turkish coffee

what is turkish coffee? everything you need to know about it

Emine Aslan January 17, 2024
What is Turkish Coffee? Everything You Need to Know About It

Summary: Welcome to the rich and aromatic world of Turkish Coffee! This post is your ultimate guide to understanding what makes this coffee a unique among the coffee around the world. From its historical roots to the intricate brewing technique, we'll explore everything that makes this beverage so special.

What is Turkish Coffee?

Turkish coffee is a historic and celebrated brewing method, deeply rooted in Turkey's cultural heritage. Originating in the 16th century during the Ottoman Empire, it stands as the world's oldest coffee brewing method. The uniqueness of this coffee lies not in the type of bean used, but in its distinctive brewing technique.

In preparing this coffee, the beans are ground to an ultra-fine powder, much finer than that used for espresso. This results in a brew that is less concentrated but rich in flavor.

The preparation of traditional Turkish coffee starts with combining finely ground coffee and water in a 'cezve.' This small pot, traditionally made of copper, is essential for the process. Heat the mixture slowly until it's hot but not boiling, to create the coffee's signature foam.

The Origins of Turkish Coffee

Coffee began in Ethiopia in the 14th century and arrived in Istanbul in the 16th century. Özdemir Pasha brought coffee beans to Ottoman lands and gave them to Suleiman the Magnificent.

The Ottoman Palace initially prepared Turkish coffee exclusively using copper pots over embers. By the 17th century, it had become a favorite among the public and a symbol in official ceremonies. It also reached Europe through coffeehouses established by merchants and ambassadors, leaving a significant impact on European coffee culture.

Turkish Coffeehouse

The first coffeehouse opened in Istanbul in 1555, introducing Turkish coffee to the public. It quickly became a staple for social gatherings. In coffeehouses people engaged in intellectual discussions, enjoyed poetry, and played chess and backgammon.

The Ottoman palace first made Turkish coffee. Its popularity spread from Istanbul's coffee houses to Europe. The first European coffeehouse opened in Venice in 1645. After that, more coffeehouses appeared in Malta, Paris, and London.

What Makes Turkish Coffee Unique?

  1. Coffee Grind Size: The beans are ground to a fine powder, finer than any other coffee type.
  2. Coffee Brewing Equipment: People traditionally prepare it in a 'cezve' or a small copper Turkish coffee pot.
  3. Not Filtering: The coffee does not undergo filtering, allowing the dark roast grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup.
  4. Sweetening Method: The sweetening method involves adding sugar during brewing, not after, which creates a unique flavor integration.

How To Make Turkish Coffee

A typical Turkish Coffee recipe includes water, finely ground coffee, and often sugar. The process is to simmer the mixture and let the foam rise without boiling it. This method creates a distinctive foam layer and allows the grounds to settle, creating a dense and flavorful cup.

In recent years, automated Turkish coffee machines have become popular. They offer an easy way to enjoy authentic Turkish coffee.

People around the world use four main methods to make coffee, based on how they add water to the coffee grounds. We have explained these four methods in detail in our dedicated blog. We explained these four methods broadly in our dedicated blog.

Serving and Enjoyment

Traditionally, people serve Turkish Coffee in small cups, similar to espresso. Savor this coffee slowly, as it embodies the spirit of hospitality and leisure. A glass of water and Turkish delight typically accompany it.

The grounds settling at the bottom of the cup are an essential part of the experience, often used for fortune-telling! This practice adds a mystical and cultural depth to the experience of enjoying it.

Turkish Coffee Culture and Tradition

Turkish coffee is a traditional unifying element of social life. It is part of marriage ceremonies and a symbol of hospitality and friendship. People invite each other to have a cup of coffee and make intimate talks over drinking it. The coffee also has a spiritual side, as people use its grounds for fortune telling.

Cultural Practices

Turkish culture deeply values the ritual of serving coffee. The ritual begins with asking guests how sweet they like their coffee. This custom often includes serving the coffee with Turkish delight, symbolizing hospitality and warmth in social interactions.

The cultural significance of Turkish coffee extends to literature and proverbs. A famous traditional saying goes, “A cup of coffee commits one to 40 years of friendship.”

In 2013 UNESCO recognized this deeply rooted tradition listed in Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Highlighting the unique brewing method and cultural significance of traditional coffee of Turkey.

Health Benefits of Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee is rich in beneficial compounds because of its unfiltered nature. This coffee is rich antioxidants and has less caffeine than other methods because it is finely ground and brewed quickly. However, it's important to consume it in small amount because of its strong nature.


Turkish Coffee is more than just a coffee. This traditional coffee is a journey through history and culture, offering a unique and immersive experience. Whether you're a coffee lover or new to the world of coffee, trying Turkish Coffee is a must. Order your Turkish Coffee Maker and ground coffee right now!

Common Questions & Answers

Q:What is so special about Turkish coffee?

A: Turkish coffee is unique for its fine grind, special brewing method, and cultural significance. The technique used to brew it dates back to the 16th century. This method involves a slow-cooking process in a 'cezve' (copper pot), creating a distinctive foam and flavor.

Q: Is Turkish coffee stronger than regular coffee?

A: Yes, Turkish coffee is generally stronger than regular drip coffee. This is because of its fine grind and the brewing method, which extracts a high level of flavor and caffeine from the beans. However, it serves in small quantities, balancing its intense strength.

Q: What does Turkish coffee taste like?

A: Turkish coffee has a robust, bold flavor, often described as rich and intense. Its unfiltered nature means you get a full-bodied experience with a slightly thicker texture compared to filtered coffees. Some people might detect notes of spice or fruit, depending on the coffee beans used.

Q: What flavor is Turkish coffee?

A: The flavor of Turkish coffee can vary depending on the beans and roast level. Typically, it carries a deep, strong, and earthy taste with notes of cardamom, especially when traditionally spiced. The addition of sugar during brewing can also influence its sweetness level.