One thing I find with methods like these is that they're quite easy to transmit from person to person but rather difficult to explain verbally. I'm not much of a visual learner but I see a huge difference between following written instructions and going through the process with someone else. Same thing for different coffee brewing methods as for baking, beer brewing, etc. In other words: with practical things like these, it's much easier to be taught by someone than by books or forum messages. As an analogy. I started brewing moka pot coffee when I was 16. Nothing simpler than moka pot brewing. You don't even have to watch for boil overs or anything. I can do it when I'm still half-asleep and the coffee is fairly consistent. But part of the reason it's so easy for me is that I'm so used to it. I eye out everything and get to know any stove I use. With Turkish-style coffee brewing, I found that it was much easier to do once I did it with someone else. Part of it has to do with confidence (not being afraid to do it wrong). But another part is the subtle difference that is so obvious to someone who's used to such a brewing method. In this case, it may have to do with how and when you stir. It seems perfectly fine to stir later during the brewing process as long as you make sure you don't let the coffee boil.
The video you mention is pretty funny. I quite like the background sounds, the ambiance. As an anthropologist, I found it quite telling. But it wasn't the most useful video to help people understand the brewing process. As simple as the process is, there's a number of things that people may be wondering about. It's certainly possible to experiment with different amounts of coffee, with different ways to stir, with different ways to add the coffee, with different heat levels. The version you might prefer, if you didn't grow up on this style of coffee, might be different from the "traditional" one. And as we can't really buy the electric brewers mentioned here, we're having fun with different ways to brew.
As for the science part. Well, coffee brewing is pretty much a science. As simple as it looks, there's a number of things happening during the brewing process which have scientific explanations. Part of being a geek has to do with trying to understand these scientific elements. Sure, it takes the magic away, like explaining a joke. But it can make for a very enjoyable experience with coffee.
Dear Enkerli, let me clear some points. Unfortunately lack of my english knowledge compared to a native speaker, prevents me from expressing my points as open and as clear as I want. I have hundreds of words in Turkish to make my point but in english I'm limited to a handful :)
I'd like to start from that bottom line you mentioned in your post. I totally agree with it, we are indeed having fun (at least I am, lots of!). If we were not to, none of us would be here already I think. Even this conversation, and someone replying to your ideas, opinions, asking questions, giving answers to your questions is total joy. A platform where you can share your common interest on coffee and with almost no limits, a dream came true. You know it's not easy to find someone in your daily life who'll want to discuss about coffee for hours. Infact they all treat you as if you're out of this world! =D
Also totally agree with you about coffee brewing being a science, BUT what I am saying, here in this forum or in another coffee platforms, people who are interested in brewing turkish coffee and searching for better results making a common mistake which turns the whole process looking as if a scientific experiment. An unsuccessful one may I add? That's the main reason why turkish coffee drives so many questions from people, and that's why people complain about results in general. The common mistake is using misplaced tools and strictly believing those tools are required for the perfect result no matter what you say.
Even in your case there's a huge misunderstanding about my explanation for usage of right tools. Remember at my previous post the part I mentioned about right tools, then I jumped from there to electric devices, which I see now, lead you to thinking that I'm saying "electric ones are right tools, for consistency and good results". For sure it's due to my lack of using qualities of english language. But when I say right tools I'm not implying anything about electrical devices alone. Those devices are what technology brings us, now a part of our daily life. It could be a part of people's from other countries too but unfortunately Turkish traders lack at spreading the word :)) While some of these modern tools useful for artistic results (useful but not essential), some of them just to make your life easier. That's why I had said at the begining "if the aim is doing it in traditional ways". Personally I know how to brew turkish coffee in a wide range from ancient methods to modern ones and I don't think I'm a good example for explaining my point. But my mom is :) she prefers using an electric cezve over traditional ways when she brews. Cos see, she's not doing it for self pleasure alone. For her; quality brewed turkish coffee is essential to show her hospitality when her 10-20 friends come together at our house for an annual gathering. Now imagine her in kitchen, doing it in traditional ways for 10-20 people at the same time. There the electric cezve is life saviour for her, plus it saves her reputation for serving quality coffee. Anyways this doesn't show she can't brew a good traditional one, if you see what I mean ;)
Dear Enkerli, brewing coffee with different methods and experimenting is something, but brewing a specific coffee with misplaced tools is something else. If you want to learn how to play a piano, you don't purchase a violin. Sure you can try and experiment playing piano with only your left hand and that can be considered as a method in the end but playing a violing and expecting piano sound...ah! that's something hard to achive =D IMO for one person to start experimenting on a "proven" subject, and claim that he/she is using different methods or experimenting for achiving slightly different or same results, that person must know quite a bit about the subject at hand. And believe me many people don't! :)) It's like saying "I see no big deal with Picasso's paintings, I also can paint like he does!" (rolling eyes, rolling, rolling, madly rolling! :D)
We know what is espresso right? It has its strict definitions to call the result product as "espresso". You can use different methods, different machines, different amounts of coffee, diferent blends, beans, ingredients etc but in the end for it to be defined as espresso
A) fine grinded coffee grounds should be infused with high pressurized hot water (I'm not giving any numbers etc for the sake of experimenting :P) B) on it's surface it must be topped with a thick foam called crema, a result of coffee oils due this special kind of coffee brewing style
now you can add to that definition as many component as you want but in the end result beverage must meet A and B for it to be defined as espresso.
