Thursday, 27 June 2019
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Make the best Turkish Coffee, step-by-step and creative ways to use the grounds.

make turkish coffee

Image credit: Unsplash - A copper 'finjan'. Traditionally used when making Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee refers to very finely and freshly ground coffee beans that are combined with water, brought to the boil in a traditional  pot called a finjan.  To make the perfect cup of coffee sugar is often added prior to boiling.  The coffee is brought to a boil and just before it boils over, it is taken off the heat.  It can be brought up to the boil for a second or third time, but no more than that. Traditionally Turkish coffee is made over hot coals.  The coffee blend can be flavored with cardamon.  Turkish Coffee is traditionally served in small ceramic cups and accompanied by sweet baklawa pastries or Turkish Delight. 

The first time we visited Istanbul, we were surprised to learn that Turks prefer tea to Turkish Coffee yet the origins of Turkish coffee go back to the time of the Ottoman Empire.  The tradition of drinking Turkish or black coffee has spilled over into neighboring countries, each with their own name and influences.

In Israel Turkish coffee is very much part of the local culture; in homes, coffee shops and restaurants, over a game of backgammon, while sitting around a camp-fire, on the beach, on the sidewalk by municipal road-workers or simply anywhere.

The traditional way of making Turkish Coffee takes some time to prepare and who has much of that these days?  To beat the clock, Israelis have invented their own version (after all Israel is the Startup Nation) and it's called "Botz" - Hebrew בוץ - which literally means 'mud')  

How to make the best Turkish Coffee, step-by-step

One tablespoon of ground coffee beans per person + one cup of water (room temperature).

Sugar to taste (or not, as you prefer)

Ground cardamon (1 ground pod or 1/8th tsp) - optional

Pour water into a finjan (or small pot), add coffee and sugar, bring to the boil.  Just before it boils over, remove from heat.  Repeat the boiling process twice more, if you prefer.

From the finjan pour into small ceramic cups and serve. 

Note that Turkish Coffee does not get strained and so coffee grounds will land up in your cup. Read on for some creative ways to use up these grounds...

How to make the best 'Botz' step-by-step

Boil the kettle, pour one cup of boiled water into a mug, add store bought Turkish Coffee ('El Nakhla" brand and Elite's Turkish Coffee with cardamon are our favorites), add sugar, stir, allow to settle for a few minutes, serve and enjoy.

Turkish Coffee grounds do's and dont's -  8 creative uses for coffee grounds

  1. After drinking your coffee, swirl the coffee grounds and ask a friend to read your fortune.
  2. Do not pour the coffee grounds down the sink - kitchen grime combines with the grounds and blocks the drain. (We've got a plumber for you if you missed this tip)
  3. Coffee grinds neutralize odors, so place them in your fridge to get rid of bad smells
  4. Coffee grounds are abrasive so you can used leftover grinds to scrub pots and pans.  Great tip for campers who forget to pack dish-washing detergent.
  5. Coffee grounds can be used as an insect repellent.
  6. Use the coffee grounds as a fertilizer for your plants. Coffee grounds contain several key minerals for plant growth — nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium
  7. Mix coffee grounds with honey or olive oil and use to exfoliate your skin
  8. Coffee grounds can be used as a natural dye.  Soaking white fabric in coffee will give the fabric that aged, vintage look

Does Israel have a national food? What are our favorites?

How to make Ben Gurion's rice

'Pitzuchim' - snacks like sunflower- and pumpkin-seeds and nuts go well with Turkish Coffee. Learn the Hebrew words with our free word-sheets with English and transliterations.

Know who's near! Locate Anglo, oleh-friendly professionals and merchants in your area