Turkish Coffee- How to Make it Delicious?

Turkish Coffee- How to Make it Delicious?

Table of Contents

Turkish Coffee- Introduction

Turkish coffee has a long history and it is consumed by a lot of people. So, you can see a lot of Turkish coffee shops in the world. And, they are mostly opened by Turkish people.

Moreover, drinking Turkish coffee is a common ritual among travelers. The tourists coming to Turkey want to experience this taste. Generally, they love the taste and they bring many coffee stuff such as cups, pots, etc. when they go back. So, we want to cover every detail regarding the Turkish coffee. Of course, including how to make a Turkish coffee with foam 🙂

How long the Coffee Plant Dates back?

Do you also think that the coffee plant had been discovered in America? The coffee plant’s homeland is the Africa country, Ethiopia [1]. There are many stories about how it was discovered and we will mention the most famous one 🙂 The shepherd Kaldi saw that the goats that ate the coffee plant were very energic and active during the day and they were sleeping less than before. And then, he tried it as well, felt the same effects. [1,2]

However, the coffee plants had not been consumed as a drink for a long time. Basically, it was used as a kind of bread. After Ethiopia, the plant was grown in Yemen and people in Yemen started to consume it as a drink in the 14th century. But, people were not roasting the coffee beans and they were just boiling the beans in the water. [1]

Ottoman Period

In the 16th century, the Ottomans met with the coffee coming from Yemen and they really liked it. And, the Ottomans opened the first coffeehouse in 1554 in Istanbul. And then, an important event occurred. At the beginning of the 1600s, Baba Budon started to grow the coffee plant in South India. That was important because Arabia was pretty dominant in those days and they were not shipping the coffee to other countries unless they dried or roasted the coffee beans [1].

Europe and America

Let’s quickly look at coffee history in Europe. European countries and America met with coffee in the 17th century [3]. 

Venice first met with the coffee in 1615 and they opened the first coffeehouse in 1645. Holland started to grow coffee after the 1650s. And, the first coffeehouse of England was opened in 1650 in Oxford. And then, they started to grow the coffee plant in 1730 in Jamaica. Coffee culture expanded in Germany, Austria, and France after 1670s [1]. As you see, the nations really affected each other and the coffee culture grew very fast during the 17th century.

Which Coffee Beans are used for Turkish Coffee?

Turkish coffee is made from high- quality Arabica coffee beans. These Arabica beans are first roasted and then ground. Arabica is the most grown and consumed coffee bean in the world. People mostly think that Turkish coffee beans are different than others. But, this is not correct. Generally, the same Arabica beans are being used for Espresso and other coffees. There are many types of coffee beans but Arabica is the most used one.

Can you Grow Coffee in Turkey?

The coffee plant can’t be grown in Turkey because the coffee plant is a tropical one. Currently growing coffee is being tried around Mersin region which is in the south of Turkey. However, this is commercially insignificant now.

What is the Origin of “Kahve” word?

It is mostly thought that the word “coffee” has a relation with “Kaffa” city from coffee’s homeland Ethiopia. The other possibility is the coffee is originated from the Arabic word Kahva which basically means wine. So, coffee could be used similar to wine because of its stimulant effect [1].

Today, coffee is a global word. When you check different languages, you will see why I said it is global 🙂

Coffee in different languages

Why Its Name is Turkish Coffee?

Coffee was brought to Istanbul from Yemen in the 16th century. And then it is named as Turkish coffee due to a new preparation method [1]. “Turkish coffee” name comes from because of this new brewing technique. We will be explaining why this method is different.

First of all, Ottomans used it in the palace kitchen. And then, it expanded to the public in a short while. Of course, they really loved it. Moreover, coffeehouses became very important in social life. The community came to the coffeehouses and discussed politics, art, and their problems. So, they were sometimes closed by the Sultans since people were organized here and talking against the emperors. Also, religious authorities sometimes declared that the coffee was illicit. But they kept on meeting in these houses even these coffeehouses were officially closed. Those bans did not stay for long times [2]. European countries had the same problems/bans from time to time but it did not work there as well. [1]

Turkish Coffee Culture

Turkish coffee is a sign of hospitality in Turkish culture. It is mostly served in family&friends meetings. When you prepare a delicious Turkish coffee, this shows respect and dearness to your guests. In the meantime, people prefer to serve it instead of Nescafe or filter coffee in formal meetings in Turkey.

Family Meetings

Additionally, here we explain a basic tradition. When a boy and a girl decide to get married, the boy’s family want to get permission from the girl’s family. This is the current way in Turkey. But, especially in the past, there was a “prearranged marriage” thing that the boy and the girl mostly didn’t talk before and the boy’s family directly wanted to get permission from the girl’s family. But, the first one is more dominant in Turkey nowadays. Everything changes day by day, doesn’ t it?

