What is Turkish Coffee? Your Guide to Turkish Brew

Turkish coffee has been enjoyed in Middle Eastern and European countries, including Turkey, Iran, and Greece, for centuries. Traditionally, Turkish coffee is made by combining finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar and boiling the mixture in a special pot known as a cezve.

Turkish coffee stands out in the way it’s prepared. The coffee is ground so finely – almost into a powder – and the cezve is heated over a low flame to create a thick, frothy texture. The coffee is then poured into small cups and served with a glass of water to cleanse the palate.

Turkish coffee is known for its bold, rich flavor and is often enjoyed after a meal or with dessert.

If you’re curious about trying Turkish coffee, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to use finely ground coffee beans and a cezve to get the right texture. You’ll also need to adjust the amount of sugar to taste, as Turkish coffee is traditionally quite sweet.

With a little practice, you can craft a delicious cup of Turkish coffee that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.

What is Turkish Coffee?

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve probably heard of Turkish coffee. But what exactly is it? Turkish coffee is a traditional method of coffee preparation that originated in the Middle East and Europe. It’s made by combining finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar and boiling it in a special pot called a cezve (also called an ibrik).

A cezve filled with Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is known for its unique taste and texture. It’s a strong and bold coffee that’s thicker than most other types of coffee. The texture is often described as velvety and creamy, with a thick layer of foam on top. The flavor is complex, with notes of chocolate, caramel, and spices.

Preparing Turkish coffee is regarded as something of an art form. It requires patience, skill, and attention to detail. The coffee is boiled slowly over low heat, allowing the flavors to develop and the foam to form.

The foam is an important part of Turkish coffee, and it’s often used to judge the quality of the coffee. A good Turkish coffee should have a thick and creamy foam that stays on top of the coffee for several minutes.

In Turkey, drinking traditional Turkish brew is a social ritual that’s steeped in tradition. It’s often served with a small glass of water and a sweet treat, like a piece of Turkish delight. The coffee is sipped slowly, and it’s often enjoyed with friends and family.

History of Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee has a long and rich history that spans over 500 years. Its origins can be traced back to the 16th century in the Ottoman Empire, where it was first introduced by the Turkish governor of Yemen named Ozdemir Pasha.

According to one theory, Pasha wanted to impress the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, so he studied the way Yemeni prepared coffee in order to make a drink specially dedicated to the Sultan himself. Another theory suggests that Turkish coffee was brought to the Ottoman Empire by traveling merchants. However, there really is no clear evidence to support either of these theories.

No matter how it was first introduced, Turkish coffee quickly became a popular drink in the Ottoman Empire and was enjoyed by people from all walks of life. It was often served in coffeehouses, which were important social gathering places where people could discuss politics, culture, and other topics of interest.

The preparation method for Turkish coffee has been passed down through generations. It involves roasting and grinding the coffee beans to a distinctly fine powder, then boiling the coffee in a cezve. The coffee is typically served in small cups, and it is customary to offer guests a second cup as a sign of hospitality.

To this day, Turkish coffee remains an important part of Turkish culture and is enjoyed by people all over the world. Its rich history and unique preparation method make it both a fascinating and delicious drink that delights coffee drinkers worldwide.

Young woman pouring Turkish coffee

Turkish Coffee Ingredients

To make a proper cup of Turkish coffee, you will need a few key ingredients. These ingredients are what make Turkish coffee truly unique.

Turkish Coffee Powder

The most important ingredient in Turkish coffee is the coffee itself. Turkish coffee is made from finely ground coffee beans that are almost powdery in texture. This fine grind is what gives Turkish coffee its distinctive taste and aroma.

When shopping for Turkish coffee powder, look for a brand that is specifically labeled as Turkish coffee. This will ensure that the coffee is ground the correct consistency and has the right flavor profile.

RECOMMENDED: Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee


Water is the second key ingredient in Turkish coffee. It’s important to use cold, filtered water to make Turkish coffee. This will ensure that the coffee has a clean, pure taste.

