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How To Make Turkish Coffee

Learn how to make an authentic traditional Turkish coffee, the way I learned from my family. This post shows you step-by-step photos of making the recipe, the equipment you need, and how to serve it properly.

Turkish coffee in red and white cofee cup

Turkish coffee is my favorite!

The exceptional taste, body, aroma, and preparation make Turkish coffee far superior to any other coffee I have ever had. I grew up watching my Romanian family and friends making this coffee and always loved how simple and delicious this coffee can be if it is done right.

Turkish coffee is made in many Eastern European countries, and they all follow the same rule for making it.

Turkish coffee is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and respect. If someone would come to visit us, the first thing my mom would do, was to place the Ibrik, as we called it, or “cezve,” with water on the stove. Then the question was how the guest would like their coffee.

It was a sign of hospitality and respect. Turkish coffee is usually prepared with a moderate amount of sugar, but some people prefer it unsweetened, so it was important to ask the question.

One of my grandmothers used to invite her friends in the afternoon for a cup of coffee and some cookie bars she would serve along with glasses of cold water.

Also, finishing off a meal, for example, was always an excellent opportunity to enjoy a sweet cup of Turkish coffee with dessert.

Reading the coffee grounds:

The art of reading coffee grounds is called tasseography. It is a fortune-telling method that interprets tea leaves or coffee grounds patterns. While the women in my family were not into reading the coffee grounds, I met plenty of people who knew how to do it.

For centuries, this tradition was popular in countries that preferred to drink Turkish coffee. While some people know how to read the coffee grounds for serious results, some read them simply for fun.

Why we love to drink Turkish coffee:

  • Bold taste – Coffee is considered a morning ritual for many people around the globe, but if you love a strong, rich brew, Turkish coffee might be the one for you. This is because of its unique brewing method that brings out the bold flavor of the coffee.
  • Rich and highly caffeinated – Turkish coffee is unfiltered, with a higher amount of caffeine. If you like espresso coffee or strong coffee, you should also try Turkish coffee.
  • Easy to make – You just need water, coffee, and sugar to make this coffee.
  • Fun to make – There are so many ways to prepare coffee, so why not learn this method as well?

What kind of coffee do you need for Turkish coffee?

Most people would use Arabica beans, but it really doesn’t matter what kind of coffee you use as long as you grind it fine. This is actually the secret to making good Turkish coffee. Also, you should use a light or medium roast because the brewing process will bring out the boldness of the coffee, making it slightly darker/bitter.

Coffee in a bowl with spoon

What you need to make authentic Turkish coffee:

  • An  ibrik (cezve) or a small coffee pot 
  • Sugar- this is optional
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Teaspoon
  • Small cups – Turkish coffee cups can vary in design and size, but all are meant to hold about 60-85 ml. My cups can hold about 85ml or about 1/3 cup of water. The cups are usually made from thin porcelain to ensure that the coffee stays hot. The saucer is very important as well, as the cup is really hot and it also facilitates the fortune-telling. If you look to buy Turkish coffee cups, look for demitasse or espresso cups.

How to make Turkish coffee:

The main rule: Turkish coffee combines finely ground coffee beans with water (and often sugar) and brings the liquid to a frothy foaming stage, just below boiling. This coffee is never boiled.

Step 1. Measure the water, coffee, and sugar. Place them in the pot.

How much water: Use cold water and measure it with the cup you plan to serve the coffee in.

How much sugar: Sugar is optional, but most people like this coffee on the sweet side. However, add sugar according to your taste.

Traditionally, the sugar is added during the brewing process, not after.

How much coffee: I like to add one heaping teaspoon of coffee for each cup. If you want it stronger or the cups are larger, you can use two heaping teaspoons per cup.

My formula is one heaping teaspoon of coffee + one teaspoon of sugar for each cup = Perfection, and happiness.

Step 2. Place the pot of water with coffee and sugar on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high.

Ibrik on the stove

Do not stir. Let the coffee “float” on the surface. When the coffee starts to sink into the water, and the water is warm enough to dissolve your sugar, stir it several times and then turn down the heat to low.

