Would a lab burner work for this method? I've seen them advertised on espressoparts.com as a gleeful repurposing of a useful technology.
I remember trying to make Turkish coffee on an old electric hot plate, following my Israeli mechanic's method. Acetylene torches being ruled out for office use, I wasn't able to duplicate his results. I thought it was me, but perhaps it was the heat source.
1. Add about half or three quarters of one of the demi-cups of water into the cezve and start to heat on low. Add in about 1-2 t sugar (white or brown), and stir until dissolved, just a minute or two. Remove from heat. 2. Add two demi-glasses (total) of room temperature water to the cezve, inclusive of the sugar water already warmed. 3. Remove from heat, with a small tea spoon carefully place 7g of Turkish coffee atop the water. 4. Don’t stir! Heat on low! The grounds will be somewhat dry at first, but gradually sink into the water. Foam will commence about 5-7 minutes in, from the edges. The center will sink in till it too is covered in foam. 5. When foam is at its max, take off heat and very carefully scoop it out and place equally into two demi-cups, using a small tea spoon. 6. Place remaining coffee back on low burner, stir, and let it reheat till it just starts to roll (just below boiling). 7. Carefully pour this into each cup, taking turns with each, and adding grounds at the end to each. 8. Enjoy!
Hints from trial-and-error:
1. Without a thin layer of foam the coffee doesn’t taste right. Foam isn’t the same as bubbles from boiling: it doesn’t dissipate when placed into cups. 2. Don’t use espresso grind; Turkish grind is finer, like talcum powder. In most cases this means you will need to buy pre-ground coffee. The brand of coffee makes a difference. Some are finer and some are fresher. For instance, I can get good foam with a Bosnian medium-roast, but a Lebanese dark-roast infused with cardamom gives no such luck. 3. Some sugar seems necessary for good foaming. It should be added near the beginning, as should the coffee. 4. Low heat! The heat needs to be enough to create foam, but not enough to boil. Takes about 5-7 minutes to get to the foam, then another minute or two for the remainder. It’s a narrow temperature window. After you remove the foam, the heat should still be low, never boiling. 5. Coffee should be added to top of water carefully with teaspoon. This “crust” is what turns into foam. 6. Use the right amount of grounds: 5-7g for two (small) cups seems to work. This is just over a tablespoon. 7. Use the right amount of water: You have to make the number of cups of coffee that fits your cezve or you won’t get foam. The rule-of-thumb is the water level should come up to where the neck is smallest. For a 2 cup cezve this will be two small demi-cups, and so on. 8. Remove the foam carefully when it’s at it’s max, and carefully distribute it into the cups. 9. Pour the coffee itself into the cups “beer” style, i.e. tilt the cups and gently pour the coffee in so as to not destroy the precious “head”.
Maitre Senior Member Joined: 15 Jan 2011 Posts: 2 Location: Houston Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: Kyocera CM-50 CF
Posted Sat Jan 15, 2011, 6:06pm Subject: Re: Brewing Turkish Coffee
Go to the beach and get some fine sand. Get a small steel pan or pot and put about three inches of sand in it. Dedicate it for coffee making. Heat the sand on the stove.
Add sugar (to taste) to the measure of ice cold water in the ibrik. For a two-cup (2 demi-tasse) ibrik I use one flat teaspoon of sugar and two rounded/heaping teaspoons of coffee. Stir to dissolve the sugar. After the sugar is dissolved, add the coffee. DO NOT STIR.
Sink the ibrik in the hot sand (careful not to allow sand inside).
Coffee will sink in the water. AFTER it sinks completely, give it a quick stir.
Wait for the coffee to start boiling. Now grab the ibrik (by the handle) and be careful ... the coffee will come up fast. Let the foam come up to ibrik's mouth edge. When ready to overflow, remove the ibrik from the sand. Place it aside.
Using a teaspoon carefully scoop the foam (kaimak) and split it between the two cups. Then slowly pour the coffee in each cup, along the wall, not directly in the foam so as not to disturb it.
