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Mar 3, 2005 09:53 PM

Arabic/Turkish/Greek Coffee?

  • j

Can anyone provide me with a tried-and-true formula for making this style of coffee (the kind made in a brass ibrik with the long handle like you get in Greece or Turkey? I have the fine-ground coffee, the ibrik, etc, but it just does not come out quite the same. Thanks!

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    1. c

      How are you making it? I've been doing this myself lately, and I haven't reached perfection yet either, so am interested in any replies you get. But I use three spoons of coffee to just shy a spoon of sugar and one cardamom pod. Put in the pot with as much water as will make just over two little cups worth. Bring to boil, remove from heat, let settle, then boil again two more time. It's pretty good but not perfect, as I said. I think my proportions are a little off.

      1. a morrocan friend gave me this formula which seems to work well:

        - put a flat teaspoon of sugar (i use brown) into the pot
        - add water, bring up to a boil while stirring to dissolve sugar
        - fill up a rounded tablespoon of coffee (mine already has cardamom in it)
        - with the other hand, lift the pot off the heat and dip the spoon into the water and stir until the coffee comes off the spoon
        - put back on heat, but don't let go of the handle
        - when it starts to foam, lift it off, stir gently, and put back on heat
        - repeat 3x
        - turn heat off ... serve it up.

        gonna go make some right now

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nab

          Much the same as above, but what I learnt to do in the Balkans was to tap the flat bottom of the pot VERY gently to make the grounds settle after the coffee begins foaming up. Tapping instead of stirring produces almost grounds-free coffee with plenty of foam to share out - or all for yourself if there are no guests.

          The other refinement was to top off the pot with a few teaspoons of cold water after initially adding the spoonful of coffee and stirring. The coffee takes a little longer to boil the first time.

          Look for a cheap chunky enamel coffeepot with a wide neck and mouth - like 1970's socialist Yugoslavian style. Not as pretty as the narrow-necked copper ones, but infinitely better for making coffee. You can try a narrow-necked pot if you like, but be warned that the coffee can boil up and over in a flash, whereas the wide-necked pots are more forgiving.

          My favourite brand of coffee here in the US is Cafe Najjar with cardamon. It's Lebanese with the charming motto "qui dit cafe pense najjar". You will find it in most Turkish or Middle Eastern shops.

        2. I used the recipe on Natasha's site (referred to by one of my respondents) and it turned out quite well. I think the issue I was facing was that I was using too large an ibrik with too little water. I was also stirring up the coffee/sugar/water prior to heating it, which Natasha advises against, claiming that the layer of undissolved coffee at the top of the ibrik causes the water beneath to boil up through the coffee. In any event, using her method I got the foam I wanted and the long-sought flavor, too!

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