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Is Turkish Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

With its caffeine content, coffee is an important part of the morning routines of many people. If you’re considering switching up your regular morning coffee with a frothy cup of Turkish coffee, you may be wondering which one is stronger. I enjoy both types of coffee very much and as it’s a topic that got my interest, I did some digging and found out some answers.

Turkish coffee is stronger than regular coffee, while regular coffee has more caffeine per serving. Total dissolved solids (TDS) level and coffee concentration ratio of Turkish coffee are higher than that of regular coffee, making Turkish coffee the stronger option. Moreover Turkish coffee, which requires a darker roast and finer grind, is stronger in terms of taste, as well. Each serving of Turkish coffee (~2 ounces/65 mL) has approximately 60 mg of caffeine, while one serving of regular coffee (8 ounces/~237 mL) contains around 80 to 100 mg of caffeine.

Strength FactorTurkish CoffeeRegular Coffee
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)2.84% – 2.9%1.15% – 1.45%
Caffeine60 mg per portion (~2oz/65 mL)80 to 100 mg per portion (8oz/~237 mL)
TasteStronger tasteMilder taste
Grind SizeVery fine grindMedium or medium-to-fine grind
RoastDark roastLight or medium roast
Coffee Concentration Ratio1:91:18
Comparison of Turkish coffee vs regular coffee in terms of various factors effecting the strength of coffee

What is “Regular Coffee”?

Before we delve deeper into whether Turkish coffee or regular coffee is the stronger one, I think it’s important to define what regular coffee even means, as it’s somewhat of a vague term.

Looking at different sources online, I noticed that there are multiple definitions of what regular coffee is. These are (1) black coffee (coffee without any additions), (2) coffee that is not decaf and (3) what people think by default when they want coffee (like coffee with 1 cream + 1 sugar or 2 sugars and cream/milk). Along with these “regular coffee” isn’t espresso or other types of coffee made with espresso.

While all these may seem confusing, this just means that regular coffee is just drip coffee that is not decaffeinated and served with or without milk, cream or sugar.

As cream, milk or sugar wouldn’t affect TDS level, caffeine content, grind size or the roast of coffee, which are some of the factors we will take into account, they’re irrelevant for figuring out coffee strength for the most part. However, as these additions impact coffee’s taste and concentration ratio, we will surely discuss them on the respective parts of this post.

The Meaning of Coffee Strength

When discussing what regular coffee is, I quickly went over the factors we’ll talk about regarding coffee strength and mentioned various terms, some of which you may not be familiar with.

Coffee strength can mean many things, such as how potent the flavor is, how much caffeine there is in a cup of coffee or the concentration ratio of coffee. Actually, on the blog post that I compared the strength of espresso vs Turkish coffee, I talked about this topic and I recommend you to check out that post, as well.

While there are different understandings about coffee strength, a reliable way to measure it is by measuring total dissolved solids (TDS), which is the ratio of coffee grounds broken down in water for a given cup of coffee.

When comparing the strength of Turkish coffee vs regular coffee, I will go over all these factors one-by-one.

What’s the Difference Between Turkish Coffee and Regular Coffee?

The differences between Turkish coffee and regular coffee are numerous, including their caffeine levels, serving sizes, preparation methods, strength and many other characteristics.

Turkish coffee is a traditional type of coffee originating from Turkey. It is prepared with the use of Turkish coffee pots, which are called “cezve” in Turkish. Turkish coffee is made by boiling the coffee solids with the use of these special pots. While sugar or various other additions can be used to enrich the taste of Turkish coffee and it can be made with milk, Turkish coffee is served without filtration, which makes it different from many types of coffee, including regular coffee.

Regular coffee means coffee that is not decaf and prepared with the use of drip coffee method. While it can also mean black coffee, regular coffee can be served with sugar and milk/cream. Compared to Turkish coffee, it is a milder type of coffee.

Turkish Coffee vs Regular Coffee Caffeine Content

While it’s not technically the case, caffeine is important for many people when deciding whether a cup of coffee is strong. After all, caffeine is one of the compounds that make us feel energized after drinking coffee. So if a cup of coffee is high in caffeine, some may regard it as strong.