Then what is the definition of turkish coffee?
A) "fine grinded, almost powdered" coffee brewed in pots on a heat source B) Topped with a foam (in turkish we say kopuk, which exactly means "foam" already), this foam again a result of coffee oils C) this beverage must be served with coffee grounds in cup, no extra process for filtration
Your result product not meeting these three definations? Okay no problem, it is still brewed coffee but it is NOT "turkish coffee". That's why you can't stir all that foam into your cup or boil it when you're brewing turkish and call it a "turkish coffee brewing method" since it kills all the foam. That's why Mark's turkish coffee instructions are invalid for his result beverage is not topped with foam (not only his but many other people's too). Give it whatever label you see fit, call it arabic coffee, lebanese coffee, hede hodo coffee but it's NOT turkish coffee. Now what is experimenting with turkish coffee then? Adding spices is a qood example to this. If result meets these 3 after spice added, yes it's still turkish coffee. Also using different roast levels and beans considered as experimenting too. Hope it's all clear now..
Back to right tools and lets see the meaning of "traditional" :PPP Hmm.. okay.. thinking twice.. maybe I'm indeed boring.. so I'll make an offer, otherwise this post will go on for forever! so shoot me now ;) Do you really want me to explain about these right tools, and why they are defined as right tools, and what makes traditional ways "traditional" and how we came to this point from hot embers to electric cezve, why cezve shaped conic, why ibrik is not a right tool for turkish coffee, why we should brew fast but not slow etc etc? If you want answers (scientific ones ;) ) just drop me a line, this way you'll be saved from reading another page long message ahahaha :D
Enkerli Senior Member Joined: 1 Aug 2004 Posts: 724 Location: Montreal, Qc Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: (At cafés, not at home) Grinder: Hario hand grinders Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka Drip: Steep and release pour-over Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Sat May 19, 2007, 7:59pm Subject: Re: Brewing Turkish Coffee
English isn't my native language either so I understand. One thing that I tried to say is that we're talking about a wide range of brewing methods and using the umbrella term "Turkish coffee" for all of them. That might be a problem as there seems to be quite a variety in the different ways coffee is brewed with a stove-top direct-infusion method. I just wish we had a generic term for all these brewing methods. Some people say "Bodum" for all French press pots or use "Bialetti" for any moka pot. What's the best term for coffee brewed by people in East Africa, Southwest Asia, and parts of Europe?
BTW, I do get quite a bit of foam on my coffee after stirring it before the last heating period. My latest results were quite similar to coffee I've had at Turkish restaurants in Switzerland. But I'm still experimenting with coffee in terms of achieving results I enjoy. This is coffee I pour for myself and it's mostly a way for me to enjoy a very fresh batch of homeroasted coffee beans as some of these methods (including French press) seem less sensitive to degassing (than espresso or moka pot). Obviously, I mean no disrespect to Turks when I brew coffee in this way. But the same way that there are many drinks which can be made with an espresso machine, there's a range of experiences we can get from brewing coffee in a small open pot on top of a stove.
I put a few of those charcoal discs used for burning incense resin and smoking hookah on the ground, or in a pan on the ground, lit, and cover with sand: this imitates the original method of slow boiling in desert sand.
Water in, very little sugar in, and my special blend of spices (ground pistachio, cardamom, coriander, and something I can't mention here), boil, coffee in and I don't stir. The first time I had Turkish coffee, I noticed the guy, a swarthy old Turk, didn't stir, so neither do I. I boil three times, don't have patience for four, and by that time the charcoal heat is smothered anyhow and the sand begins to cool.
