Why grind so fine for Turkish?

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
jpender

#1: Post by jpender »

I wanted to make some Turkish coffee and forgot to adjust my grinder. So I had a dose at espresso grind instead. I just went ahead and made it anyway. And it wasn't that different. I took the time to measure the extraction and it was a little lower but still pretty high (25%). And while the taste wasn't identical it was good coffee.

Is it just a matter of tradition to grind so fine?

Mbb

#2: Post by Mbb »

How about.....

Because that is what it is......

Turkish coffee is a process. From boiling it and having it foam up three times, to sipping out of the little cups, to pouring it in the cups equally so everybody gets foam and sludge.

Even to cardamom ..... Or sugar.....added.

It is ....largely....heritage....culture....

Kind of like British tea....... It's done a certain way because that's how you do it

I worked in the Middle East and we had probably 5 or 6 coffee breaks a day. Pretty close to one per hour, where the workers would smoke and drink coffee for 15 min. Social time. You get accustomed to it. I can do without the cardamom.....

As part of the Muslim courtship process, when a young man and his family call on a young girl and her family.... She is supposed to make coffee. She is also supposed to make it badly and add way too much sugar, etc. How the young man responds to that his indicative of what she should expect from.him. He should drink it and compliment it......... Coffee is a very important part of the culture and heritage.

kidloco

#3: Post by kidloco »

Yes, it is a process and tradition, and there is nothing third-wave-ish about it. :mrgreen: I still sometimes go to Arab street in Singapore and order one with Baklava on the side mmmm

DamianWarS
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by DamianWarS »

jpender wrote:I wanted to make some Turkish coffee and forgot to adjust my grinder. So I had a dose at espresso grind instead. I just went ahead and made it anyway. And it wasn't that different. I took the time to measure the extraction and it was a little lower but still pretty high (25%). And while the taste wasn't identical it was good coffee.

Is it just a matter of tradition to grind so fine?
from what I understand with turkish the broad goal is as fine as you can go. there is a science to it because obviously if you use a coarse grind you're going to lose the effect of its foaming so there is some sort of a correlation between how fine the coffee is and the degree it foams. Maybe someone who actually drinks Turkish can comment on that and perhaps you can go too fine. Like many things "as fine as you can go" is probably defined in a vacuum and realistically means practical limits but not the theoretical limits.

jpender (original poster)

#5: Post by jpender (original poster) »

Mbb wrote:How about.....

Because that is what it is......

Turkish coffee is a process. From boiling it and having it foam up three times, to sipping out of the little cups, to pouring it in the cups equally so everybody gets foam and sludge.

Even to cardamom ..... Or sugar.....added.

It is ....largely....heritage....culture....
So... tradition.

Before I bought my cevze I watched an hour-long video by a man named Turgay Yildizli. He's the guy behind Specialty Turkish Coffee. I bought my Soy cezve from them. He says in that video that the vast majority of coffee in Istanbul is horrible. Low quality beans, overcooked, oversweetened. It's like our tradition here with Starbucks. He promotes improved Turkish coffee methods with an emphasis on quality of ingredients and a balanced technique. I've been copying his "'recipe" and from the very first cup it has worked surprisingly well.

According to Mr. Yildizli there were no burr grinders when coffee became popular in Turkey hundreds of years ago. They used a mortar and pestle. So maybe tradition is the reason why Turkish is ground so fine. But what I want to know is whether it's necessary or even optimal.

jpender (original poster)

#6: Post by jpender (original poster) »

DamianWarS wrote:from what I understand with turkish the broad goal is as fine as you can go. there is a science to it because obviously if you use a coarse grind you're going to lose the effect of its foaming so there is some sort of a correlation between how fine the coffee is and the degree it foams. Maybe someone who actually drinks Turkish can comment on that and perhaps you can go too fine. Like many things "as fine as you can go" is probably defined in a vacuum and realistically means practical limits but not the theoretical limits.
My espresso-grind Turkish brews foamed up.

According to Turgay Yildizli the optimal grind is around 200-225µm, finer than espresso but coarser than traditional Turkish. He says that if you use a coarser grind, like espresso, the coffee will not sink. I have made two cups with espresso grind and the particles sank just the same. Maybe it depends on the coffee?


Some years back a person from Istanbul posted here as @kahvedelisi. She had a lot of things to say about Turkish coffee, how there are many myths. As for grind she wrote:
In 2008 kahvedelisi wrote: If coffee is as fine as flour then you'll get a fincan full of muddy beverage which is not such pleasure to drink. little coarser grinding prevents this and you get a clearer cup of coffee telve (coffee grinds) sinks to bottom of the cup.
.
In 2008 kahvedelisi wrote: So yes there's a specific grind size for "good tasting" Turkish coffee and it's a little coarser than Arabic and Greek coffee both for different historical reasons :) And I don't believe ultra fine grind is an incorrect practice of turkish coffee brewing. You dial your grinder for espresso brewing right? There's not an exact grind size for espresso brewing such as only 0,2 micron! Even if your grind is coarser or finer it's still espresso brewing, I believe it's same with turkish coffee brewing, fine or coarse, brewing method counts. Grind fineness affects the taste/look of beverage it doesn't change the brewing method. Besides there will always be variations, many things changed in time (especially last 150 years) but there's not enough communication among these nations/cultures anymore to convey those changes.

Jonk

#7: Post by Jonk »

kidloco wrote: there is nothing third-wave-ish about it.
Not true, watch the video jpender refers to:
I'm pretty sure Turgay goes on to say extremely fine grinds sink to the bottom better, contradicting kahvedelisi. That is also my experience, although I don't know exactly what level of fineness they're referring to. As fine as my Niche will go (finer than most other home grinders I know of, certainly finer than on a Kinu M47) sticks better. Still, that's likely quite a bit coarser than specialized commercial Turkish mills, so perhaps Turgay and kahvedelisi are referring to the same ideal size. Turgay claims better flavor from slightly coarser than traditional.

I do agree that the taste from basically espresso or only slightly finer grinds is fine.

Edit: perhaps I was sloppy reading the above post, sorry for parroting.

jpender (original poster)

#8: Post by jpender (original poster) »

If you're like me you have no way to determine grind size. I know what chokes my Robot but I can't say numerically what the peak(s) of the grind distribution are. Similarly I can't say what I've been using as a Turkish grind is or how it compares to others'. But it's quite a bit finer than my espresso grind.

Inevitably there is some amount of grit that is consumed, either because it is trapped in the little bit of foam that persists at the surface or because you drink one sip too many. With my Turkish grind it's like river bottom silt. With espresso grind it has a sandier quality. The latter is less pleasant but the former is also unpleasant

jpender (original poster)

#9: Post by jpender (original poster) »

I like that guy's beard.

Jonk

#10: Post by Jonk »

What I do know is that the two Kinu M47 I have owned stopped feeding beans way before burr touch, something I have experienced on several other conical burr hand grinders. Maybe Comandante does better? Excruciatingly slow though..

The Niche feeds fine all the way down to the finest setting. That usually won't work well on regular flat burr grinders, either causing them to choke inside the burrs or chute. Some exceptions there I guess, with high end large flat burr grinders like EK43, Ditting or the more approachable DIP.