But one thing was not changed in these ceremonies, the girl cooks it with SALT instead of sugar. Yes! Really with SALT. After cooking, she gives this coffee to the groom at this ceremony. Basically, this means that the boy endures everything for the girl if he is able to drink this salty coffee. The bride to be and people in the ceremony have fun while the guy is drinking the salty Turkish coffee 🙂

Brown Color in Turkish

Do you know that coffee color is a color name in Turkish? Brown means “kahverengi” in Turkish. It is a combination of coffee and color (coffee-color). Moreover, coffee has been used a lot in lyrics and songs in Turkish history.

Breakfast in Turkish

Additionally, breakfast means “kahvalti” in Turkish which is the combination of “kahve” and “alti”. Kahvalti (kahve-alti) means the meal is eaten before the coffee.

Turkish coffee culture and tradition was inscribed in 2013 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.


So, fortune-telling or reading by Turkish coffee ground is popular due to having fun. Even, some people pay money to go to these professional fortune-tellers. If you ask our opinion, we do not go these fortune tellers, however sometimes making with our friends to spend good time. And, we have a famous Turkish quote “Don’t believe in fortune-telling, but don’t go without one.” 🙂

How to Store Turkish Coffee?

If you leave Turkish coffee open to the air, it will gain moisture. So, the best way you should store it in a porcelain or glass jar. Moreover, the storage should be in room temperature and shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight. And, if you want to store in a refrigerator, please make sure that coffee should not be exposed to air. Otherwise, it will get moisture.

The expiration date is mostly written on the package, so please firstly check the date. Mostly, this can be extended to two years if you don’t open the package. After you open, please consume it in a couple of weeks. If you buy fresh coffee, please consider the timing of consuming in a short period while you decide the amount of coffee. But, we hear your question. “I am coming to Istanbul. I don’t know when my next trip will be and I love Turkish coffee :)”.  Packaged coffee can be a good option in this situation since you can keep it for two years.

We should keep in mind that it can not stale easily. Due to low-level water activity, mold and bacterial growth are not expected. But after staling your coffee lose its quality due to getting moisture, losing aromatic and volatile compounds.

Note: If you ask our opinion, we will recommend you to buy as packaged. Companies have to obey food regulations. And they are controlled by official authorities. On the other hand, if you know the local and reliable coffee shops, you can prefer them.

Turkish Coffee Recipe

Cooking or making it is a bit tricky. And, of course, anyone who is good at making it has a couple of small secrets. You can be good at making tasty coffee, but the next thing will be cooking with foam. First, you should arrange the coffee and water ratios. Let’s start, get your pen and paper 🙂

Water Ratio

Please just put one Turkish coffee cup water per person. Don’t put hot or warm water. So, the water should be room temperature or cold. You can use tap water.

Coffee Ratio

You should put one dessert spoon/coffee spoons or two teaspoons coffee per person. And, after completing the coffee addition per person, just add one more dessert spoon coffee. (one dessert spoon equals to two teaspoons)

As an example, you should put four dessert spoon coffees for three people. Three dessert spoon coffees for two people. Two dessert spoons for one person.

Gum mastic is also a different type of it and very good. You can use the same ratios for this type or other types. We recommend you to drink if you haven’t tried before. And, it is served in a lot of cafes in Turkey. Additionally, you can also buy it as a packaged one. On the other hand, you can also see the Turkish coffee with cardamom. This is not common in Turkey, however, if you want, you can still buy and prepare it with the same ratios.

Sugar Ratio

Sugar depends on personal preference. So, you should always ask if anyone wants it. “How do you want your Turkish coffee?”. This question intention is to prepare the coffee based on this person’s will. Basically, there are four different types. The list starts with Turkish versions.

Four types of Turkish coffee according to sugar content:

  • Sade (no sugar)- Don’t add any sugar
  • Az sekerli (Low sugar)- 1 teaspoon sugar per person
  • Orta sekerli (Medium sweet)- 2 teaspoon sugar per person
  • Sekerli (Sweet)- 3 teaspoon sugar per person

Please note that real coffee lovers prefer no sugar 🙂 And without sugar is healthy!

Brewing methods according to equipment:

Please note that the type of equipment is not important for the recipe. You can always use the same recipe.

  • Copper pot
  • Steel pot
  • Automatic Turkish coffee machine
  • Kettle
  • Over sand
  • Over charcoal
Turkish coffee on charcoal
The coffee over Charcoal

Note: We prefer the automatic machine. You don’t have to wait while it is cooking. And you will guarantee the foam. If you ask for pot, and we will offer you a copper pot which is the best and traditional equipment for Turkish coffee!

How to Make Turkish Coffee step by step?

