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Turkish Coffee Beans – actually from Turkey

So you’ve discovered the sublime flavor of Turkish coffee cooked in an ibrik with a hint of cardamom. But where to get actual Turkish coffee beans from Turkey?

Arab MarketTurkish coffee beans ground

Look what I found in a local Arab market? My husband and I noticed a little Arab food market and decided to check it out. I got a can of real Turkish Coffee made in Istanbul – these Turkish coffee beans come finely ground. At the market they also had broken pieces of sugar – both white and yellow saffron sugar. They were like irregularly-shaped sugar cubes. The grocer said in some Arabian countries people like to place one of these on their tongue and keep it there while they sip their unsweetened black coffee or tea. Others put a cube directly into their coffee or tea cup, like the English do.

I came home and immediately made Turkish coffee with my ground beans from Istanbul in my ibrik. It was very good, but very strong – almost too strong for me, and I’m used to strong. Also, the flavor wasn’t as smooth as I prefer. It is super-fine ground with a strong, dark, smokey flavor, similar to the slightly burnt-coffee taste you find in Starbucks shots. Because it is so strong I prefer this one with a little cream.

Amazon and Online Markets

If you want to try this or other Turkish coffee, ground or whole, and don’t have a local Arab market, you can order several kinds right from Amazon or other online shops. Amazon carries this brand I tried, Kurikahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee. They also offer several other brands, some with the ground cardamom already in the grounds.

Arabica Coffee Beans

When it comes down to it, any beans grown in Arabic regions would be perfectly authentic for Turkish coffee. I contend, having made many cups from all regions and brands of coffee, that Turkish coffee is delicious made with any coffee beans. Everyone has their own preference and taste, so I encourage experimentation – which are your favorite coffee beans in making Turkish coffee?

Also, grinding coffee beans fresh right before brewing is always best. But you can use pre-ground or grind enough for a week at a time and store in a jar in a cool, dark cupboard.

Making Turkish Coffee

I believe the magic is in the method of preparing Turkish Coffee. Using an ibrik is fun and inexpensive, but if you don’t have one you can follow my instructions in this post: How to Make Turkish Coffee without an Ibrik

Turkish coffee is traditionally made in a shallow pot filled with sand. But we can use the ibrik right on our stove top:

  1. Measure 1 spoonful/coffee scoop of ground coffee per cup of water. Fill your ibrik only to 3/4 full or less, so it has room to froth up.
  2. Add some sugar if you like, I recommend one teaspoon. Add a sprinkle or up to 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, for traditional Turkish Coffee, or any ground spice you prefer (I love cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg). Use only one spice at a time.
  3. Let this boil on your smallest burner on the stove top. It may take 5 minutes or so to come to a boil, depending on the amount you’re making. Watch it carefully and either lift or move your ibrik over as it froths up and just before it spills over.
  4. As it dies down a little, move it back onto the heat and bring it to a boil a second time. Let it boil for several seconds for the sugar to melt and dissolve into the coffee.
  5. Pour into your mug, grounds and all. Let it sit 30-60 seconds to cool and for the grounds to settle. You may pour it through a fine-mesh strainer if you want almost no grounds in your mug. If you want cream, add it right after pouring, but traditionally this coffee is drunk black with a little sugar.
  6. Enjoy your Turkish Coffee, and do not sip all the way to the bottom if the grounds are there!

Which is your favorite?

Did you use Turkish coffee beans or other beans? Freshly ground or pre-ground? Which spices? Leave your comments and pictures below!






How to Make Turkish Coffee without an Ibrik

Turkish Coffee IbriksSo you’ve discovered the inexpressible delights of rich, smooth Turkish coffee, but you have no ibrik in which to make it? (The ibrik is the small copper pot with a long handle specifically for making this awesome coffee.) Here are simple instructions on how to make Turkish coffee without an ibrik – a simple small pot will do.

How Turkish Coffee is Traditionally Made

Traditionally Turkish Coffee is made with the little ibrik resting in a wide shallow pot full of sand. The fire under the pot heats the sand to a hot, even temperature. The barista puts the coffee grounds, water, a little sugar and a pinch of ground cardamom into the ibrik, then nestles the ibrik into the hot sand, moving it around as necessary for even heating.

They bring the coffee to boiling where the sugar magically dissolves and blends with the coffee. With skill, they move the ibrik or lift it just on time so it doesn’t boil over. They may bring it to a boil a couple of times.

Then they pour it into a tiny mug, grounds and all. It sits for a minute as the grounds settle and the coffee cools enough to drink. This is traditionally drank black with just a little bit of sugar. The recipient savors every delicious sip, being careful not to drink it all the way to the bottom where the grounds rest.

How to Make Turkish Coffee without an Ibrik

I highly recommend getting an ibrik. But until then, simply make this with a small pot on the stove. Use the smallest pot you have. Usually enough is made for one espresso cup, but I like to make enough for an American-size 8oz mug of coffee.

Put a spoonful or coffee scoop of grounds into your pot and measure in about a cup of water. Put in a teaspoon of any kind of sugar and from a pinch to a teaspoon (according to your preference) of ground cardamom.

Set your burner to medium and bring it to a boil. Turkish coffee can take up to five minutes. When it’s boiling, lift it a second, then place it back down to bring to a second boil.

Pour into your mug, let the grounds settle and the drink to cool, then enjoy! You may add cream if you want.

Buying an Ibrik

You can buy inexpensive ibriks at Ebay and and I highly recommend this. Turkish coffee is one of the best preparation methods and you will want to keep making it. I own both a tiny ibrik for one espresso cup and the 6-coffee ibrik which fills my 8oz mug perfectly. The ibrik is small and could be used when camping, too.

Making Turkish Coffee with an Ibrik

It’s fun using an ibrik. Follow the same directions (changing the amounts according to the size of your ibrik) to boil this coffee on your stove top. You want at least an inch of space from the top of the ibrik to where your water starts, because it needs room to boil up. Be careful to lift it on time before it boils over and makes a mess. Once the large first bubble pops I let it boil for a few seconds before pouring. Sometimes I move it to the side of the burner instead of lifting. The ibrik has a little pour spout to easily pour into your mug, and this pot can be quickly rinsed and scrubbed out – no scald marks like you’ll get in a regular pot.

The Magic of Turkish Coffee

Once you try Turkish Coffee with an ibrik you won’t want to go back. It’s a bit of heaven and is delicious enough to not need cream or milk. The cardamom helps to reduce the acidity and aids in digestion. You can also experiment with other spices occasionally, like cinnamon or fennel.