Turkish delight

My cousin just posted pictures of our summer trip to Istanbul (don’t judge, I’ve yet to sort through mine), which has me feeling uber nostalgic for Europe in the summertime. There’s nothing quite like the combination of heat, cobblestones and salt in the air… Anyhow, it also awakened in me a craving for Turkish coffee.  The dark, sweet, luscious goodness that hits the spot after a meal, sobers you right up and helps things “settle”.

You won’t come across too many places in North America that serve Turkish coffee (believe me, I’ve looked) but I recently stumbled upon it at café Nuba in Vancouver. The Lebanese restaurant serves delicious Mediterranean fair and Turkish coffee by the cezve (a traditional Turkish coffee pot) at a very reasonable rate. The coffee portions are rather large, being that they serve a whole pot as opposed to individual cups, so one order is more than plenty for two persons. Nuba has now spread to 4 Vancouver locations: Downtown, Yaletown, Mount Pleasant and newest addition at the Waldorf Hotel. Be sure to give it a try next time you’re nearby. Remember, Turkish coffee is a social experience, meant to be shared with friends. This is no alternative for your latte to go.

And if there’s no Nuba in sight when your craving hits or you simply want to wow your guests with something different, try this recipe for a homemade brew.

What you’ll need:

–       finely ground, roasted coffee beans (powder consistency)

–       a Turkish coffee pot (cezve or dzezva)

–       water

–       sugar (optional)


The preparation method varies from country to country (or even household to household) so I’ll use the approach I learned from the best:

–       Pour one cup of cold water per serving into the pot, plus one extra cup. Note that the cups I’m referring to are not your standard measuring cups, but the small cups in which you serve Turkish coffee (pictured below).

–       Add one teaspoon of sugar per serving, if desired.

–       Put the pot on the stove (set to medium) and bring to an almost boil.

–       Just when you start to see the bubbles spark, remove the pot and add one hefty teaspoon (per serving) of coffee to the pot. Stir gently.

–       Lower the heat and return the pot to the stove, again bringing it to an almost boil. At this point you should start to see froth forming. Remove the pot from the stove and spoon some froth into each cup.

–       Now bring the pot back on to the stove and add another small cup of water. Bring this to an almost boil and remove the pot.

–       Let the coffee settle for a minute, then pour into individual cups.

Tip: Keep heat on medium (never high) and don’t let the water fully boil. This will ensure you get froth, which is key for a good pot.

It may sound like a lot of work for coffee, but it’s absolutely worth it. An additional bonus are the grinds left in your cup, traditionally used for fortune-telling. It could just save you a trip to the psychic.


4 Comments on “Turkish delight”

  1. Copy Cat says:

    LOL… love that “homemade” coffee 😀

    I now skip my psychic sessions since I drink this coffee 😀
    I predict my own future

    • Heather says:

      Sounds delicious–I will have to try it! Any tips on where to get the special pot?

      Also, Nuba is delicious!

  2. The Running MILF says:

    This reminds me of one of my favourite and most memorable moments with my dad (which were few and far between). When my mom would be visiting relatives in Cro, leaving my dad and I behind in Canada, I was left in charge of food and drink (which included making Turkish coffee for Tata)… But when it came to actually making it, I didn’t have a clue! Much to my surprise, my dad showed me step-by-step how to do it, which is exactly how you described above. The fact that I had never seen my dad do anything in the kitchen, I have to admit I was quite impressed – and the end result was beyond good… I love turkish coffee – and my dad too 😉

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