• Jocette Lee

Türk kahvesi


The hospitality culture that surrounds the preparation and consumption of Turkish coffee is as rich and deep as the flavor of the coffee itself. When guests enter the home of a Turkish family, Turkish coffee is prepared immediately and specific to your liking. Sugar is added to the water and coffee grounds during the boiling process therefore, before preparing the coffee, one must know if you want: no sugar (sade), just a little sugar (az şeker 1/2 tsp), a medium amount of sugar (orta 1-2tsp ) or a lot of sugar (şekerli 3-4tsp).

Once the orders are placed, usually the youngest daughter of the hosting family scurries off to prepare the coffee. A few minutes later, little turkish coffee cups, shot glasses of water and a bowl of sweets (chocolate or Turkish delight) are crammed on to a tray and passed around to the room oldest to youngest.

The little glass of water, paired with the coffee, cleanses the mouth before consuming the coffee. While sipping on the coffee, people intermittently sweeten their palate with turkish delight (lokum) or chocolate.

Hospitality and service are not the only traditions surrounding Turkish coffee. A commonly continued practice involving Türk kahvesi, surrounds the marriage potential of a bride and groom. It is customary for the future bride to prepare Turkish coffee for her future groom and his family. She intentionally makes the groom’s coffee without sugar - often including salt. She then serves the bad coffee to the groom and he is to consume the whole cup without a reaction to prove his is ready to marry her. It is an act of love, commitment and strength. Meanwhile, the family of the groom evaluates her ability to serve and extend hospitality. After this ceremony successfully takes places, the two are ready for wedlock! This continues to be a practiced tradition - mostly an act of respect for the history and culture of this tradition.

So here’s what you need to prepare Türk kahvesi at home:

  • Turkish Coffee (ground very finely, specifically for Turkish coffee)

  • Water, cold

  • Wide-bottom Turkish coffee pot (cezve)

  • Sugar

  • Turkish coffee cups/plates

Per cup:

  • 1.5 cup (the cup size you’re serving the coffee in) of cold water

  • 1 big tablespoon of ground coffee

  • Sugar (0.5tsp-4tsp)

Preparing the coffee:

  • Using your cezve, mix the water, coffee and sugar (to preference).

  • Place the cezve on the stove and let it boil - it will happen quickly!

  • You will begin to see foam form and this is very important! Scoop out some of that foam and place it in the serving cups.

  • Return the cezve to the heat and let it cook a little longer.

  • Once boiling, fill up each glass with the freshly brewed coffee. Serve immediately.

From the recipe above, you can see the coffee grounds are a part of the blending, brewing and serving process. It is important to note that you do not drink the whole cup because there are grounds at the bottom of the cup. Take little sips and savor the experience.

Inspired by Food 52's version of the recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/40287-turkish-coffee


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©2020 by Jocette Lee.

All photos are the property of Jocette Lee unless otherwise noted.