I’m one of those people who likes to drink coffee as a first thing in the morning. Coffee is a like a wake up call, a morning pleasure, a working inspiration, a break from busy times, a reason to share and an indispensable taste for me… But among my addiction for all kinds of coffee, there’s one special kind which is not only a drink but also a ritual. It’s not the kind of coffee that can be grabbed on the way to work but deserves a special time to enjoy it. It’s called “Turkish Coffee” and I’m in love with it!
The Europeans got their first taste of Turkish Coffee from the Ottoman Turks, who brought coffee to the West. They were great coffee drinkers, both at home and in public houses, the forerunners of our cafs, which started to spring up across the Islamic countries. Turkish coffee became part of the Turks life known as the “Wine of Islam” and the “Milk of Chess Players and Thinkers”.
Turkish coffee is derived from the famous Arabica coffee bean, often the addition of the aromatic Cardamom spice is added to the coffee while it is being ground. Another method boils seeds with the coffee and lets them float to the top when served.
Traditionally Turkish Coffee has six levels of sweetness from ranging from very sweet to black. Sugar is not added to the coffee after it has been served. As the coffee begins to heat, it begins to foam. A rule of the traditional Turkish coffee ceremony states that if the foam is absent from the coffee, the host loses face. Turkish coffee is served hot from a special pot called a cezve.
In order to make your own brew of “Milk of Thinkers”, heat water in a pot, add coffee and sugar to taste. Bring to boil. Pour half of the coffee into demitasse cups and return the remaining coffee to the heat and bring back to boil. Spoon off the foam and gently place without stirring. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of cold water, 4 teaspoons of strong dark roast coffee and about 4 teaspoons of sugar.
You can try adding cardamom if you like the taste. After some experimenting, you’ll have an almost authentic Turkish coffee.
Article was prepared by Nicholas Webb of www.allabout-coffee-beans.comwww.allabout-coffee-beans.com
Caffeine is a drug, yes, but a very sweet one at that. It enhances the senses and uplifts the spirits. Coffee is, without a doubt, a culture unto itself. Used as a means to gather, laugh and debate. Coffee is a social beverage. Its roots are as storied and full as the roasts you may drink.
Within the borders of Turkey coffee has become an institution. It has its own culture complete with ritual and house of worship (coffeehouses). Turkish coffee, in particular may, without a doubt in most coffee lovers’ minds be the be all and end all of coffee. It was introduced to Turkey in the early to mid 1500’s, finding the first coffeehouse opening soon after.
Coffee came at a rather interesting time in Turkish history as it was geared more toward decadence than business. This gave way to many rituals. One of which was to brew the beans slowly over fifteen to twenty minutes in a copper coffee pot nestled among the embers of smoldering charcoal. The pot was removed frequently to prevent overheating. You can certainly tell the difference, if you are a coffee connoisseur, between Turkish coffee and your run of the mill modern day restaurant coffee.
The Turks believed in delicate brewing and all that was needed was a copper pot that came to a point, a teaspoon and something to heat it with. Water was always cold and the coffee fresh ground right before brewing. One thing that makes Turkish coffee so good, rich and special as that many would add cardamom and or sugar to the ground prior to brewing. Also unique is that the ingredients were added to the water instead of the water added to the ingredients. After all of the ingredients are added, they are stirred, spoon removed and pot placed on the heating source. No more stirring occurs and the pot is removed periodically to prevent the overheating mentioned earlier.
Identifying well prepared Turkish coffee is easy. It’s not too hot and has a thick foam resting comfortably on top and is free of any dark particles. In some circumstances, the coffee is brought to a boil and just before boiling over is removed the heat then replaced to do it all over again. This process is done two or three times and concentrates the coffee down. Cold water is served and drank before the coffee to cleanse the palette. Traditionally, the pastry known as Turkish Delight was served alongside the coffee and afterward you’re treated to mint liqueur.
Turkish coffee is special. Not because it tastes good, but because of the care and love that is put into the preparation and consumption of it. Coffee has a very special meaning to the Turkish people and to the culture of their land and that should be respected. The whole premise and life of coffee in Turkey gave way to all of the coffeehouses and coffee business that we partake in to this day from our Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts to your mom and pop Beatnik Coffee Dens. Without Turkish coffee, we would have no coffee at all.