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How to make turkish coffee better, not bitter

Updated on January 7, 2012

Ibrik and Coffee

How to make Turkish coffee without burning the beans

Those of you familiar with Turkish coffee, know not only the joy that well made cup can bring, but also the frustration in making that cup.

Frustration comes from two sources: First, the coffee is overly bitter. Second, the coffee boils over and makes a mess. I suggest a better way to make Turkish coffee which prevents both mishaps.

The Usual Way

Turkish coffee is finely ground coffee which is often mixed with cardamom. Three heaping spoonfuls is placed in a small ibrik, a copper or aluminum pot with a small handle. With water three-fourths filling the ibrik the coffee is allowed to boil. The ibrik is removed from heat, then returned and allowed to boil again. Then removed and served.

The Problem

Boiling coffee is never a good idea. It burns the beans. Especially, when ground finely, coffee cannot be exposed to boiling or near boiling water. If you want to be precise, keep it under 180 degrees. Additionally, unlesss you watch your ibrik with intense patience your coffee will boil over, and you will have a finely ground mess to clean up.

The Better Way

Add water and coffee to your ibrik in the usual proportions. Or, if you want stronger coffee, add an extra spoonful. Bring the coffee to a simmer, then with a spoon stir the brewing coffee vigorously. Then allow the coffee to heat for three minutes more. Try to heat it to its maximum temperature only in the final minute. 

The result is a coffee that is smooth and delicious, that has the signature strength of Turkish coffee without the bitterness. The coffee can be had by itself rather than with sugar added. Enjoy.  


Submit a Comment

  • Jenn Knows profile image

    Jenn Knows 8 years ago from USA

    Good points Woodson.

    I've also created a hub for Turkish Coffee, check it out and let me know what you think:

  • profile image

    Turkish Coffee 8 years ago

    Thanks for this great article about how to make Turkish Coffee