So 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 Amazon.com 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.