The Turkish Coffee: “Kahve”

When on holiday in Turkey you will find that the majority of coffee served to tourists in hotels & restaurants is typical of that in Europe & is given the generic name “Nescafe”. However if you fancy trying something a little more Turkish, ask for a Turk kahvesi  ( terk  carveysee ) this is what Turkish coffee is called. Kahve is often served after a meal but can be drunk at any time & is as much a social drink as a caffeine fix. Turkish coffee does not refer to a particular bean but to the method of preparation which also has its variations.

Turkish coffee turkey

Turkish coffee is prepared a little differently to filter or percolated coffees. For starters the
beans are ground into a very find powder .Generally a few heaped teaspoonfuls (depending on how many cups are required ) are added to a very small pot ( a metal jug like pot with a spout & long handle ) together with sugar if required. Turkish coffee comes as plain,low,
medium & sweet  but as the sugar is added at time of “cooking” separate pots need to be made for different sweetnesses so you must tell the person making it in advance how you would like it.

After sugar , water is added again according to the number of demitasse cups required. The mix is stirred to dissolve the sugar & the pot is put on the stove. The mix is allowed to heat up without being stirred to allow the full flavour of the coffee to mature. As it heats a foam develops. The best coffee is heated this way three times allowing the froth to recede until on the third time each cup has a portion of the froth added to it. The remaining liquid is boiled & then poured between each cup grounds & all. Each cup should have a good
head of foam .The coffee is allowed to settle for a minute before being served.

As you have probably gathered the cups used are tiny  ( similar to expresso ) – you probably would not want a mug of it anyway  .You wont be able to get your finger through the handles so either adopt a posh “raised little finger” stance whilst holding the handle or if not too hot, hold the cup at the rim.

Turkish coffee is usually served with a glass of cold water alongside so take sips of the coffee & then the water. It is only the top layer of liquid ( just a cm or 2 ) that you drink. Below that is the settled grounds – you will know when you reach those as the coffee will suddenly become crunchy ! Stop at this point . Remember to have a drink of water to remove any grounds from your mouth – & the surface of your teeth  to avoid that
special Austin Powers smile.

At this point someone may offer to read your fortune & your cup will be turned upside
down on to the saucer then lifted up & your future read in the grounds. Take it with a pinch of salt its all in good fun . However if you are a pretty, single lady the prediction of the  entrance of a dark handsome stranger into your life may well not be far off the mark.

You might not develop a taste for Turkish coffee but you should try it at least.

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