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Turkish coffee

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Turkish tradition is all about making the tastiest Turkish coffee. This particular coffee starts with choosing the right ground coffee. Want the best quality? Go for finely ground coffee beans.

What is Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee is basically just strong coffee, similar to espresso, but with a unique method of preparation, as coffee grounds remain in the drink. Of course, you don't drink this coffee grounds; they remain in your cup.

Long before the Dutch spread coffee around the world from West Africa and Yemen, people were already drinking coffee in the Arab world. The Ottomans brought these delicious spices to Istanbul. The very first coffee house in the world opened here in 1554 in the Tahtakale district, where coffee drinking became a cultural occasion. Soon more coffee houses followed, where people could read or have a chat on the terrace. As a result, coffee houses quickly became popular, both among the dignitaries and the common people. Today, Turkish coffee houses are meeting places for the middle class, where people play board games over a delicious cup of tea (not coffee). Modern cafés are therefore nowadays the best places to enjoy a nice cup of Turkish coffee, or you can make it yourself at home. How? We'll explain that later!

Making your own Turkish coffee?

Compared to regular coffee, Turkish coffee is short-roasted and very finely ground. The coffee is put into a cezve along with the same amount of sugar, to which water is added. The whole thing is slowly brought to a boil. After the coffee has boiled for a while, it is poured, coffee grounds and all, into an espresso cup. Since Turkish coffee is quite strong, it is usually served with a glass of water. The idea is not to drink the coffee all the way through, leaving the coffee grounds in the cup.


  • A cezve
  • A coffee grinder
  • Turkish coffee (finely ground)
  • Small espresso cups

Make the most delicious Turkish Coffee yourself with the instructions below:

Step 1 - the grind: To make Turkish coffee, you need beans that have been very finely ground. You can do this with a Turkish coffee grinder, also known as 'the king of coffee grinders'. This is an elongated and heavy grinder made of bronze and copper. Under the screw-off cap, you place the coffee beans. But beware, the grind is crucial because if the coffee is not ground fine enough, a thick and dark layer of foam will not form. Many espresso grinders and machines cannot grind beans finely enough for a Turkish cup of coffee. As a solution, you can buy ground coffee at the coffee shop.

Step 2 - Cezve: Pour about 50 ml of water per cup into the cezve, a special jug made of brass or copper with a long handle. Add sugar for extra flavour (Turks like to drink coffee sweet) and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Step 3 - Heating: Heat the mixture and remove the cezve from the heat. Add a teaspoon of coffee, plus an extra teaspoon per person. Then put the coffee back on the heat and bring to the boil twice. In between, remove the coffee from the heat, remove any foam that has formed and stir well.

Step 4 - Settle: Before serving, add another teaspoon of cold water so that the coffee powder sinks easily to the bottom.

Step 5 - Serving: Pour the unfiltered coffee into small coffee cups and enjoy!

TIP 1: Never stir while boiling, as this disrupts the foam layer.

TIP 2: Keep watching! If the coffee boils over, your cup will taste bitter!

TIP 3: Flavouring. In many parts of the world, Turkish coffee is flavoured with spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. Curious about how this tastes? Then add these finely ground spices to the coffee.

The secret of Turkish: bring the Turkish feeling home!

The secret of real Turkish coffee is in the preparation. Take a long-handled Turkish coffee pot, also known as a cezve, and pour the coffee into it. Add sugar to taste and place the pot on a hot bed of sand (the gas cooker is a good alternative).

While the coffee is heating, you can add spices like cardamom for an extra flavour. The smell rising from the bronze jug is simply enchanting.

Once the coffee starts simmering and forming foam, you know you are about to make the tastiest Turkish coffee. Pour the coffee into small cups, but be careful not to stir while boiling as this will ruin the froth.

The art of making Turkish coffee lies in the details. Let the coffee settle slowly and make sure not to drink it all the way through, leaving the coffee grounds in the cup. Enjoy every sip of this special coffee from a small cup, and let the rich flavour enchant you.

