Try Turkish Coffee This Weekend, it’s Easy

On one of my trips to Turkey, I purchased a lovely hand-painted coffee set. It traveled safely with me across Turkey and all the way home to Portland. A week or so after returning home was Thanksgiving. With a houseful of family and friends grazing and watching football, I decided it was a good time to show off my souvenirs. The coffee set was still in its packing on a high shelf in my kitchen. As I brought it down, the bottom of the package gave way and six saucers and six cups fell onto the counter and floor. CRRAASSH. NNNNOOOO!!! After a beat of stunned silence, I heard my brother say, “That can’t be good.” Everyone came to the kitchen and helped me pickup the pieces, offering encouraging words about Super Glue. Miraculously, all 6 cups and 2 saucers were undamaged. The rest joined my sizable collection of broken ceramic and glass pieces (cats…), which I keep because they’re pretty even in their unrefined state. Maybe one day I’ll make a mosaic.

I love my incomplete Turkish coffee set but I rarely use it. One of the saucers serves as a soap dish in my kitchen.



A couple of weeks ago, as a friend and I shared a mezze platter at a sidewalk table at my neighborhood Lebanese restaurant Ya Hala, I noticed the proprietor sipping Turkish coffee as he strolled between the restaurant and his Middle Eastern food shop down the block. Since then, I’ve been wanting to make Turkish coffee, which I haven’t done in several years.

So, here goes. It’s very simple. You need a special pot called an ibrik or cezve, usually copper with a wooden handle (I bought mine for well under $10), and a teaspoon.


You can use any coffee but fresh ground beans are the best. The grind must be extremely fine, like powder. Few standard electric coffee grinders will do the job. A hand-crank pepper mill works great.



Measure cold water into the ibrik with a demitasse cup and add 1-2 heaping teaspoons of coffee per cup of water. If you like it sweet, add sugar now. Stir until the coffee is mixed well into the water and the sugar is dissolved. Heat on medium until the coffee bubbles up to the rim of the pot, then remove from heat. (You have to watch this coffee while it brews, once it starts bubbling, things move fast. Look away for a second and you might have a very messy stove.)


Once the coffee returns to a nonfoamy state, put it back on the heat and repeat. Let it foam up on the heat to near overflowing three times. Then serve. Don’t stir.


If you’d like to have Turkish coffee in Turkey or Morocco or Greece or Oman…we can help you with that. Visit our web site at

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