July 15, 2011

Going camping? Brew your coffee over coals like a true Ottoman.

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According to Ottoman tradition, Turkish coffee is ideally cooked over some hot coals that have burned for a long time and settled into ashes. You can easily replicate this method at a beach, camp site or right at home. 

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The process for making Turkish coffee over hot coals is not very different from normal instructions, but it generally does take a while longer to foam. 

The key is in the ashes. You can use wood that has been burned, but we personally prefer using charcoal that was just used to cook a meal. Charcoal seem to be the most consistent and hottest source of ash for us (just make sure that it has burned completely white before attempting to brew your coffee, and never burn charcoal inside a home or other enclosed space!) 

You’ll want to position your Turkish coffee pot (get one here) directly onto the the hot ashes, using a pair of metal tongs to place more coals around the sides of it. Try to move the coals around until you have a flat surface that wraps around the edges like a bowl. 

Because it will take longer to make your coffee this way (around 20 minutes), make sure that someone is always paying close attention. You have to watch this one more than a normal pot, because it may take longer than usual to foam, and timing may be erratic. If you are unsure of whether or not it has risen already and you have been cooking for a while, it is probably done– you don’t want to burn your masterpiece! 

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The end result is amazing; rich flavor and the thickest foam ever! If you are acamper, you know how delicious just about anything can be cooked over an open fire source. Why stop at the coffee? I am telling you, you’ll be the envy of your campsite. 

Did you have luck with this traditional sand/coal method? Let us know in the comments!