Sunday, February 27, 2005


turkish coffee, redux

long-time readers know that here at bccy sunday is pizza day, so after i once again marvelled at how folding the dough half-way through rising really improves it, i took another stab at turkish coffee.

during the week i had the opportunity to talk to a number of people, including the man who started it all, ahmet. it turns out ahmet also dislikes cardamom in his coffee; he claims it's a "syrian habit."

can any egyptians or syrians reading this affirm or deny his claim?

anyway, having received a fresh pound of batdorf dancing goat (thanks as always, jessica!), i thought. . .hmm, wonder how this caramelly, walnutty delight would be as turkish?

also, in response to email, i wondered if it could be made with splenda instead of raw sugar. i decided to make this test with some da vinci sugar-free simple syrup with splenda.

and finally, it was suggested to me that i try the coffee with cinnamon as well as cardamom. why? to help compensate for the loss of the delicate coffee aromatics that the brief boiling causes.

when i spoke to a professional exchange cupper, he disdained turkish coffee. "it's burnt, it's bitter, and it smells terrible," he literally sniffed.

and it's true i think that there is a little burnt sugar -- perhaps we could kindly call it "dark caramel" -- smell to the coffee, which a professional cupper who delights in the floral and citrus tones of his bright favorite (a kenya aa kirinyaga) would register with horror.

thus the spices to mitigate it. plus, they taste good. but really, as i've discovered for myself, well-prepared turkish coffee isn't the crime so many believe. . .

since in the standard turkish recipe you use as much sugar as coffee, i measured out a coffee scoop of the unflavored simple syrup to keep the proportions the same. and i reduced the water to 2 oz to accomodate the liquid of the syrup.

this time i tried the "3 foams" method, but found that with my current turkish skill level the froth didn't actually last any longer than with the "1 foam" method. so in the future i'll still to the 1 foam, because the less boiling the better.

it was still an interesting quick cup of coffee as a change, but it won't displace my other coffeemaking methods.

i do prefer the beautiful aromas found in a well-made cup of (nonboiled!) coffee. . .

as for the fortune-telling part, i did give that a try. i swirled the demitasse clockwise (to the right -- in turkish culture, the left is unlucky) 3 times, popped the saucer on top, and turned it over to let the dregs drain out so the grounds could form a pattern on the porcelain sides.

after much peering, i have to say all i saw was three upward-pointing triangular sections containing surprisingly regular geometric patterns, like a bride's henna decoration, or the embroidery at the bottom of a traditional middle-eastern dress.

after mocking me savagely, mr. right himself deigned to take a look and thought he perceived a dog towards the bottom of the cup.

according to the little explanation of symbols here (scroll down), this apparently means i have friends needing help. and the upward triangles are good luck.

whew.

posted by fortune | 12:21 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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