Three Ways of Making Turkish Coffee
Making Turkish coffee is part Art and part Science.
As you may already know, this is also true for many kinds of coffee making, like espresso and coffee press, but that's a subject for another day.
Today, let's enter further inside the world of Turkish coffee.
Until now you may have thought there is only one way of making Turkish coffee.
Well, there are at least three ways of making Turkish coffee . Before I describe them let me tell you a couple of things about the science of coffee making.
(After you have read this message in its entity you will not only know how to make Turkish coffee better but all kinds of coffee!)
There is a special formula that is needed to make coffee:
Time + Water + Heat + Ground Coffee => Coffee Extraction
If you let hot water in contact with ground coffee for more time then you will extract more taste (molecules) from the coffee. Some of it will be good and some of it may be bad. If you overdo it, and time gets longer than the ideal, you will extract more intense but also bitter taste. (that's not good, is it?)
The same with heat. If the water is warmer than proper you will get identical results.
So, let's say you use boiling water. The coffee will be destroyed faster than you can pronounce the word BITTER !!!
What about the coffee grind?
The finer the grind setting the smaller the coffee grounds. Smaller grounds need less time to have their flavor extracted by water (basically it is because they have much larger surface in contact with the water). So for coffee press you grind your coffee coarse and you let it in the hot water for 3-4 minutes. For espresso where the coffee is much finer ground (and you also use pressure) the proper extraction time is 25 seconds (plus or minus 5).
For Turkish coffee where the grind is even finer than espresso what is the proper extraction time my friend?
Do you think that bringing the coffee to almost boil 3-5 times as some people say right? Of course not!
20 seconds must be the absolute maximum time for Turkish coffee extraction.
Bringing Turkish coffee to almost boil twice is more than enough. (If you do not believe me just trust your taste and make a couple of tests yourself).
Now, that we have some basic knowledge about coffee let's talk about the:
Three Ways Of Making Turkish Coffee
1. The No Stirring Method
This is the easiest way to make Turkish coffee. Grab your favorite Turkish coffee pot and fill it with one and a half demitasse cup of water. Then top it with one heaped teaspoon of ground Turkish coffee and as much sugar as you want (do not overdo it :-D).
Do no stir. Put it on low fire. Once the water gets warm enough the ground coffee on top of the water will sink in and mix with the water (this is when the extraction basically starts). Once this mixture gets warm enough foam will start forming on top and and the coffee will start rising (temperature is approximately 80 degrees Celsius). Lift the pot a bit to let the coffee come down again and then put it on fire once more. When it starts foaming and rising again remove it from fire before it boils (temperature is approximately 95 degrees Celsius). Serve immediately and enjoy!
2. The Stirring Method
This is exactly the opposite as you have correctly guessed. Immediately after you put the ingredients in the coffee pot you start startring. Coffee and water remain in contact for much bigger time than the previous method. This way the result cup has fuller body. Although the taste is stronger the bitterness may be substantially stronger too.
Once the coffee rises in the pot you must stop the fire and serve.
3. The Alternative Method
You might have seen this before. First you add the water and sugar in the pot without any coffee. Then you put the coffee pot on fire and you wait until the first small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pot. This is a sign that the water is hot and just before the boil point. At this point you must add the coffee and start stirring until the coffee rises. You can lift the pot, like in the first method, to let the coffee settle down and then repeat the process but putting the pot back on fire. Once it foams and rises again remove it from the fire and serve.
This method is very different than the first two because the water and coffee contact time is much smaller. The result cup has usually medium body, wiith more refined taste than the first methods. Bitterness is lower too.
I have personally experimented with all these methods and find the result of the third method very nice, but beware!
There is no perfect method!
Do your own experiments to find the taste that suits you. If you want a very strong taste then the second method will be great for you. If you are a fun of espresso but you want to taste Turkish coffee too then start with the third method.
Another factor is also the coffee blend that you use. If the coffee you use is a light blend but you want a stronger taste use the second method. If the blend is stronger than you'd like use the first or third method.
And so on …
Do you want even less bitterness?
If you want less bitter coffee then you must buy fresh roasted coffee with high percentage of Arabica.