Tuesday, March 01, 2005


turkish coffee, part iv

just when i thought i was waaay done with my turkish coffee experiments -- it's such a simple method, right? -- along comes more information. and of course little of it is consistent; everyone disagrees.

however i do often visit i need coffee, and so i was over there early this morning checking out their turkish coffee tutorial.

after going through my email yesterday, a common thread appeared: that the heat should quite low, not medium-high, and that it appeared i wasn't using enough water or coffee for my size pot.

the majority urged me to use "enough water to fill the coffee to the bottom of the neck," slightly more than 5 oz. in my pot, and that i should use 14g (2 regular coffee scoops) coffee.

an interesting note of the i need tutorial is the author's insistence that you do not stir and also that you don't let the coffee boil. several of my correspondents stated themselves that if i put an instant-read thermometer into the ibrik i'd find that the coffee foams below boiling, 212 degrees f.

so that actually turkish coffee bubbles and simmers, yet never truly boils. this was a fair and quantifiable test, which i performed this morning.

and i did find that the coffee does seem to foam at about 205 or 206 degrees f., which is just at the upper limit for the recommended temperature of coffee brewing water.

and this would perhaps offer support for the theory that coffee for turkish should be light-roasted, since it's widely felt that most darkly roasted coffees are best brewed in the 195 to 200 degree f range.

being now out of fresh gillies yemen, i retreated to gillies yrgacheffe, and made the pot with the thermometer fast in it to monitor the temperature and make sure it didn't exceed 205. the coffee was much better, which i attribute to the careful use of the thermometer, but could also be due to the fact that i am quite fond of yrg.

tomorrow i'll test the "no-stir" method, since to change the coffee and the temperature and the stirring situation would be too many variable to move about at once for a fair trial.

if turkish can be made truly well, it's a useful method for a coffee lover in the morning seeking only a single small cup or two, because it has to be the fastest non-espresso brewing technique ever.

really: you can make a pot of turkish coffee in less time than it takes to boil water and wait for it to drip through a melitta filter, it seems to me.

as for my question about how the mermaid intends to offer turkish coffee in a quick-service context: apparently they could manage this by nestling ibriks in a gas-heated tray of sand, which allows the staff to make many individual turkish coffees at once without the problems of an open gas flame. i can't find a picture of one of these sand beds on the 'net anywhere. . .

however alties from greece also report that turkish is sometimes made by simply pouring water from the hot-water wand of the cafe's espresso machine into an ibrik with instant coffee(!) and stirring. this makes a very sub-par drink, obviously.

posted by fortune | 7:22 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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