10 facts about Turkish coffee

  1. Discovered in Ethiopia: The drink is not actually Turkish. It was first discovered in the region of Kaffa, Ethiopia, and spread to Yemen in the 15th century. From Yemen, coffee reached Istanbul and then the rest of Europe. You could say Europeans took over coffee from the Ottomans.
  2. Ground coffee beans: To brew Turkish coffee, you need very finely ground beans, cold water and possibly some sugar. You also need a special coffee pot, called a 'cezve'. A cezve is a small pot with a long handle, usually made of copper or brass, specially designed for Turkish coffee. The coffee is boiled slowly, creating a thick layer of foam. This method dates back to the Ottoman period and makes the coffee typically Turkish.
  3. Foam is quality: Foam really makes the difference. In the Turkish community, coffee without foam is not appreciated. If there is foam on your coffee, it means it is of good quality. You can even hear people asking for a nice, thick froth when they order Turkish coffee. The important thing is to boil the coffee slowly and gradually to create a nice layer.
  4. Glass of water: A glass of water is always served with coffee, for several reasons. Turks like to indulge their guests and observe what guests drink first. This is a polite way of finding out if they are hungry. If the guest drinks water first and only then coffee, it means he is hungry and the host will prepare food. Secondly, water is drunk before coffee so that you taste the coffee properly, and after so that the aftertaste does not linger. During the Ottoman era, it was also used to check whether the coffee offered to the sultan was poisoned. The food given to the sultan was also tested by the 'çeşnicibaşı,' a servant who previewed all his meals to check if it was safe to eat. Since Turkish coffee is usually only made for one person, the sultan had to test it himself by pouring a little water into the cup. If the coffee bubbled as soon as it came into contact with the water, it was poisoned.
  5. Coffee grounds: It is very popular to have your future predicted after drinking Turkish coffee by reading the coffee grounds. After you empty your cup, you can put the saucer on top of it. You then make a wish and turn the cup over so that the coffee grounds form patterns on the saucer. The fortune teller then lets the cup cool down and interprets the patterns. Nowadays, there are mobile applications in Turkey where you can send a picture of your coffee grounds and a real fortune teller interprets it.
  6. Salt in coffee: Coffee plays an important role in folk customs when a young man asks for the hand of someone's daughter. The bride then makes coffee while her father and the groom-to-be talk to each other. Instead of sugar, she puts salt in the groom's coffee to test his reaction. If the groom gets angry, he is probably not a good husband. However, if he empties the cup without any reaction, he is considered a good partner. However, these traditions change over time. In the past, too much salt in the coffee meant that the girl did not want to marry the man.
  7. 'Lokum' - Turkish fruit: Your cup of coffee used to be served with Turkish fruit, 'lokum,' as a way of determining whether the guest was satisfied. If guests were satisfied with their hosts, they would eat the fruit. This tradition no longer exists now, but Turkish coffee is still served with extras such as chocolate.
  8. It is healthy: Turkish coffee is a powerful antioxidant and offers many health benefits. It helps regulate blood cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of cancer and can also serve as a painkiller for headaches.
  9. Intangible heritage: The ancient beverage is protected by UNESCO and was added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013 for its unique brewing and cooking method.
  10. Sand: In the Netherlands, we are mostly familiar with electric coffee makers and brewing methods such as the AeroPress and percolators, but in the Middle East, things are very different. Here, coffee is sometimes brewed in small pots in the sand. During sand brewing, sand is used in a hot wok, through which the coffee is brewed. This method ensures even heating of the coffee, which enhances its flavour.

BuyTurkish coffee at Café du Jour

At Café du Jour, we have a love for the art of making Turkish coffee. Our finely ground coffee is selected with care. Turkish coffee allows the taste of coffee to come into its own. Order quickly and discover the magic of Turkish coffee for yourself!

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