Anyone who has ever tried Turkish coffee knows its delicious taste, beautiful smell and its magical ability to make anyone feel leisurely and lively.
But in order to get the best out of your Turkish coffee and make it taste and smell exactly the way it should, you need to brew it the way it’s supposed to be brewed.
There are many common mistakes that people make when brewing their Turkish coffee and these mistakes ruin the whole experience.
If you want to brew the perfect Turkish coffee and enjoy it to the fullest you must avoid making mistakes such as adding too much or too little water or coffee, constantly mixing it, not putting the sugar at the right moment and brewing too slow.
But these’re not the only mistakes that you might be making and there are many others to count. Here’s the list of mistakes you make that’s ruining Turkish coffee.
Not Knowing How to Measure the Water
When preparing Turkish coffee you need to be precise with the amount of water that you add.
Turkish coffee is served without any kind of filtering or adjusting afterwards. Whatever you put in the pot ends up in your cup.
So if you add too much water for your cup you won’t be able to get all the coffee that you make into your cup and the part you get will be too diluted and watery.
Because of this, when adding the water into your pot, make sure to measure it with the cup that you’ll use and use the right kind of cup.
This way your measurement will be correct your Turkish coffee will have the right consistency.
Adding Too Much/Too Little Coffee
Along with adding too much or too little water, you can also make the mistake of adding too much or too little coffee.
Just like adding the wrong amount of water, adding wrong amount of coffee can ruin the consistency of your Turkish coffee and make it either too watery or too thick and heavy.
The recommended amount that will make the perfect Turkish coffee is one tablespoon or 6 grams. Although this is how much I add, you can experiment and add more or less than this depending on your personal preferences. The key here is consistency and getting the same taste every time.
If you want to know the best amount of coffee for you, experiment with different amounts using a sensitive kitchen scale and when you find the perfect ratio, just stick to it.
Using the Wrong Grind
Maybe you didn’t know it before but Turkish coffee has nothing to do with the type of beans you use. Turkish coffee is the name of the method and it can be done with any type of coffee bean.
But because of the technique used in the making of the Turkish coffee, the grind matters a lot.
Turkish coffee is made by mixing the coffee beans with water and heating it up to a certain point. Due to the simplicity of the method and short contact time, grind should be extra fine. So fine that it’s even finer than grind used for Espresso.
In fact, I’ve written a whole post dedicated to Turkish coffee grind size. So if you want to learn more, I suggest you to check it out.
Using the Wrong Pot
When preparing Turkish coffee, equipment matters a lot. Just like when you make other types of coffee, certain tools are required when brewing and serving Turkish coffee.
One of those tools that we use is a Turkish coffee pot or as we call it in Turkish “cezve” or “ibrik”.
It’s a fairly simple tool that has a part to put the water and coffee and a handle. It’s almost like a tiny cooking pot without a lid.
The most important factor is that the pot should be made of copper. Although there are Turkish coffee pots made of aluminum, glass and stainless steel, copper makes the best coffee due to its high thermal conductivity.
Copper gets hot and cold quite fast and it’s the best material for a Turkish coffee pot.
If you want to learn more about Turkish coffee pots and how to maintain them, you can read this post that I wrote on the subject.
Adding Sugar Afterwards
If you’re used to adding sugar to your coffee or tea after you prepare it, you can make this mistake with Turkish coffee.
When preparing Turkish coffee, you need to know how much sugary you want it to be.
The traditional measurements are;
- Unsweetened (“sade” or “acı”) – No sugar added (duh.)
- A little bit of sugar (“az şekerli”) – 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Some sugar (“orta şekerli”) – 2 teaspoons of sugar
- Lots of sugar (“bol şekerli”) – 3 teaspoons of sugar
I’m one of those people who like their Turkish coffee unsweetened, but if you like drinking something sweeter, make sure to add the sugar beforehand.
Because Turkish coffee is served without filtering it, there is always sediment gathered at the bottom of the cup and if you try to add the sugar after brewing you’re going to run into some trouble because of this.
