How to Use an Ibrik to Make Easy Turkish Coffee

In our ongoing quest here at Casual Kitchen to find the perfect cup of coffee, I'm going to share with you yet another delicious and relatively easy way to prepare coffee: Turkish style.

Making this amazingly strong and energizing coffee requires just a little bit of extra alertness--as you'll soon see--but once you've had a bit of practice you'll find the entire process quite easy.

Here's all you'll need to make a great cup of Turkish coffee:
1) an Ibrik (this is the name for the long-handled pot that you'll brew your coffee in)
2) Turkish grind coffee
3) water
4) a teaspoon
5) optional sugar

1) First fill your ibrik up about 3/4 full with cool water. If you prefer sweetened coffee, add 2-4 teaspoons of sugar to the water, depending on your preference for sweetness.

2) Then, add the coffee. You must use extremely finely ground coffee--Turkish grind coffee is more like coffee powder than grounds. We've successfully used espresso grind coffee too, but powdery Turkish grind is best.

For our ibrik, which holds about 8 ounces when 3/4 full, I'd add 3 heaping teaspoons of coffee. For larger or smaller ibriks, use a similar ratio of coffee. Don't try and make this coffee too weak, or the ghost of Ataturk will come and get you.

3) Gently set the grounds on top of the water so that they float. Do not stir. The grounds should form a smooth mound and should cover the entire surface of the water.

4) Place the ibrik on a burner set to medium high heat (note: from this point forward, pay very close attention to what you're doing. And it goes without saying that this is one of the key times when you should never leave the kitchen). After a few minutes, the grounds will start to absorb the water. A few minutes more, and you'll see the coffee start to foam up around the edges. At this point, turn the heat down just a little bit so the water doesn't come to a boil too rapidly.

5) The coffee will now start foaming up more and more, and soon the foam will approach the top of the ibrik. When this happens, remove the ibrik from the heat and let the foam subside. And if you didn't believe me before when I said to pay very close attention, you should believe me now. It only takes a few seconds for the foam to overflow the edge of the ibrik and splatter all over your stove, thereby ruining not just your coffee but your entire morning! I speak from experience: it's critical to keep a careful eye on things.

6) Next, put the ibrik back on the burner, and let it foam up again. Again, after a few seconds, remove from heat to let the foam subside.

7) Put the ibrik back on the burner for a lucky third and final time and let it foam up once more. By now, very few of the grounds will remain floating on the surface of the water and you'll clearly see the coffee is blended and nearly ready.

8) Finally, remove the ibrik from the heat source and let it sit for 30-45 seconds so the grounds can settle to the bottom of the pot. Then, gently and slowly pour out the coffee. Pour smallish cups (this stuff is strong, don't forget!) and pay close attention to the coffee as it pours. You'll want to stop pouring when you start to see coffee sediment coming from the ibrik. After all, nobody wants to drink the sludge in the bottom of the pot.

That's it! Enjoy your Turkish coffee!

Two final items:
1) Here is the exact model of the ibrik that we have in our kitchen. It's lightweight, easy to clean and not that expensive. I've also included links to some other Turkish coffee-related items from Amazon at the bottom of this post, if you want to consider buying other related accessories. Remember, whenever you head over to Amazon using links on my blog, I receive a small affiliate fee from any purchases you decide to make (and I thank my readers for their support!).

2) A note of caution: there are some mornings when Turkish coffee just isn't the right thing to make. If you wake up and barely have the cognitive skills to push the "on" button on your automatic drip pot, you are not in a position to make a pot of Turkish coffee. It will all end in tears and you'll have a big mess on your stove.

Related Posts:
The Macchinetta: Stovetop Espresso Coffee
The French Press
Calling All Coffee Addicts: 100% Kona Coffee
Spending to Save: Frugality and Expensive Food
Stacked Costs and Second-Order Foods: A New Way to Think About Rising Food Costs

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Steve said...

Thanks for the recipe, Dan. I love strong coffee.

Leigh said...

What a great, fun post! I've been looking for a good stove top espresso maker but haven't found one yet that works. This will be a great way to make the strong coffee we like!

Daniel said...

Hi Steve, you are welcome! Glad you found this useful.

Leigh, great to hear from you! If you love strong coffee, this is one of the best ways to go. Thanks for reading!


Mahir's Turkish Coffeehouse said...

Dan it's a good tutorial to brew Turkish coffee. Thanks!

You can prepare your Turkish coffee with different recipes. I've a blog about Turkish Coffee, and the link below shows different Turkish coffee recipes:

Daniel said...

Hi Mahir, thank you for sharing!


Unknown said...

Good recipe Dan. Here's a tip for the water measurement. You can basically use the cup that you'll be drinking out of (typically small espresso style cups). Use it as a measuring cup for the water. i.e. 2 cups of water = 2 cups of coffee. That way you know that you'll be brewing the exact amount you need.

Daniel said...

Great advice W, thank you for stopping by!