Turkish coffee: history, preparation, benefits

Coffee Recipes

An ancient ritual as enchanting as the Orient. Turkish coffee is more than just a drink because it fully embodies the spirit of the culture from which it comes. A true treasure, officially declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Finding out how coffee is drunk around the world often gives us interesting surprises and curiosities. Such is the case with Türk Kahvesi, as it is called in the Turkish language. A rich tradition is accompanied by a special preparation and a number of benefits that make it so valuable. Get comfortable and enjoy a fascinating story that takes its first steps in the 16th century.

The ancient preparation with Cezve

As early as 1554, in fact, the first coffee shop in Istanbul (then Constantinople), a pioneer in the entire history of coffee, was established. Here the ancient preparation of Turkish coffee with Cezve, also known as Ibrik, that has come down to us is experimented with. This is a special brass or copper pot with a narrow neck and a long handle, used for boiling water and coffee powder.

In these years, much earlier than in the rest of Europe, the consumption of this hot, frothy drink became widespread as a real ritual. Türk Kahvesi is not consumed quickly; it is a moment of sharing that should be savored calmly on any occasion, often coinciding with important events such as weddings and religious ceremonies.

How Turkish coffee is made

In addition to the Arabian coffee pot, a small pot, which is easier to find around, is also used to prepare this drink today. Learning how to make Turkish coffee is not complicated, but it does require some application and time.

Turkish coffee: ingredients

Let’s start with the ingredients needed to make this drink:

  • One cup of water for each person
  • Fine ground coffee, two teaspoons for each person
  • Sugar (white or raw)
  • Spices (cardamom or cinnamon)

Turkish coffee: preparation

Here is what the procedure involves, according to Arab tradition:

You boil (over a very low flame) the water with the coffee and sugar in the Cezve;

When it first boils, a dark foam, called Kaimaki, rises to the surface, which must be removed from the pot and poured into the cups. At this point we can add the spices and put the Cezve back on the stove;

Repeat the operation two more times (three in total);

In the end, you will have obtained a thick, creamy drink with a unique and distinctive aroma.

Before drinking Turkish-style coffee, it is best to let it sit for a few seconds so that the mixture can settle to the bottom since it is not filtered. It is precisely what remains in the cup that has contributed to the aura of fascination around this drink: in ancient times, it was believed that caffeomancy (the reading of coffee grounds) could predict the future.

Turkish coffee: legendary benefits

Legend has it that one of the first cups of Turkish coffee was prepared by Allah for Muhammad, who, in this way, was able to find the energy he needed to brave the oppressive heat of the desert and beat as many as forty horsemen.

In fact, this particular preparation involves a higher caffeine extraction: one cup contains about twice as much caffeine as one cup of espresso. All this vigor is accompanied by other benefits for the body, which reinforce the usual properties of coffee. In particular, the drink facilitates digestion and improves the functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.