What is Turkish Sand Coffee?

By Megan Dority — / Coffee Talk

This Ancient Tradition Uses Sand to Make Coffee

For starters, Turkish Sand Coffee isn’t a coffee roast—it’s actually a brewing method that’s similar to cooking. A cup of Turkish coffee is thicker and stronger than any other brewing method, and that’s because the finely ground coffee beans are not filtered out of the finished cup. Yes, when you drink Turkish coffee, you’re drinking the coffee grinds, too.

Turkish coffee about to be brewed using a pan filled with sand heating over an open flame and a special wide-bottomed pot called a cezve.

[Photo Credit: Gabriele Stravinskaite via Unsplash]

Traditionally, a cup of Turkish coffee is brewed by using a pan filled with sand that’s heated over an open flame. The sand-filled pan allows for total control over the heat. Cups left on the surface stay warm, and the heat used for brewing can be adjusted by the depth of the coffee in the sand.

The fine coffee grinds and water are added to a special wide-bottomed pot called a cezve, and then they are mixed and placed in the hot sand. The sand creates an even heat, and the coffee foams to the top almost immediately. The cezve is removed and added to the sand three to four times and served in a small cup. The coffee grounds quickly settle to the bottom, making for a strong, thick cup of coffee. 

Turkish coffee is always served in small cups called demitasse cups, which are like espresso cups and often enjoyed with a side of dessert. From grinding to cooking and serving this coffee, it’s like a special ceremony. Lucky for you, you can enjoy this special delicacy at home with this DIY Turkish Coffee recipe.

How To Make Turkish Coffee

The most important ingredient is obviously coffee—high-quality coffee. A coffee with natural ingredients, Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic like Death Wish Coffee is a must. It’s also important to make sure your coffee beans are fresh and finely ground for Turkish Coffee.

A small mug on a silver plate with Turkish Coffee inside.[Photo Credit: Onder Ortel via Unsplash]

Turkish Coffee Recipe

Ingredients and Brewing Tools:

Instructions:

  1. Measure desired amount of water with a coffee mug and pour it directly into the small pot, or cezve. (Remember, it’s best to use cold water to have the best foams.)
  2. Measure the ground coffee. We recommend 2.5 teaspoons of ground coffee per cup.
  3. Add the ground coffee to the coffee pot.
  4. Mix coffee and water in a Turkish coffee pot until well combined. Add sugar if desired.
  5. Place the coffee pot on low heat and let it sit while stirring 2-3 times.
  6. Remove pot from heat once it's about to boil and foam rises.
  7. Using a teaspoon, share the foams into each coffee mug.
  8. Return the pot to the stove on medium heat and let the mixture rise again. Remove once it begins to boil and pour the coffee into the cups.

Grim Reaper Pro Tips:

  • Use fresh ground coffee that has been stored in an airtight container.
  • Never try to make it with warm or hot water. Use cold, filtered water.
  • Slowly mix the coffee, water and sugar (optional) in the pot until combined. Be patient and don’t mix it too fast.
  • Cook your coffee on the lowest heat, stirring occasionally. Never let it boil.
  • Remove the pot before it boils and share the foams into the cups using a teaspoon.
  • After transferring the foams to the cups and reheating the coffee, pour it slowly into the cups so the bubbles remain safe.

While this may not be your go-to brewing method for early mornings, this brewing method is the real deal and might be the most authentic way to get a cup of Turkish coffee.

RELATED: How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

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