Sugar (Optional)

While not necessarily a traditional ingredient, many people prefer to add sugar to their Turkish coffee. If you like your coffee sweet, you can add a small amount of sugar to the coffee before brewing.

Spices (Optional)

Spices are another optional ingredient in Turkish coffee. Some people like to add a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon to their coffee for extra flavor. If you choose to add spices, be sure to use them sparingly so as not to overpower the coffee.

How to Make Turkish Coffee

Though making Turkish coffee requires very few ingredients, the preparation method calls for patience and finesse. Use the following recipe to make a traditional cup of Turkish brew.




  1. Measure the water: Fill the cezve with cold water and measure it using the small cup(s) you will be serving the coffee in. The ratio of water to coffee is typically 1:1.
  2. Add the coffee: Add one heaping teaspoon of Turkish coffee grounds per small cup of water to the cezve. You can adjust the amount of coffee to your preference.
  3. Add sugar (optional): If you like your coffee sweet, add sugar to the cezve. The amount of sugar you add is also a matter of personal preference.
  4. Heat the coffee: Place the cezve on low heat and stir the coffee with a spoon until the coffee grounds are fully dissolved. Do not let the coffee boil.
  5. Create the coffee sand: As the coffee heats up, you will notice a foam forming on the surface. Use a spoon to transfer some of the foam to each small cup.
  6. Pour the coffee: Once the coffee is heated and the foam has been transferred to the cups, pour the coffee into the cups. Be careful not to disturb the coffee sand at the bottom of the pot.
  7. Serve and enjoy: Turkish coffee is traditionally served with a glass of water to cleanse the palate between sips. Enjoy your strong and flavorful cup of Turkish coffee!

Making Turkish brew may take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can enjoy this delicious drink anytime you want.

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How to Drink Turkish Coffee

Drinking Turkish coffee is an experience that is steeped in tradition and culture. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy it like a true local:


As you’ve learned, Turkish coffee is made by boiling finely ground coffee beans in a special pot called a cezve. It is typically served in small cups that are about the size of a shot glass. Before you take your first sip, it is customary to cleanse your palate by drinking a sip of water.


When drinking your coffee, take small sips and let it linger in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. This allows you to fully appreciate the flavors and aromas of the coffee. It is also important to avoid stirring the coffee, as this can disrupt the sediment at the bottom of the cup.


One of the unique aspects of Turkish coffee is the tradition of fortune-telling. After you finish drinking your coffee, turn the cup upside down on the saucer and let it cool. Once it has cooled, the person serving the coffee will read the patterns and shapes left behind by the sediment to predict your future.


Turkish coffee is often served with a small sweet treat, such as a piece of Turkish delight or a sugar cube. This helps to balance out the bitterness of the coffee and enhances the overall experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is so special about Turkish Coffee?

Turkish coffee is unique because of its preparation method. The coffee beans are ground into a very fine powder and then boiled in a special copper pot called an cezve. The coffee is not filtered, so the grounds are left in the cup. This gives Turkish coffee its distinctive strong flavor and thick texture.

What are the health benefits of drinking Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee contains antioxidants and has been shown to have potential health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, improving cognitive function, and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. However, it is important to note that excessive consumption of caffeine can have negative health effects.

Can you drink Turkish coffee with milk?

Though it’s not traditionally part of the recipe, you can add steamed milk to your Turkish coffee if it suits your preference.

What is the traditional way to serve Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee is traditionally served with a small sweet treat such as Turkish delight and a glass of water. The water is sipped before drinking the coffee to cleanse the palate. The coffee is served in small cups and is meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed.

What are some popular Turkish coffee brands?

Some popular Turkish coffee brands include Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, Nuri Toplar, and Özerlat. These brands are known for their high-quality coffee beans and traditional roasting methods.

Is Turkish coffee more caffeinated than regular coffee?

Turkish coffee is more concentrated than regular coffee, so it does contain more caffeine per ounce. However, the serving size of Turkish coffee is much smaller than a typical cup of coffee, so the total caffeine content may be similar or even less.

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