Recently, after a trip to Istanbul and a quick 3 city tour of Turkey, I had the fabulous opportunity to try the famous and unique Turkish coffee. After getting back home, I got curious and started wondering how to make Turkish coffee without an Ibrik and still have that awesome taste.
After trying many times, I succeeded in making a great Turkish coffee without the traditional Ibrik and with my trusted and beloved French press.
Keep reading to find out how to make Turkish coffee without an Ibrik!
What Is Turkish Coffee?
Turkish coffee is high in caffeine content and rich in flavor and, despite the name, is not unique to Turkey as similar variations are brewed around the region in Armenia, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro and more, with each having a slight localized variation.
In essence, it is the coffee of the old Ottoman Empire.
It is brewed using a traditional coffee brewing pot, the Ibrik, also known as a Cezve and very, very finely ground coffee beans, much finer than a typical espresso grind.
After asking one talented Turkish barista I was told the grind size, is traditionally 50 microns, which by comparison is half that of an espresso which is typically 100 microns.
Despite such a very fine grind, this coffee is served unfiltered. Coffee aficionados would normally warn you of drinking coffee with grounds still in due to the potential of over brewing as the coffee sits there. This is not the case with this coffee drink. In fact, I’d argue it gets better as you sit there and sip away.
To brew Turkish coffee, you can use either Arabica or Robusta coffee beans. More commonly, it is Arabic beans that are used due to the deeper, more intense flavor. The coffee is brewed using a dark roast as this roast profile stands up excellently to the strong aromas and flavors and gives the drink a great body to compliment it.
Brewing the cup of coffee, sugar is added at the beginning alongside the coffee and water, which is then brought to the boil in the special pot known as a Cezve in Turkey and Ibrik elsewhere. The coffee mix is taken on and off the boil as it starts to froth and slightly boil over.
The purpose of taking the Ibrik (or Cezve) on and off the boil a couple of times is to increase the amount of froth. Notably, traditionally, it is brewed on a fire, but in more modern times you will often see an electric or gas stove used.
At this point in the brewing process, about 1/3rd of your cup is filled and the Cezve (or Ibrik) returns to the fire for heating until it is boiled. Once it is boiled, the remainder is topped up in your cup.
Due to sugar being added at the beginning, you need to tell how much sugar you want in your coffee: unsweetened, little sugar, medium and very sweet.
The coffee drink is flavored with mastic, salep, cardamon or ambergris and served with a small sweet, traditionally a Turkish delight.
Your coffee is unfiltered as the tiny of the tiniest grounds are suspended in your coffee or sink to the bottom. Usually, as I found, it is a mix of the two and is to be drank with coffee.
Read: How long is coffee creamer good for?
What Is An Ibrik? What Is A Cezve?
An Ibrik and a Cezve are the same thing. Only in Turkey is an Ibrik known as a Cezve, it’s a language thing. In English and internationally, it is called an Ibrik or simply a Turkish coffee pot.
It is a rather cool looking pot with a spout that is commonly made of hand-hammered copper and is lined with non-reactive tin for safety purposes of preventing copper from getting into your coffee.
Other materials that an Ibrik can be made from include brass, silver and even gold. Regardless of the material used to manufacture the Ibrik they are always hand made for good quality, even heating.
An Ibrik is really only used for the purpose of making coffee.
Read: Which U.S. State is the only one that grows coffee?
Why Try Turkish Coffee?
Instead of thinking “why try Turkish Coffee?” You should invert that question and ask yourself, “why not?”
Unless you really don’t like bold strong coffee or highly caffeinated coffee, then that is really the only reason not to. Experiment with and enjoy different exotic coffees.
Turkish coffee is strong, bold and highly caffeinated. Much like a shot of espresso, it is condensed and has a bittersweet tone to it. Extra sugar, depending on your own preference, can be added. It has a unique taste and deep body and texture and more caffeine than a shot of espresso.
How To Make Turkish Coffee Without An Ibrik
Coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts that enjoy strong, deep and bold coffees with a rich texture are going to love the unique brewing style that gives the drink such a deep flavor.
If you don’t have that distinctive copper pot known as an Ibrik, don’t worry, as you can still make Turkish coffee without an Ibrik.
If you must, and really want to use one, you can find them on Amazon.
Equipment Needed For Making Turkish Coffee Without An Ibrik
You don’t need a lot of equipment at all, nothing that you may not already have in your kitchen.
- 1. A coffee grinder
- 2. A wooden spoon.
- A small saucepan.
- 2 espresso cups
Now for the ingredient list – it is simpler than you think.
- 15 grams of coffee beans (1/2 an ounce of coffee beans).