Step 3. Keep an eye on the pot.

This is the moment when you have to watch the pot. Do not let the temperature get hot enough to start boiling. The key idea is to let the coffee build a “thick froth,” which occurs at approximately 158 F or 70 C, much cooler than the boiling point. If your brew gets too hot and begins to “rise,” move it away from the heat or turn it down.

Ibrik on the stove with Turkish coffee simmering

Using a teaspoon, get a little bit of foam into each Turkish coffee cup. Put the pot back over medium heat. Let it rise and remove when it starts to boil.

Step 4. Serve.

Pour the coffee into your cups (quickly at first to get out the foam, then slowly) while ensuring that each cup has an equal amount of foam!).

The Turkish coffee is enjoyed sip by sip with various sweet desserts. Do not stir the coffee once it’s in the cups, as you will disturb the coffee grounds and give you an unpleasant texture when you drink it.

Can you add spices to the coffee?

Some Arabic countries like cardamon in their coffee, but in Eastern Europe, people like their coffee without any spices.

Turkish Coffee close up picture0

Can you drink Turkish coffee with milk?

While Turkish coffee is never served with milk, you can add a little bit if you must.

Finally, as you can see, the process is straightforward, and the results are incredible. Once you discover Turkish Coffee, your life will change forever!

I hope you will give it a try!

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Romanian Rugelach(Cornulete cu gem)

Yield: 1 serving

Authentic Traditional Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee square picture0

Authentic traditional Turkish coffee-The exceptional taste, body, aroma, and preparation makes Turkish coffee far superior to any other coffee out there.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Using a coffee cup, measure the amount of water you will need. One coffee cup of water /per person. Pour the water into the ibrik or pot.
  2. Add one teaspoon of sugar to each cup and place the pot on the stove. Do not stir.
  3. Also, add the coffee (1 heap teaspoon/cup) to the pot and DO NOT STIR. Just let the coffee "float" on the surface because if you stir it now, you might cause it to clump up.
  4. Place your pot of water on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high.
  5. When the coffee starts to sink into the water, and the water is warm enough to dissolve your sugar, stir it several times and then turn down the heat to low.
  6. From this point on, observe your coffee. Do not let the temperature get hot enough to start boiling.
  7. The key idea is to let the coffee build a "thick froth," which occurs at approximately 158 F or 70 C, much cooler than the boiling point.
  8. If your brew gets too hot and begins to "rise," move it away from the heat or turn it down. You are almost done.
  9. Pour the coffee into your cups (quickly at first to get out the foam, then slowly) while ensuring that each cup has an equal amount of foam!)
  10. If you are serving several cups, it is better to spoon the foam into each cup first.
  11. The Turkish coffee is enjoyed sip by sip with various sweet desserts.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 16Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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How To Make Turkish Coffee- collage of photos for Pinterest

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Cristina

Thursday 5th of May 2022

Hi Gabriela, I've been enjoying your recipes for a long time and was glad to be reminded of the Turkish coffee which I used to like a lot. A little secret that I learned when living in the Middle East - they put 3-4 whole cardamom pods in the water, right at the beginning. The flavor is unbelievable. Thanks again and looking forward to having a cup of Turkish coffee today!

The Bossy Kitchen

Thursday 5th of May 2022

Hi Cristina, Thank you for your comment. I have a paragraph in the article that talks about that. Turkey doesn't use a lot of spices, and definitely Eastern Europe likes to drink coffee with or without sugar and no other spices. However, most Arabic countries, do use cardamom. I have to try it too and see how it is. I actually love cardamom and I am sure the coffee will be divine!

Herta

Saturday 10th of November 2018

Hi, Gabriela. Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe. I'm from Romania too and the first coffee I ever had was Turkish. I have fond memories of learning how to make it. But as time passed and I got used to the American way, I forgot the directions. I am so very, very happy that I came across your post.

The Bossy Kitchen

Saturday 10th of November 2018

Hi Herta,

Glad you stopped by and found the recipe. I hope you try the coffee. By the way, I love your name. My German grandmother's name was Herta. You will find some of her recipes on this blog. Thanks for visiting!

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