There is a Turkish saying: “The memory of a single cup of coffee lasts 40 years!” So, out of respect for the Turks, before we discuss the making of Turkish Coffee, you need to understand the history and the ritual. Taking great pride in their hospitality, the presentation and method of serving Turkish coffee are equally as important as the way it is made.
For me, the mere mention of Turkish coffee evokes thoughts of the alluring aroma, rich taste and from the first sip, an immediate feeling of warmth and comfort. But Turkish coffee is a whole experience, and the coffee itself is just one part.
Turkish coffee is commonly known now as a finely ground medium-roast Arabica coffee. 500 years ago, when Turkey was at the heart of the Ottoman Empire, coffee was produced in the Arabian Peninsula by boiling coffee cherries. The modern Turkish brewing technique came into fruition in 1554 with the first coffee house opening in Tahtakale, Istanbul.
The art of coffee and Coffeehouses became an integral part of Istanbul’s culture as a place to read books, play chess and discuss poetry and literature.
Understanding Turkish coffee
Let’s have a deeper look at what makes Turkish coffee so delicious. In Turkish coffee, one single bean is ground into 45,000 particles for maximum extraction of flavour; as opposed to 100 particles for drip coffee and 3,000 for espresso. Thus, the flavour is extracted this way than any other coffee brewing method. As you brew Turkish coffee it builds a thick and delicious crema. Most coffee enthusiasts do not add any sugar or cream to Turkish coffee so that they can truly enjoy the way coffee tastes.
It is the only method where you re-roast the beans in the brewing process. This is very important, as the coffee is at its most complex (wine-like) stage only for about a week after it’s been roasted. After this, it oxidizes and the flavour decays. Unfortunately, there is no requirement for coffee manufacturers to display the “roast date”, so most of us don’t know when our coffee beans were roasted and have no idea how fresh they are.
Turkish coffee is non-filtered, so the grounds are in the pot. The beans are re-roasted as the water heats up, which is why Turkish coffee should always be added to cold water and brought to a boil. Hence, when you drink Turkish coffee you are in essence tasting newly roasted beans.
Contrary to popular belief, Turkish coffee does have a more robust taste than espresso. However, espresso tends to have more caffeine. A two-ounce cup of Turkish coffee has about 50 milligrams of caffeine, while the same amount of espresso (a double shot) can range from 58 to 185 milligrams of caffeine.
How to make Turkish Coffee
(For one person)
- 1 Serving cup of cold water
- 1 Dessert spoon of Turkish coffee
- 1 Dessert spoon of sugar
Turkish coffee is a slow-cooked drink, and it’s important to bear in mind the timing and stirring. To start you’ll need an espresso cup, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi coffee and sugar. To be able to cook the coffee you will need a small pot or an electronic Turkish coffee machine.
Mix one dessert spoon of coffee and sugar (if desired), and use the serving cup to measure the water into the small pot on a low heat. When the coffee sinks to the bottom of the pot, stir the ingredients a few times and keep waiting. When it starts to boil take it, take it off the heat and slowly pour it to the halfway of your cup. Put the pot back on cooker and allow to boil for a few seconds again, then pour the rest.
Serve with a glass of cold water, as a palate cleanser, and something sweet to eat after, maybe some Turkish delight or smooth dark chocolate.
Best places to try Turkish Coffee in Perth
If you want to try traditional Turkish Coffee before making it yourself, you can leave it to the experts and visit one of the many Turkish restaurants and cafés here in Perth.
Turkuaz Mediterranean Restaurant
Located in the popular Hillarys Boat Harbour, Turkuaz offers authentic Turkish cuisine that uses a variety of fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The Turkuaz restaurant is a perfect spot to enjoy traditional Turkish coffee and flavoursome food overlooking the marina. This atmospheric and traditionally decorated space is a must-visit in the northern suburbs.
Open Monday, and Wednesday to Friday from 5pm to 9pm, and open mornings during the weekend.
Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine
Silk Road Restaurant in Victoria Park specialises in authentic Uyghur cuisine, a rich combination of Turkish and Chinese influences that culminates in comfort food with a unique flavour. Silk Road serves both Turkish and Ottoman coffee. Ottoman coffee is Turkish coffee’s sweeter counterpart, with added aromas such as chocolate. This hidden gem also serves up a traditional Turkish rice pudding dessert called “Sütlaç”, freshly made with love by the owner’s wife.
Open from 5 to 10pm from Tuesday to Sunday, and from 12:30pm to 3pm on weekends for an afternoon pick-me-up
Ayhan’s Turkish Café
This Turkish Cafe in Kensington has been open for more than ten years and continues to proudly deliver exceptional service and a genuine taste of Turkish cuisine including a delicious Turkish Coffee.
Open Tuesday to Thursday 10am-8:30pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-9:00pm and Sunday 4:00pm-8:30pm.
Kuzu Turkish Restaurant & Shisha Lounge
Located in Carlisle, the Kuzu Turkish Restaurant & Shisha Lounge is one of the most recent additions to Perth’s Turkish cuisine scene. After a big renovation from a gas station to a restaurant, the place offers extensive space for indoor and outdoor gatherings and functions.
Open Monday – Sunday 10am-10pm