How to Brew Turkish Coffee
There is more than one way to make Turkish coffee, but here’s a reliable method from a barista who’s been brewing the thick blend since childhood.
Aharon Coffee is a Los Angeles-based roaster and purveyor supplying beans to premiere businesses throughout the region. A favorite of the Sunset Staff, Aharon Coffee will bring you inside the world of high-quality coffee in this new weekly series. For more information, visit the Aharon Coffee website.
The Turkish coffee brewing method means first brewing very finely ground coffee and water together in a small copper or brass pot called an ibrik, and then after brewing, pouring the entire contents of the pot—grinds and water—into the coffee cup to drink.
The thick grinds quickly sink and remain at the bottom of the cup as the rich yummy resulting fresh-brewed coffee is sipped and enjoyed. It is a beloved brewing method used in homes across countries such as Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Persia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Morocco, among other countries. But what many people don’t realize is that it is super easy and a wonderfully rich and delicious way to enjoy coffee.
Aharon’s Turkish Coffee Story
Around the same age he learned to read and write, Aharon learned to brew Turkish coffee from his Moroccan-born parents. He would sip the coffee and developed a liking early on for the thick rich taste. When Aharon was eight, an uncle dropped by unexpectedly for a visit when his parents were out, and Aharon made him a Turkish coffee without any help or assistance.
Years later, when Aharon opened up his flagship store in Beverly Hills, Aharon Coffee & Roasting Co., he was aware that many of his customers—like himself—would have their own history and personal preferences for brewing Turkish style coffee. For example, some Turkish coffee drinkers allow the water to almost boil three times in the pot before turning off the flame and pouring into a cup; others add sugar to the pot while brewing; still, others brew Turkish coffee on hot sand. And since the brew style can feel so personal, Aharon understood that it would not be possible to do a Turkish brew method in the “right way” for each visitor.
So, in order to develop a universal method to adopt for his store, Aharon researched and watched the video of the Turkish Coffee Brewing World Champion Barista, and copied the championship method exactly. The only addition Aharon made was to add a fresh hand-crushed cardamom seed to the coffee grinds of each brew… and of course, to only ever use coffee beans that were hand-roasted by Aharon himself.
Aharon’s Tips and Tools of the Trade
(For more details on this process, including photos, click here.)
Put ground coffee inside the ibrik (Turkish coffee brewer). The coffee must be ground very fine.
Aharon designates Movito blend for the Turkish coffee brewed at Aharon Coffee & Roasting Co. because it delivers an exquisite richness and it is roasted and blended with the Turkish brew method in mind.
Aharon recommends using a 1:10 ratio, 1g of coffee to every 10g water.
Add room temperature water. The type of water used makes a big difference in resulting flavor—use only good quality water, not tap water, and not high-alkaline water.
Ignite the flame below the pot.
Grind fresh cardamom. Aharon uses 1 pod—he removes the shell, grinds the pod with a pestle, and then adds the ground cardamom to the coffee in the ibrik as it is heating up.
Babysit the brew: Watch the pot so that the water heats up enough to brew the coffee, but not boil it.
As soon as the coffee crema appears—a rich, thick, creamy layer begins curling over from the sides of the pot and folding over itself into the middle—remove the pot immediately from the flame and pour it into your cup.
Don’t be afraid to brew Turkish-style coffee—the results are seriously spectacular.
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