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Techniques - | Written by Lewis Spencer

How to make turkish coffee

Turkish coffee is not simply coffee that is found in Turkey (although that is where the beverage comes from). It is a way of brewing coffee to create a rich, strong cup that has a 'sludge' of coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup when you are done. This is because the drink is unfiltered, unlike other forms of coffee drinks.

While purists say that Turkish coffee must be brewed in a cezve, which is a specialist coffee brewing pot, it can in fact be brewed in any small pan. Turkish coffee was invented by a nomadic people, so it is easily made using basic equipment – and can even be a special treat when you are camping far from electricity and the mod-cons of a well-equipped kitchen.

The secret to perfect Turkish coffee is a very, very fine grind: one that reduces the beans to a powder rather than a grit, as with most brews. One tablespoon of these fine grounds per cup – adjusted according to taste once you have mastered making Turkish coffee – must be added to the cezve or coffee pot, with the water. Place the cezve on the heat source – traditionally an open fire, these days a stove – and slowly heat the mixture, taking care that it does not boil.

As the coffee heats up, a mat of grounds will form on the top of the coffee. This mat should be stirred away, as otherwise it will trap the coffee underneath and adversely affect the taste of the finished drink. However, take care not to disturb the thick 'sludge' of fine grounds at the bottom of the pot.

Just before the drink comes to the boil, a thick frothy foam will form on the surface. This is the sign that the coffee is ready. Pour it carefully into a cup, taking care not to disturb the bottom layer too much, and then allow the coffee to rest for a moment, so any grounds that have escaped can settle in the bottom of the cup. Enjoy your authentically brewed Turkish coffee!

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