For me, caffeine is an important factor for deciding is a type of coffee is strong, as one of the functions of coffee is providing that energy kick from caffeine.

In terms of caffeine, regular coffee is the stronger option between these two. Regular coffee is usually served in 8-ounce (237 mL) cups and has 80 to 100 mg of caffeine. Compared to regular coffee, one serving of Turkish coffee has lower caffeine content. One cup of Turkish coffee (65 mL/~2 ounces) contains around 60 mg of caffeine.

Basically, since Turkish coffee is served in a smaller cup, it has lower caffeine content per portion compared to regular coffee.

Which One Has a Stronger Flavor, Turkish Coffee or Regular Coffee?

When it comes to coffee strength, another factor to consider can be flavor. After all, when you take a sip from a cup of coffee, don’t you ever find yourself saying: “Oh, that’s strong!”?

Compared to regular coffee, Turkish coffee is the option with the stronger flavor. Because it’s made by boiling the coffee grounds inside the coffee pot and served without filtration. Regular coffee, on the other hand, is made using drip coffee method and the coffee grounds are filtered. For someone who is used to drinking regular coffee, especially if it’s with cream/milk and sugar, Turkish coffee may even taste bitter.

To make the flavor of both of these two types of coffee, sugar can be added. Even after the addition of sugar to both, Turkish coffee still has a stronger taste than regular coffee.

Grind Size and Roast

Speaking of taste, we should definitely talk about grind size and roast when comparing the strength of Turkish coffee vs regular coffee. Because these are factors that impact the taste of coffee.

For regular coffee, light or medium roast can be preferred, while Turkish coffee is made with dark roast coffee beans. A medium grind size can be used for regular coffee, as well as medium-to-fine. In terms of grind size, Turkish coffee requires very finely ground coffee, due to its preparation method. In a previous blog post where I discussed the grind size for Turkish coffee, I talked about this topic in detail.

While neither grind size nor roast affect caffeine ratio, these two factors highly impact the taste of coffee, hence its strength. Darker roast and finer grind means stronger coffee. Since Turkish coffee requires a finer grind and darker roast than regular coffee, it’s the stronger one when considering these factors.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of Regular Coffee vs Turkish Coffee

While caffeine level and taste are about the subjective experience regarding what strong coffee means, total dissolved solids (TDS) is the technical way of determining coffee strength.

In simple terms TDS for coffee basically means the ratio of coffee beans that end up in the whole drink. For example, if the TDS level of a cup of coffee is 2%, it means that it is made up of 98% water, while 2% of it is solids.

Total dissolved solids is measured with the use of a refractometer. Generally, a cup of regular coffee has a TDS of 1.15% to 1.45%. Compared to regular coffee, Turkish coffee has a higher TDS level, which is around 2.84% to 2.9%. This means that in terms of TDS, Turkish coffee is stronger than regular coffee.

Concentration Ratio of Coffee

The last factor we will consider when comparing the strength of Turkish coffee vs regular coffee is concentration ratio. Basically, concentration ratio of coffee means the ratio of coffee solids to water used in making it. For instance, if 30 grams of coffee and 510 grams of water are used when making a cup of coffee, its concentration ratio would be 1:17.

For regular coffee, the concentration ratio is around 1:18, while the concentration ratio of Turkish coffee is 1:9. So, Turkish coffee is more concentrated than regular coffee, using less water and more coffee solids. Therefore, when taking the concentration ratio of coffee into account, Turkish coffee is stronger than regular coffee.


Even though factors like taste and caffeine levels can be taken into account, what matters when determining if a cup of coffee is strong is the TDS level. With a TDS level of around 2.84% to 2.9%, Turkish coffee is stronger than regular coffee, which has a TDS level of 1.15% to 1.45%. Also, Turkish coffee is stronger than regular coffee in the following areas:

  • Grind size: Very fine (Turkish coffee) vs medium or medium-to-fine (regular coffee)
  • Roast: Dark (Turkish coffee) vs light or medium roast (regular coffee)
  • Taste
  • Coffee concentration ratio: 1:9 (Turkish coffee) vs 1:18 (regular coffee)