but just mentioning as a rule, make sure your coffee is fresh but not 1 or 2 day old fresh, too much freshness result same way (gassy brew) in turkish coffee as it's with other brewing methods. so I suggest using at least 5-10 day old roasts. that brasil I used was 5-6 day old.

b) to make sure you're grinding for turkish --> empty your mill's bean chamber, unscrew the bolt at bottom completely, that way you'll be able to push and pull the mill slightly up and down, also it will easily rotate without help of a joint arm. get rid of all particles stuck between burrs --- there's one cylindrical and one conical burr, conical one is attached to mill, the other one is screwed to brass body (actually burrs in your mill are very similar to those in versalab grinder) --- then put all pieces together, tighten the bottom screw as much as you can (but keep in mind, you should be able to unscrew it again) fill the bean chamber and start grinding. if you're having difficulties at turning the joint arm (this time without emptying) then unscrew just a millimeter or a couple and try again. that's true turkish grind.
Resistance is futile. You will be caffeinated!