Constantly Mixing It
Preparing Turkish coffee is no big deal really, it’s very simple but many people try to make it sound harder than it is.
As a rule of thumb, when making Turkish coffee I try to keep the whole process as simple as I can, which makes the coffee much better.
One of the defining features of Turkish coffee is its foam. In fact, this is how its quality is usually judged.
If you stir your Turkish coffee too much when brewing, you’re going to pop all the air bobbles and you’ll end up with no foam whatsoever.
In order to make a cup of frothy Turkish coffee you’re going to fall in love with, stick to mixing the coffee and water once and letting it cook on its own instead of messing with it constantly.
Brewing Too Slow
One other mistake that you can make with Turkish coffee is brewing it way too slow.
Turkish coffee is not supposed to be brewed in 10-15 minutes, brewing that long with such finely ground coffee beans is going to give you a cup of coffee that’s too bitter.
The reason why we grind coffee is to increase its total surface area and make it extract faster.
When you’ve got extra finely ground coffee beans used in Turkish coffee, you need very little contact time to brew your coffee. If you brew it too long it will be over-extracted.
So when making Turkish coffee, make sure to prepare it in 2-3 minutes.
Using Cold Water
Somewhat related to the previous mistake, using cold water can make your Turkish coffee bitter as well.
Because we’re using extra finely ground coffee beans and we need to brew our coffee fast, using cold water out of the fridge can be problematic because it will heat up too late.
Instead use room temperature water to minimize the contact time and maximize the taste.
Using a Metal Object to Stir
Just like using the right type of pot, using the right type of stirring equipment is important when making Turkish coffee.
Because a Turkish coffee pot is made of copper and inside of it is coated with tin, we need to stir the coffee with the type of spoon that won’t harm the pot.
Using a metal object to stir may cause the pot to release harmful chemicals into your coffee.
So whenever you’re using copper or tin cookware, do the stirring with either wooden or silicone material.
Not Letting it Sit for a While
Another mistake that you should definitely avoid is drinking your Turkish coffee right away after brewing.
Turkish coffee is not filtered and in order to let the coffee grounds settle at the bottom, we need to let it “rest” for a bit.
So if you want to enjoy your Turkish coffee in the best way possible, have some patience and let it rest for about 1-2 minutes.
Rushing the Experience
Sometimes you do everything right and prepare the perfect Turkish coffee but then make the mistake of rushing it and not enjoying the experience to the fullest.
Turkish coffee is not something you drink to get the caffeine rush and get going. Surely, it will energize you but without getting into a leisurely and relaxed mindset it’s not possible to enjoy Turkish coffee the way you should.
So when you make Turkish coffee, serve it with a glass of water and snacks of your choice.
Preferably invite some friends over and enjoy it in the company of people you love to be around.
Most importantly, drink it when you have all the time in the world and don’t be in a rush.
Not Taking Advantage of the Sediment
Lastly, I think that many people who are not familiar with Turkish coffee make the mistake of just washing off the sediment and missing out on all the fun.
If the sediment was just supposed to be washed of we would filter it in the first place.
What you should do is let the sediment dry with your cups upside down and when it has cooled off use it to “see into the future”.
Just use your imagination and try to see the shapes hidden in your cup.
I’ll be writing more on the “fortune telling” aspect of Turkish coffee in the future.
Turkish coffee is a delicious beverage to enjoy that makes you feel relaxed, vitalized and happy.
But you might be making simple mistakes that will surely ruin both the flavor of the Turkish coffee and the whole experience.
In order to make the best Turkish coffee that you’ve ever had in your life, make sure to use the right equipment and technique. But most importantly let it sit for a while after you’ve brewed it and enjoy it without rushing.
And when you’re done with your Turkish coffee, don’t just wash off the sediment but use it for “fortune telling”. It will surely be a fun experience that will entertain anyone involved and make any social setting more interesting.
If you’ve found this post helpful or interesting, please don’t forget to share it on the social media. Help spread the enjoyment that Turkish coffee brings! 😉