Turkish coffee is coffee made by boiling grounded coffee in water, with optional addition of sugar and/ or cardamom, but not milk. Turkish coffee is identified with its method of preparation and not on the basis of ingredients used. It is a popular form of coffee in the Middle East, Balkans, Caucasus and northern regions of Africa. In some places the coffee grinds remaining in the cup after consuming the Turkish coffee are used to tell the fortune of the person consuming it.
History of Turkish Coffee
The origin of this coffee can be traced to Yemen and Ethiopia. It spread to Mecca and Cairo by the end of the 15th century. Over a period of time, Turkish coffee has become a part of Turkish tradition and culture. Today it is served by international coffee outlets like Starbucks at their stores in Turkey. Turkish coffee is also significant in a pre-marriage custom, according to which the bride-to-be prepares the coffee for the groom and his parents when they visit her house to ask for blessings and good wishes from her parents. She adds salt to the groom’s coffee, and if he does not show displeasure on drinking the coffee, she assumes he will be patient and good tempered after marriage also.
Ingredients Used and Popular Method of Preparation of Turkish Coffee
Ingredients: Coffee, in powdered form, is the primary ingredient of Turkish coffee. Grounded coffee used as per the Turkish coffee recipe should be ground very finely. This fineness is attained better by grinding the coffee beans by hand by use of mortar and pestle, rather than by commercial grinding. The coffee is flavored best when the beans are ground freshly, and they tend to lose the flavor with time if stored for future use.
Water is used along with coffee to prepare the drink. Sugar is optionally used for sweetening, and Turkish coffee recipe may show variations regarding the degree of sweetness in the drink. Cardamom powder is sometimes suggested by the Turkish coffee recipe for its flavor.
Method of Preparation: Turkish coffee recipe suggests heating of water, and then removing from flame and adding grounded coffee to it, and allowing it to stay till the flavor has well blended in the water. The coffee is not boiled with the water as that gives it a ‘cooked’ taste which is not preferred. The traditional pot used for preparing the coffee is of a particular narrow topped shape, and is called ‘kanaka’.
Serving and Drinking Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is consumed when very hot, in coffee cups. It is often served with cold water, which is used to make the mouth’s taste fresh for better appreciation of the coffee’s taste. The thick layer of coffee that remains at the bottom after consuming most part of the coffee is left behind in the cup.