3 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Turkish Coffee
Looking for a finer (ground) beverage and love a deep, rich, highly caffeinated cup of brew? Turkish coffee just might be for you! Although it originated in the Middle East, this coffee is widely brewed across the globe. It is traditionally made in a cezve with finely ground Arabic coffee beans and served in a demi-tasse cup, often sweetened with sugar and sometimes scented with fresh cardamom. The social component of Turkish coffee is arguably as important as sipping the beverage itself. Often times, the conversation continues and fortunes are read well after drinks are finished! Here’s three things you may not have known about this community building cup of joe…
1. What’s a cezve anyway?
What’s a cezve and how do I use it? A cezve is a small, long handled metal pot with a little pour spout, specifically for making Turkish coffee. If you’ve set out to make Turkish coffee at home, using a cezve would be very traditional, however any small pot will do. Combine finely ground coffee beans, water, and a little sugar cube or two in a cezve and brew it to a frothy foaming stage, just below boiling. Pour the coffee (and yes – the grounds too!) into a demi-tasse cup and place on a saucer to serve. The coffee grounds will sink to the bottom of the cup so you can enjoy your coffee until the second to last sip! Save that last ground-filled gulp for a fortune – we’ll get to the good stuff soon. If you are interested more in making this on your own, Elif Ekin shows us the process start to finish here:
2. Drinking alone? Not this time! Turkish coffee was made to share!
“The heart seeks neither coffee nor coffeehouse. The heart wants friendship, coffee is an excuse.” -Turkish Proverb
Turkish coffee is served in coffee houses, where people meet to sip a little, chat a little, and sip a little more. Unlike espresso, it is not meant to be finished quickly, rather each sip is savored while sharing news and telling stories. It plays a significant role in social occasions, like engagements, weddings, ceremonies, and holidays. Although it may look like “a cup of coffee”, it is truly a cultural symbol of friendship and hospitality.
3. Crystal ball? Not quite. But what about your Turkish coffee grounds?
Humankind has sought answers from every imaginable source; the moon, the stars, one another, and even coffee grounds?! The centuries old practice of reading images in leftover coffee grounds or the tea leaves that settle at the base of a cup is known as tasseography.
The grounds left in the empty cup of Turkish coffee are often used to tell a person’s fortune. Place your saucer on top of your cup and then flip the cup towards your heart, turning it upside down. The teller may ask you to place a ring or a coin on top of your cup, depending on if your intention is love or wealth. Allow the cup to cool and the sediment to settle, then read the patterns presented in the grounds in the cup and on the saucer. Coffee cup readers refer to a variety of different natural symbols, which can be read literally or figuratively, and it’s up to them to interpret what this means for your fortune.
If you are curious about more Turkish techniques or want to learn more about international cuisine, Salt Lake Culinary Education might be a good place to start. We offer cuisine-specific cooking classes, like this single-day Turkish Workshop, as well as a professional 12-week course. We cater to various levels of commitment and expertise. Give us a call to learn more.