In this post I will detail how to make Turkish coffee, it’s social significance and where to buy the coffee and Turkish Coffee Pot etc. I will also share with you details on how I drank Turkish coffee at my engagement party, and why this was so unique!
How to make Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee (Kahve) is prepared by selecting small cups called Fincan (Fin-jan) and using it to put water into a small copper pot (1 cup of water per person). A spoon per person of finely ground coffee is then added (much finer than is used for Espressos) and usually a small amount of sugar for taste. Finally the copper pot is put either on hot sand or a stove until the coffee boils and begins to froth, once this happens it is taken off the heat for the froth to lessen, and then boiled once more. Following this, it is served as shown below.
It is important to remember that it has the coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup, which are not to be consumed. Usually a glass of water is also provided to ensure your palette is clean and you can appreciate the full flavour from the coffee. And that is how to make Turkish coffee! Easy.
Reading Turkish Coffee
Reading Turkish Coffee is practiced by thousands of locals in Istanbul and is either done by amateurs or by professionals who will interpret it for you. This is done so you can read your fortune, what does your future hold? First, Turkish coffee is made as described above, it Is consumed and then the remaining is swirled around the cup to coat the inside. This is then turned over with a saucer on top and left until the coffee cools. The direction you flip the cup is important!
- If you flip it away from you it means the fortune will be about your family or loved ones.
- If you flip it towards yourself it will be about you.
After you have waited for the coffee to cool, you turn the cup back upright and can interpret the remaining grounds on the sides and bottom of the cup. Once this is done, you pour the rest of the grounds from the saucer into the cup and can then also interpret the grounds left on the saucer. Please see the pictures below to see how this is done.
One way of interpreting the coffee in modern times is actually by taking pictures using a mobile and have this “analysed” by a phone application. This has risen in popularity over the years and I personally find it a fun way to do it when you yourself can not read the coffee!
As you can see from the images above, you simply take a photo, click on the application and submit your picture for interpretation.
When do locals drink Turkish coffee?
This drink is usually served after breakfast (kahvalti) which actually has coffee (Kahve) in the name! Kahvalti means before Coffee which is what they have called breakfast. This should show some of the importance that Coffee has in this culture!
Despite its caffeine content, this coffee is also quite often drunk just before bed. I also did this whilst I was in Turkey and surprisingly it did not keep me awake at night!
Turkish Engagement Party
As Turkish coffee is seen as a high quality and premium drink it also plays a part in the ceremony when couples get engaged. This fun tradition basically entails the groom-to-be drinking a coffee made by the bride which usually includes salt, a lot of sugar or spices to make it undrinkable. The idea is that if the groom drinks without complaining, then he will make a good husband!
… Mine included salt. A lot of salt.
- Where to buy Turkish coffee in Istanbul? Migros (a supermarket), Grand Bazaar, Taksim Square or Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi in Eminonu (which can be ordered online here: Mehmet Efendi - Turkish coffee 100g)
- Where to buy a Turkish coffee Pot? This can be purchased in many places in Istanbul including Migros, The Grand Bazaar or Taksim Square. (Or online here:Turkish Copper Coffee Pot with Metal Handle - Large Size 3 Cups )
- Which is stronger, Turkish coffee or espresso? Well there are actually two answers! In terms of Caffeine, Espresso is stronger as it is more concentrated. 77mg of Caffeine in Espresso, 50mg in Turkish coffee. In terms of taste you will find that Turkish coffee is stronger and it is exactly this reason why generally it is consumed with Sugar to reduce the percieved strength a little.