Challenge #10: Try a Turkish

All the challenges up until now have been quite easy. Other than cafes that don’t sell single origin coffees, you could pretty much do any of the challenges in any cafe. This one will be different.

Turkish coffee is one of the earliest brew methods of coffee, and as such by comparison to the more modern methods, it is quite raw. Taking coffee ground finer than that used in espresso coffee, putting it in a crucible (a small pot called a “cezve”) with water, then boiling it and serving it in a cup as is without filtering it, takes some getting used to, but it can be one hell of an experience.

The biggest challenge with Turkish coffee is the extraction. The super fine grind, the difficulty in controlling the temperature, and the lack of a filter (meaning that the coffee will continue to “brew” even while you’re consuming it), all contribute to the possible over extracted bitter flavour. This is why the traditional order of Turkish coffee includes one of four levels of sweetness. The reason it is ordered with the coffee is because you don’t want to stir your coffee once you get it, so the sugar is added to the pot while brewing.

Having recently read an article on former World Cezve/Ibrik Champion, Turgay Yıldızlı “Brewing Turkish”, it is great to see that people have not given up on this brew method, and are still trying to perfect it. It is also important to be aware that depending on the specific origin of the person making your coffee (Turkish, Serbian, Bosnian, Lebanese, Armenian, etc) the brew will be different. Some will start with cold water, some with hot. Some will boil it 3 times, and others will only simmer.

Either way you look at it, there is a lot that goes into making a Turkish coffee, so why not give it a try?

N.B. If you are stuck finding a cafe, the best I’ve tried in Sydney was at the Grande Coffee House in Liverpool

Goal: Find a cafe serving Turkish coffee and give it a try.
Key points: Depending on how lucky you are, finding a cafe serving Turkish coffee will be hard. If you do find one be there are likely to be more than one type of coffee roasted specifically for Turkish coffee. Ask which they recommend.
Challenge level: Hard
Questions: What brew method did they use? (Turkish, Serbian, Bosnian, Lebanese, Armenian, etc)
Were they able to tell you anything about the coffee or the process?
Bonus Points: Try more than one
Try adding a different amount of sugar (or no sugar)
Try letting it cool down (like you’d do with a modern filter)

Try one of the other challenges

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