Tuesday, April 21, 2009

first Turkish coffee

I've been wanting to try Turkish coffee (making and drinking) for a long time. A few weeks ago I finally made it to a local Turkish shop, Istanbul Imports, where I bought what is very commonly called an ibrik, but which the proprietor assured me was properly called a cezve. In Turkey an ibrik is something else.

I had a very good stovetop popper moka kadir roast and the simple instructions in Kenneth Davids' Coffee book to follow. I ground the beans at the finest Turkish setting.

For two servings at light sweetness I added four rounded teaspoons of coffee and two teaspoons of sugar to the empty cezve, filled it halfway with water, then stirred to dissolve the sugar.

It went onto a burner at medium heat and in a few minutes boiled. It foamed vigorously to the top, at which point I removed it and poured into demitasse cups. The foam should completely cover the coffee, and there is apparently some art to generating and/or preserving it. I don't think mine was quite right but it doesn't seem like there's that much of a trick to it. I may be missing something. It does diminish rapidly after being taken off the heat.

It was quite tasty. I think this is probably the right sweetness for me, but I'll try it at full sweetness (twice the sugar; thrice for heavy sweet) next time. This is a nice way to get a quick coffee fix without waiting for water to boil or the espresso machine to heat.

Update: I tried again at full sweetness, and also allowed the foam to dissipate and build a few times by removing and restoring the heat, a technique which I read about somewhere. I don't know if that contributed, or if the additional sugar is a factor, but I did get a more durable head. Tracey and I both thought it was very good.

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