Serve it with a glass of cold water to the side and a scoop of fruit preserves or a bite of your favorite cake between sips.
NB - more you boil it less kaimak you will have. Many purists along the Aegean coast (both Turks and Greeks) only boil it once since they enjoy the foam (kaimak) at least as much as the concoction itself. I do too.
I hope you read this. I really enjoy your blog a lot and your site, but what I don't understand is your seemingly contradictory views of boiling coffee and hope you can clarify them for me. I discovered Coffeegeek months ago from reading a article about percolated coffee elsewhere (don't remember now where) and found an article about Michael Ruhlman's love for percolators where, in the comments section, you dissed (yes, I am an 80s child!) percolated coffee because it breaks the cardinal rules about not boiling coffee and you also criticized his love for perk coffee. Well, I rediscovered your site again last night because I was googling instructions on making turkish coffee and came upon this thread and your instructions for making it; which are awesome! But then it got me thinking; why is boiling coffee for making turkish coffee ok and permissible but not for percolating it?
By the way, I am a former drip brew person who recently rediscovered percolated coffee and I love it and won't go back to drip. I like my coffee strong and dark; like my men (ok, sorry for the cliche). :) Thanks!
Perked coffee takes several minutes (maybe 5 minutes?), not sure as to the perk time as I DON'T use that brew method. Brewed/extracted coffee with this method is recirculated over & over again through the same grounds over extracting & pulling out unwanted/undesirable bittering constituents & definitely isn't an acceptable brewing method IMO. With the talcuum powder finess of coffee ground for Turkish coffee, it's ready in a brew time of 15 - 30 seconds. I've taken measurements right at the narrowing down of the Ibrik's neck with a digital thermocouple & the coffee doesn't technically boil in my case/preparation, but "rolls" slightly & I believe from memory that my temp measurement was approximately 208 °F.
cjs33139 Senior Member Joined: 16 Jun 2011 Posts: 2 Location: Wisconsin Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sat Jun 18, 2011, 8:58am Subject: Re: Brewing Turkish Coffee
From my research on Turkish Coffee sites I have found, maintained by actual Turks or those of Middle Eastern descent, their coffee takes a few minutes to prepare, maybe even 5 minutes, so how can yours only take 15 to 30 seconds? And doesn't having those used grounds at the bottom of the cezve pot (and later inside the coffee cup) "overextract" the coffee even further, which is a complaint about percolators? In a french press, the grounds sit in the pot but the coffee is supposed to be served immediately, to prevent bitterness, from what I have researched, even though I have never used one.
My percolator works at an ideal of 195 to 200, so it definitely doesn't boil the coffee, which is a rumor spread by most who have never used one, but I understand if you or anyone else doesn't like their coffee recirculated more than once, but how does that differ from steeping your coffee for 5 minutes in a french press or in a cezve pot? I would think you'd still be overextracting the coffee. I guess this is a debate that never ends on these forums, haha. :) I actually like my percolated coffee, as I mentioned before, being a drip brew users for over 20 years, I like strong, very dark coffee. Maybe I should give Turkish coffee a try and see if I like it, since I like dark, strong coffee.
Sorry, I don't mean to turn this into a percolator vs "any other method" debate. Lord knows we have seen those on here many times, hehe. I just feel that sometimes those who diss percolators seem to neglect the fact that other popular methods seem to also overextract. In my opinion, any coffee brewing method that involves steeping coffee for long periods of time, can achieve this "overextraction", but in my opinion, maybe overextraction is what I like?! :) As i said, I want coffee that doesn't look like dirty water. And from the looks of it (even Mark Prince seem to acknowledge this as well), Turkish coffee IS overextracted coffee. Even this I found on wikipedia, concerning turkish coffee: Note that in Turkish coffee, the grounds are very finely ground and not removed from the water – this yields essentially 100% extraction of the solubles (over-extraction by Western standards), and suspension of the remaining insoluble parts of the grounds in the water.
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