  1. Prepare the ingredients with the ratios explained above.
  2. Put the coffee and sugar to the pot.
  3. Add the water. Before starting heating, stir them with a spoon until seeing a uniform distribution.
  4. Hold it above a low heat. If it is an automatic machine, no worries.
  5. During cooking, you should stir only once or twice.
  6. Just before bubbling up and boiling, you can take the foam with a spoon. Please only stir once very very slowly before taking the foam. It makes foam uniform. If it is an automatic machine, you can take the foam after the whole process completion. And, be careful while taking the foam. Share it to the cups equally.
  7. Turn off the heater immediately when the coffee rises. If you fail to do it, your coffee boils over. You should be quick here. Again, if it is an automatic machine, no worries.
  8. And then, pour the coffee into the cups slowly. If you pour very fast, you may lose the foam.
  9. Finally, you can serve your coffee with water, chocolate, Turkish delight or a cake. Bon appetit! 🙂

The Summary of The Tips

  • Use cold water
  • Prepare the ratios of the ingredients very well
  • Brew it above a low heat. If you make it with high heat, it will not be tasty
  • Don’t stir it a lot during the brewing
  • Distribute the foam uniformly into the cups
  • Coffee should be slowly poured to cups
  • And the most important one, use fresh coffee 🙂

To Prepare Two Different Turkish Coffees due to Sugar Level

Don’t panic. So, I will tell two different ways. The first method is easy. You can use two pots or an automatic Turkish coffee machine having two different sections. Or, you can make one by one if you don’t have this machine or extra pot. This way is better!

The second method is a little bit tricky, and you should show extra care. Let’s think that one of your friends ordered “Sade- without sugar” and the other one wanted “Orta- medium sweet”. You can arrange all the ratios considering you are serving two without sugar coffee to your friends. After making them, share the foams to two cups and pour the half of them to the first cup and without sugar coffee is ready!

Ok, what are you gonna do with the second cup? Add the sugar to the coffee which is in the pot. Quickly stir it and heat a little bit. And then, it will quickly boil since it is already hot. So, medium-sweet coffee is also ready 🙂

Why Turkish coffee is Different?

Here is the list of items why it is different.

  • Unfiltered
  • Finely ground
  • Cooking with sugar ( not adding later )
  • Special taste and smell

How to Serve Turkish Coffee?

It is mostly served with special Turkish coffee cups and we don’t prefer to use Nescafe cups or mugs. Additionally, you will notice that this coffee is super intensive, so it is served with water to remove the coffee grounds from the throat. Moreover, we serve it with Turkish delight, chocolate or candy. There are also great trays that you can also serve them.

Turkish coffee serving set
Turkish Coffee- Serving Tray and Cups

Even its taste is more important, it is also important how it is being served. Especially in the Ottoman period, copper cups, gold cups, silver cups were used in the palaces. Porcelain cups are more popular in these days.

During a ceremony or family meeting, Turkish people mostly start from the oldest person. If the ages are close, you can start with guests to show your hospitality.

Is Turkish Coffee Healthy?

It has a stimulant effect due to its caffeine content. So, people prefer to drink in business, school, and social life. The most important thing is how much you consume Turkish coffee per day. A cup of Turkish coffee has 86 mg caffeine if includes 5g coffee and 100 ml water. [4]

Especially, within the pregnancy period, the women should be careful about caffeine usage per day. There are some studies showing that caffeine usage less than 300 mg has no harmful effect on the baby. So, please do not forget that tea, coffee, coke have high caffeine amount [4].

If it is consumed in the right amount;

  • It contains a high amount of antioxidant compounds which are anticarcinogenic.
  • It has a preventive feature against liver cirrhosis.
  • Coffee has the ability to prevent type 2 diabetes.


Cafes in Istanbul– Where to drink?

1- Ceneviz Cafe

Address: Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galip Dede Caddesi, Fircaci Sokak, No: 2/A, Beyoglu, Istanbul

2- Mandabatmaz

Address: Olivia Gecidi, No: 1/A, Beyoglu, Istanbul

3- Kurukahveci Yavuz Bey

Address: Caferaga, Muhurdar Cad., Serasker Sok. 2-4, 34710 Kadıkoy, Istanbul

Kurukahveci Yavuz Bey, turkish coffee Kadikoy
Kurukahveci Yavuz Bey

4- Tarihi Cinaralti Cay Bahcesi

Address: Cengelkoy, Cinarli Cami Sk. No:4/A, 34680 Uskudar, Istanbul

Tarihi Cinaralti, Turkish coffee in Cengelkoy
Tarihi Cinaralti

5- Istanbul Kitapcisi Bookstore Cafe- Kadikoy and/or Karakoy

Istanbul Kitapcisi Cafe

Fresh Ground Turkish Coffee- Where are sold?

1- Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, Eminonu

Address: Tahmis Sokagi 66, Eminonu 34116, Istanbul

2- Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, Kadikoy

Address: Osmanaga Mahallesi Sogutlucesme Caddesi 12, Kadıkoy 34714 Istanbul

3- Tugba Kuruyemis, Kadikoy

Address: Caferaga, Muhurdar Cd. No:48/C, Kadikoy 34714 Istanbul

Automatic Turkish Coffee Machines- Which brand?

1- Arcelik

Arcelik, Turkish Coffee machine
Arcelik Telve

2- Arzum

Arzum Okka- Turkish coffee machine
Arzum Okka

3- Tefal

Tefal Turkish coffee machine
Tefal- Kopuklum

Turkish Coffee Pots (Cezve)- Which is good?

You can find and buy the copper pots in Spice Bazaar. Otherwise, you can also find kettles from famous brands such as Arzum.

Turkish Coffee Grinders

You can find the grinders in Spice Bazaar. Moreover, Delonghi has good automatic grinders as well.

Spice Bazaar- Coffee Grinders

Turkish Coffee Cups&Gift Sets- Where can you buy?

1- Karaca

Karaca- Turkish coffee cups
Karaca- Turkish coffee cups with homemade coffee 🙂

2- Mudo

Mudo- Turkish coffee cups
Mudo- The cups

3- Galeriset (Spice Bazaar)

Galeriset in Spice Bazaar

4- Istanbul Kitapcisi Bookstore Cafe

Istanbul Kitapcisi Cafe- Turkish Coffee Cups

Frequently Asked Questions?

Is it easy to make Turkish coffee?

Mm. Not that easy. But after you read this article, we hope you will be a Turkish coffee master 🙂

Is Turkish Coffee good?

You will not regret drinking a well-cooked Turkish coffee. The taste is fantastic.

What does Turkish Coffee Taste like?

It has a specific taste, so you should try and learn how the taste is like 🙂

Turkish Coffee vs Espresso

Espresso is fine ground and filtered coffee, but Turkish coffee is very finely ground and not filtered. The taste really depends on the person, but we think that both of them are great for real coffee lovers.

Can you Filter Turkish Coffee?

No. It is unfiltered coffee that makes it different from other coffees.

When do you Drink Turkish Coffee?

We mostly like to drink after breakfast or lunch. It might not be good to drink when you are hungry. Moreover, it might also affect your sleep quality if you drink after dinner. But, it is definitely up to you!

Do you Drink the Grounds of Turkish Coffee?

Don’t even think that. It will be harmful to your kidneys.

What color is Turkish coffee?

Dark brown.

What is Turkish Coffee Pot called in Turkish?

We call it “cezve”. Occasionally,  you can hear “ibrik”.

Can you Make Turkish coffee in a French Press?

No, you can’t. Don’t try it.

Can you Make Turkish Coffee in an Espresso Machine?

No, you can’t. Don’t try it.

Can you Make Turkish coffee in a Microwave?

Unfortunately, you can’t make it.

Can you Reheat Turkish Coffee?

Please do not reheat it. You can burn the coffee particles in it which are already heated before.

Can you Drink Turkish Coffee with Milk?

Yes. Prepare the Turkish coffee as we mentioned and add a little bit of milk. It is gonna be so delicious. It was our favorite during our childhood 🙂

How to Clean the Pot?

It is better if you clean the pot after pouring the coffees. It is enough if you clean it with only water. With this way, you can use the pot longer. If you don’t clean right after pouring, coffee particles will be dry and it will be hard to remove. But there is a quick solution, fill the pot with water and wait for little. Then wash with water. You can prefer to clean it with detergent, your choice 🙂

Can you Get Turkish coffee at Starbucks?

Yes. They serve it with free water and Turkish delight in Turkey. Taste is quite good. Thanks, Starbucks!


Sometimes, drinking coffee means more than just a coffee even it is a Turkish coffee or not. You may start a new friendship, give a short break, calm down or just remember good memories with its fragrance. Give a cup of coffee to your friends, families or your love and enjoy together. It is such easy!

Let’s complete this post with a Turkish quote: “A single cup of coffee is remembered for 40 years.”


  1. Deniz Gursoy, Sohbetin Bahanesi Kahve, Oglak Yayinları
  2. Kadir Ulusoy, Turk Toplum Hayatinda Yasatilan Kahve ve Kahvehane Kulturu, Milli Folklor
  3. Suna Timur Agildere, Batili Seyyahlarin Gozunden Istanbul ve Cezayir’de Kahve ve Kahvehane Kulturu, Milli Folklor
  4. Mustafa Hanci et. al, Turk Kahvesi ve Turkiye’de Satilan Bazi Iceceklerdeki Kafein Miktarlari, Duzce Tip Dergisi
Istanbul Fantasy