Coffee is one of the most versatile beverages, and many countries around the world have fine tuned their unique take on this delicious drink.
Turkish coffee is a thick, unfiltered preparation that is common in many parts of South Europe and the Middle East. It has its roots deep in history, having been made popular during the Ottoman Empire.
Having come a long way since those first days, Turkish coffee is now enjoyed around the world, with each country giving their own unique take on this strong and delicious staple.
Here, we take you through the basics of Turkish coffee, and how other countries have modified the recipe to enhance their own experience.
Unlike your traditional espresso preparations, Turkish coffee is made by grinding the coffee beans to a very fine powder before steeping them in hot water and sugar.
When served, the coffee is left unfiltered, and served with sweet treats. Both arabica and robusta beans are used for such preparations, and the result is a balanced and bold flavor, with a thick and creamy texture.
While the coffee itself is delicious, many cultures add additional spices in order to produce more complex and interesting flavors.
Spices Used In Turkish Coffee
Putting spices in tea isn’t anything new, so it only makes sense that coffee can also benefit from the nuanced and complex flavors that spices can bring.
Cardamom is the most often used spice, when it comes to making Turkish coffee, as this grows prolifically throughout the region, making for an obvious choice.
However, different countries in the world favor different types of spices, depending on their availability. These regional spices have made their way into the blend over thousands of years.
North African Turkish Coffee
North Africa has a rough and dry climate, and as such, produces different coffee plant varietals. While the European continent can support a wide range of spice plants, North African coffee lovers utilize the robust flavors of coriander to spice their coffee.
This produces a beautiful acidic flavor that is loved throughout the region, and it’s not uncommon to find cinnamon, cloves, and cumin in the mix as well.
Middle Eastern Turkish Coffee
The Middle East is well known for their spice production. Nutmeg, cloves, anise, and cinnamon are all common spices used in coffee preparations. The combinations of each tends to differ from country to country.
For instance, the Lebanese coffee preparation uses up to 30% cardamom in it, and is regarded as one of the strongest and most tasty variations of the delicious blend.
South European Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is enjoyed throughout the countries of the southern part of Europe, where the Ottomans spread their influence throughout history.
The people of Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro continue to incorporate coffee into their afternoon routine, though the coffee itself may be prepared in different ways.
Turkish coffee is even very popular throughout Greece, though you’ll find it referred to as Greek coffee in that region, due to the historical tensions between the countries.
As a coffee lover, you can’t go past the sweet, rich flavors of Turkish coffee. Having been developed over centuries, this unique style of brew has been able to stand the test of time, and is consumed as part of a daily routine in many counties around the world.
Spices bring a unique touch to this thick, bold brew, and you can take inspiration from many parts of the world by adding them to your cup.
We hope that this guide to the spices that are used in Turkish coffee has inspired you to make coffee time an essential part of your afternoon.