- 120ml of water
Instructions And Method
Starting at the very beginning, the coffee to water ratio for making Turkish coffee without an Ibrik is 1:8.
we are making two cups of coffee here. To make just one cup, use half the ingredients. If you are making 4 cups, double the amount of coffee and water.
The very first step with this brewing method is to grind your 15 grams of coffee beans as finely as you can. If you are a lover of strong coffee, using a Turkish coffee grinder is something you can consider buying to get that fine, flour-like grind.
Regular coffee grinders, even commercially available ones, are not capable of getting such a fine grind.
The second step is to add your water to your small saucepan and add your very finely ground coffee beans. Stir your grounds well and bring your coffee close to boiling point at a medium heat. When your coffee reaches boiling point, it will begin to foam.
When you see the foam forming, lift it from the heat and wait for it to recede. Remove your coffee from the heat just before it boils.
As soon as the foam from your coffee has settled, proceed to repeat the process, and proceed to heat your coffee at a medium heat. Soon you start to see foam forming again. This process is repeated 2 to 3 times.
You are now ready to enjoy your coffee. Serve it in an espresso cup as this is how it is normally served in Turkey. Wait a few seconds, about half a minute, for your grounds to settle before you take a sip.
Why Do You Need An Ibrik To Make Turkish Coffee?
An Ibrik is needed to make Turkish coffee because it helps the foam, a rich crema to form and rise to the top. The small size helps the foam to stay there.
If you don’t want the foam there or simply don’t have an Ibrik at home, then you can simply make a good quality Turkish coffee following the above instructions and using the smallest saucepan you have.
How To Make Turkish Coffee In A French Press
If you want to make Turkish Coffee In A French Press, you will need to use a small one and very fine flour-like grounds, and you will need a French press that you can use on your stovetop.
It is not particularly possible to brew a Turkish coffee in a French press due to being unable to bring your coffee to a boil and take it off the boil a couple of times while brewing.
What Is The Difference Between French Coffee And Turkish Coffee?
About 1,700, Miles (2,800 KM)!
Joking aside, French press coffee and Turkish coffee are very different in every way and, not only are the brewing method and brewing techniques very different, the grind size is too. I can also add that French press coffee is filtered while Turkish coffee is not.
The one similarity they both have is the amount of effort to make one. Both require quite a deal of effort to make when compared to other brewing methods.
Can You Filter Turkish Coffee? Do You Need To Filter Turkish Coffee?
you do not need to filter Turkish coffee, and you should not filter it if you want to drink and experience an authentic Turkish coffee experience. The grounds are tiny and flour-like and are suspended in the drink. It is supposed to be that way.
It is part of the experience. I do advise letting your cup sit there for a short while, a minute or so to let them settle if you are at all bothered by the possibility of drinking some grounds.
Frequently Asked Questions About – How To Make Turkish Coffee Without An Ibrik
Do You Need Ibrik For Turkish Coffee?
It is much better than you use an Ibrik when making Turkish coffee. It helps you to get that froth much better due to the shape. If you want all round genuine experience, add cardamom and use Turkish coffee cups – that are rather classy and elegant.
Can You Make Turkish Coffee With Regular Grounds?
No, don’t use regular ground with Turkish coffee. Regular ground tends to have too large a grind size. To get it right and perfect the taste and experience, use a very fine grind size that has a flour-like consistency. Use premium quality coffee beans for the best results.
Why Won t My Turkish Coffee Foam?
If you can get foam, it may be that your grind size is too large, your beans are not fresh or your coffee to water ratio is not strong enough.
Can You Make Turkish Coffee In A Pan?
Yes, it is most certainly possible. As long as you have all the right ingredients for making the traditional style coffee, Turkish coffee cups, cardamon, and one heaped tbsp of coffee per cup, you should get reasonably good results.
You are best to use a Turkish coffee maker, the famous Ibrik for more authentic results and getting the crema on top. It is the shape of the Ibrik that helps a lot with the brewing.
Do You Drink The Sludge At The Bottom Of Turkish Coffee?
No, Turkish coffee gets a lot of its flavor due to being unfiltered. The sediment, known as Telve is not consumed.
Why Do They Put Salt In Turkish Coffee?
It is a marriage tradition and custom in Turkey. It is given from the bride to the groom and is symbolic and a test of the groom’s reaction when things are not sweet in the marriage.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – How To Make Turkish Coffee Without An Ibrik
Now you know how to make Turkish coffee without an ibrik like a pro and if you love it all you need to do if you want to shift it up a level is to make the investment to go and make the investment to make it perfect and use an Ibrik to make your Turkish coffee.
They really do make a difference due to the shape and are much easier to use and are less messy!
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