Turkish coffee is a very unique type of coffee with distinctive characteristics.
It has a simple preparation method, it’s unfiltered, it has such a central place in Turkish culture and it’s even believed that Turkish coffee can be used for fortune telling.
If it’s your first time trying Turkish coffee you might find out that underneath that irresistible taste and beautiful smell, there is something that you don’t quite understand why we leave in the cup; the sediment.
Many people’s love for Turkish coffee on their first try is only matched by their curiosity for this part of the experience. Why not filter it out? Why leave it in the cup? Am I supposed to drink the sediment as well?
Sediment is the part of Turkish coffee where chemicals like caffeine, cafestol and kahweol are highly concentrated, so drinking it can cause all sorts of health problems. Although it’s not good to drink the sediment, it can be used in many inventive ways.
Let’s learn why the sediment is left in Turkish coffee, whether it is bad for you or not and most creative ways to use this part of Turkish coffee which many people find unpleasant.
Why is there sediment in Turkish coffee?
When you get the heavenly smell and the incredible taste of coffee, it’s reasonable to wonder why some people might be leaving the weirdest part of the coffee in the cup instead of filtering and throwing it away.
Nobody is denying that the sediment is not the most pleasant part of the coffee, in fact it can be quite unhealthy too.
Because of this, most western coffee making methods use some form of filtration. The espresso machine, moka pot and French press all work as a filter in some way. In pour over coffee, the coffee grounds are placed on the filter and water is poured over them. This way ending up with coffee grounds in your cup is avoided.
Filtering your coffee gets rid of the part that many find unpleasant and it also comes with the benefit of making your coffee healthier by filtering out chemicals in coffee grounds such as cafestol and kahweol that are linked to cholesterol problems.
There is sediment in Turkish coffee because it’s served without any kind of filtration.
Why is Turkish coffee not filtered?
The reason why Turkish coffee is not filtered is not so mysterious at all. It’s because we don’t bother with it. Turkish coffee has a pretty simple method where the extra finely ground coffee is boiled with water and it’s served in a tiny cup.
It’s best to wait 1-2 minutes to let it settle and this way all the grounds will be gathered at the bottom, not really bothering you when drinking the coffee.
And not only that the sediment is not bothersome it creates a great way to have fun and socialize; fortune telling.
I know it’s going to get lost in translation but there is this saying in Turkish about fortune telling; “Don’t believe in soothsaying but don’t avoid it either”. So fortune telling is something that we take lightly and use to have fun and spend time with our friends.
Is the sediment bad for you?
The sediment is the part where caffein is highly concentrated, so drinking it can cause all the symptoms of caffeine overconsumption such as sleep disturbance, anxiety and even stomach problems.
But the worst thing about the sediment is that it has high amounts of cafestol and kahweol, two chemicals in coffee that are linked to cholesterol issues.
So, is the sediment bad for you? Yes, it can cause many health problems from restlessness to increased cholesterol levels, so I wouldn’t advise drinking it.
Are there people who drink the sediment?
Although it’s pretty obvious why you shouldn’t drink the sediment, there are people who still believe that it’s good for you.
Alleged health claims include curing migraines, asthma, anemia, supporting heart health and digestion, making you smarter and being a natural painkiller.
These claims are most likely nothing but misleading assertions but there are some good ways to make use of the sediment.
Ingenious Ideas to Try
It may not be suitable for drinking but there are many smart ways to use the sediment.
- Put the sediment on a candle. As the candle burns away it will heat the sediment and create a beautiful coffee smell that fills the room.
- If your furniture needs some polishing, you can use the sediment for just that.
- You can rub the sediment on your hands and wash them. You won’t believe the phenomenal smell.
- First, let the sediment dry a little bit. Then you can place the dried sediment in your fridge or freezer to get rid of bad smells.
- You can put the sediment in the soil of your plants. It will make a really good fertilizer.
- You can use the sediment to exfoliate your skin.
- If your skin is dry on your heels and elbows, rub some sediment and then rinse it off. Sediment is a great home remedy for dry skin.
Sediment is the part of Turkish coffee that’s left at the bottom of the cup when you’re done drinking it and not many people find it pleasant.
Because of this Western coffee brewing methods often use some form of a filtration system. This helps get rid of the sediment as well as filtering out unhealthy chemicals such as cafestol and kahweol.
But simply letting your Turkish coffee settle for 1-2 minutes helps floating particles in your cup to gather at the bottom, this way you can enjoy it without being bothered by them. Also, not filtering Turkish coffee makes way to a fun pastime activity which is fortune telling.
Although it’s great for having fun, drinking the sediment is not a smart thing to do and hurt your health in many ways.
It’s not advisable to drink the sediment but it can be useful in many ways such as using as a fertilizer, incorporating it in your skin care routine and getting rid of bad smells.
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