Turkish coffee is a style of coffee prepared using very finely ground coffee beans without filtering. It is prepared in a special pot with long handles called cezve and it is usually made out of copper or brass. To make a perfect turkish coffee, you need to folow certain steps:
- Measure the amount of cold water you will need.
- Place your pot of water on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high (just until the water heats up).
- Add about 1-2 heaping tea spoons (or 1 tablespoon) of coffee per demitasse cup (3 oz). Do not stir it yet. Just let the coffee “float” on the surface because if you stir it now you might cause it to clump up.
- Add sugar to taste. Do not stir it yet, Let the water warm up little bit as above.
- 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. You should stir it several times, up until your brew starts to foam (you can also vigorously move your spoon side to side to encourage to start the foaming).
- When you see the bubble “ring” forming on the surface, turn down the heat a little bit more or move your pot away from the heat source. Pay attention to the bubbles that are forming at this stage. Bubbles should be very small in size.
- From this point on watch your brew carefully. Do not let the temperature get hot enough to start boiling. The key idea here is to let the coffee build a thick froth and that occurs approximately around 158 F or 70 C (i.e., much cooler than the boiling point of water which is 212 F or 100 C at standard pressure. If your brew comes to a boil, you will not have any foam because it will simply evaporate!).
- Keep it at the “foaming” stage as long as you can without letting it come to a boil. You might even gently stir your brew a little bit at this stage. The more froth, the better it will taste. Also your coffee must be fresh or it will not foam as well. If your brew gets too hot and begins to “rise”, then move it away from the heat or just turn it down. Repeat this process until your foam has “raised” and “cooled” at the most couple of times. Then pour in to your cups (quickly at first to get out the foam, then slowly) while making sure that each cup has equal amount of foam! If you are serving several cups then you might be better off spooning the foam into each cup.
Turkish coffee is always served in demitasse cups and if it’s prepared properly, it should have foam on top. It’s often served with a glass of water as a palate cleanser and with famous turkish sweet turkish delight or lokum.
According to the superstition, people used to serve their guests lokum with Turkish coffee as a way of asking for their satisfaction. If the guest eats the lokum after drinking the coffee, it meant that he was pleased with the way he was hosted. And if he doesn’t it meant that the host is not satisfied with the way he hosted.
Cream or milk is never added to Turkish coffee, but additional sugar is optional.
Tasseography (or tasseomancy) is the academic term for Turkish coffee fortune telling. It is a very comon practice in Turkey, Balkan countries and Arabic countries. The fortune telling can by done by a professional or just for fun within family and friends. For fortune telling you need to folow certain instructions and rules:
Firstly, the coffee should be drunk only from one side of the cup. When the coffee is finished, the saucer is placed on top of the cup, and a wish is made. With the saucer still covering the top, the cup is held at chest level and turned counter-clockwise a few times. Following this, the cup is turned upside down onto the saucer, and left to cool. Sometimes a coin may be placed on top to make the cup cool faster and to dispel bad omens that could be read from it. When the coffee cup is cool enough, someone other that the person who drunk the coffee opens the cup, and starts interpreting the shapes for divination.
Coffee cup reading is a widespread and popular fortune telling method, which speaks of both the past and the future. For divination purposes, the coffee cup is considered in two horizontal halves. The shapes in the lower half talk of the past, whereas shapes in the top half talk of the future. The shapes that feature on the right side are usually interpreted positively, while shapes on the left are interpreted as signs of bad events, enemies, illnesses, troubles, and the like. According to another belief, the coffee cup can tell the past but it can only foretell forty days into the future.