January 10, 2015

What is the correct name for a Turkish coffee pot?

There are primarily two names for a Turkish coffee pot:

  1. Cezve (and variations like dzezve, jazzve, gjezve, xhezve).  Used in the Balkans, Russia and the Middle East.
  2. Ibrik or ibriki. Used in Greece and the English speaking countries.

The correct name is “cezve”; pronounced “jezzve”.  You might ask why?  Well there are several reasons. To start out with ibrik is a type of ewer: a type of pitcher or jug that is shaped like a vase and that was used for holding water (as defined in the Webster’s).

It is a Persian word and comes from (â-briz) and means sewer, latrine, watershed.  ”Ibrik” is the Ottoman Turkish pronunciation of this word.

The word also means “toilet” in Persian and there is an ibrik in every toilet in the Middle East (I ‘ll let your imagination decide what it’s used for!).

On the other hand, the name “cezve” is of Arabic origin, but the spelling is derived from the Ottoman Turkish spelling in Arabic script.  Based on the Arabic meaning, “cezve” refers to a cooking pot used on burning log, ashes or sand. This is why it is the correct name.

However, I also am perfectly okay with calling it a “Turkish coffee pot”.

Here is what an ibrik looks like, and you can not use it to make Turkish coffee:

turkishcoffeeworld: ibrik 3.jpg

Here is what a cezve looks like:

decorative cezve