Tabletop burner is good if you can't do it that way. There's nothing wrong with the the copper cezve sold online, works very well for me.
Thanks for regarding Turkish coffee. I am from Istanbul (Turkey) and please let me to make some corrections about the “Brewing Turkish Coffee” article. - Traditional Turkish coffee cup has the same volume of an espresso cup which is equal to 60 ml (2 oz). The size and the shape of the Turkish coffee cup and the espresso cup is too similar. So a cup of brewed Turkish coffee has the volume of double shot espresso. 90 ml is not the true size of a Turkish coffee cup. - The pot which is used and showed in this article is called "cezve", it is not an ibrik. Ibrik is a water pitcher with a long spout and a thin neck. An ibrik has a lid, too. So please don't confuse the cezve and the ibrik. - You should add two teaspoonful of ground coffee for each cup. For medium sugared coffee, add one teaspoounful of sugar for each cup. For well sugared coffee, add two teaspoonful of sugar for each cup. But I prefer it sugarless ;) - In Turkey it is never boiled more than two times!!! Really, believe me. After the first boil with froth, the cezve is removed from heat and the coffee is served by filling half of the cups to distribute and share the froth equally to each cup. Then the coffee is slightly boiled with froth for the second time and removed from heat to fill rest of the cups. The froth is very important. If you boil the coffee too much, the froth will be lost. And if you serve the Turkish coffee without froth, it will not be Turkish coffee and nobody will drink it in Turkey! Can you think espresso without crema? Additional notes: - You can use any roast from medium to dark. I like the smokyness and oilyness of dark roasts but not as dark as French roast of course. And I prefer single origin beans or blends from Latin America. You can use beans from other regions of course, but never use robusta, always use 100% Arabica beans. - Copper cezve is used traditionally. A copper cezve is plated with tin and after a time of usage, it should be re-tinned, otherwise it will be toxic. Or you can use a steel cezve. - For most satisfying results, you can use charcoal for the heat source. - Greetings to Greeks, but this method should be definitely called as Turkish coffee. Greeks learned this method from Turks, so this can not be called Greek coffee! Please be respectful to Turkish coffee. Best regards.
Cuki Senior Member Joined: 6 Nov 2007 Posts: 1 Location: Hull, UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007, 8:57am Subject: Re: Effects of Boil?
Hi all! My two cents: coffee should never be boiled. The coffee should be kept on fire (or, for the sake of style, dragged around in a tray filled with hot sand, or even better on hot ashes mixed with sand) just until the froth raises just above the edge of the cezve, then again and again - but if at some step the water actually gets to boil, the coffee is ruined (if the water gets to the point of boiling, then there is no foam left already, not to mention subtle aromatic oils). After taking the pot off the fire, I used to drip some cold water inside it and stir it gently, for the residues to settle faster. Than I was leaving the pot to rest a couple of minutes before pouring the coffee into cups (now I experiment with a kettle and a French press).
HELP!! I've tried three times to make the coffee froth and not boil. I've tried different temperatures. I do not have a cezve, but it is stainless and very similiar. The cooking pot is about 20 oz. with a neck, but not very narrow. It also has a pouring spout. The coffee I'm using is freshly, fine ground french roast. I do not think that I'm not getting a froth due to the temp. I'm using. I think it is the amount of coffee or the pot I'm using to brew it in. Can you give me any sugestions. Thanks!!!
It is a great how-to-do but it is missing a curial point. After the first boil, you have to pour some froth to the cups. Because once you continue to heat coffee for the second and third time, it will over brew and chemical formation of froth will dissolve.
I do not have a cezve, but it is stainless and very similar. The cooking pot is about 20 oz. with a neck, but not very narrow. It also has a pouring spout.
You don't have to have cezve, I sometimes use milk pitcher, and it works. The idea is evenly gentle heated. Be aware, not "low" heat because low heat will not achieve full extraction from coffee grounds.
The coffee I'm using is freshly, fine ground French roast.
Try Peet's Arabian Mocca Sanani, it works well with Turkish Coffee. Don't use french roast, it has to be city roast. Best single origin is Yemeni (difficult to find) also try more common Brazil Minas and/or blended with Guatamala Antigua. Grinding is also very very important, must be pulverized.
Tips for drinking: Take your time drinking. First sip is the greatest. Try to slurp taking the froth at top, it enhances flavor tremendously (I know it's rude but it tastes great!). Let it settle while you are sipping slowly. Don't drink the mud at the bottom.
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