Füsun A.



Montréal, CANADA
January 12
Freelance Writer - jack of all genres;master of none.
warm and genuine
I divorced my full time career of teaching after 25 years, because meanwhile I fell in love with freelance writing. Ever since, I decided to legitimize my ten-year fling which started in the new millennium. Author of: "WILL OF MY OWN - A Memoir" Available at all major book outlets. For a preview please visit: http://www.dictionmatters.com/


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 8, 2010 3:02AM

Café à la Turc~ Turkish Coffee

Rate: 24 Flag

Rich in tradition and flavor, Turkish coffee remains a favorite today.


Turkish coffee is a flavourful and often strong coffee, prepared in a special pot called 'cezve'. Cezve holds one, two or three servings. In most households the flame of the gas stove is used for cooking the coffee.



Its claim to fame comes not only in its taste, but also in the way that it is made. For each serving a small cup (fincan) of cold water, a tablespoon of extra finely ground Arabica coffee (of powder consistency) and sugar to taste (optional but recommended) are added to the cezve. If you cannot find Arabica coffee, use the finest grind of coffee available.  Cezve is placed on fire; and the water, coffee and sugar are stirred together until well combined.   After this point, remove the spooon and do not stir any more


In a few minutes, small bubbles will form around the edges of the cezve.  The coffee should never boil, but you should see a foam (froth) form around the coffee and start to fill towards the middle.  Do not stop watching because the foaming happens fast.  Pour slowly into each fincan, distributing the foam equally and allow to sit for a couple of minutes. 


oops - that's what happens if you don't watch

this is what happens if you don't pay attention !

Since there is no filtering of coffee at any time during the process, wait for a couple of minutes before drinking your Turkish coffee while the coffee grounds settle at the bottom of the cup. The sediment at the bottom is not consumed.

un bon digestif
Usually, in social gatherings, the cups are turned upside down on the saucers and allowed to cool. Then the drinker's fortune is read from the coffee grounds remaining in the cup. There is often an older person such as a grandmother, an aunt or a neighbor who is known for her fortune telling powers and she is sought after especially by young girls who are curious to find out if there's an engagement or a marriage in their near future.

I've heard many fortune telling sessions as I grew up, and most of them sound similar - promising the usual: a long and a couple of short journeys, a happy reunion with someone from the past, an unexpected mini fortune, lightening of the heart and escape from accumulated worries in the near future. It is the degree of animation and drama, the power of engagement that the fortune teller has which is the fun part of listening to one's coffee fortune.

Ladies listen and then discourse seriously, "Hmm, who could it be? We aren't expecting any relatives." Or "Inshallah, from your lips to Allah's ears, what kind of wealth might that be?"  This is all part of the fun and the lore. 

Here is the simple recipe: 

(This is for one, multiply by as many servings as you wish)

1 Tablespoon very finely ground Arabica coffee

1 teaspoon sugar (or sweetener)

1 fincan (demitasse) cold water


On a burner, combine all in the cezve.  Stir well and bring to a boil, turn down heat and watch until slow foam starts to to rise towards the middle.  Remove from heat and slowly pour into the fincan trying to keep the foam on top.   A great digestif after a heavy meal !  Bon Appétit.  Afiyet Olsun!

A demonstration may be worth a thousand words.




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Füsun Atalay ~ 2010

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Spilling the coffee beans . . .
I have always wanted to make this kind of coffee style. I dated a man from Iraq when I was in college who made it for me. Thank you so much. I'm gonna try.
Sounds wonderful!!
Simply fantastic, Maestro!
I used to get this when I went down to Toronto Fusun. I still miss the coffee shop and the kind owners. Thanks for the memory.
I've always been curious about Turkish coffee. Thank you, Fusun, for teaching me something today! The pictures are great and I really like the part about fortune-telling - not your average coffee experience. By the way, please don't think this is weird, but how do you pronounce your name? - I will probably never meet you, but I want to make sure I say it correctly if I do.
I bet you add a dash of that Fusun whoopass that takes this coffee to new heights. Am I right or am I right?
@Lucy: We never know what Life has in store for us-I mean who would've thought Scanner whould win an Oscar last night? I hope we have a chance to meet one day and I'll offer you Turkish coffee. Meanwhile, you can practise the pronunciation of my name by putting these words together: "few" and "soon". That's the closest I can think.
Fantastic, Fusun! I love Turkish coffee and did not know much about it. I love the part about fortune telling as part of the ritual. Thanks for sharing this.
I've had Turkish coffee - here in Canada. I was a little surprised to find in Turkey that most people drank tea (in funny little glasses) and the coffee was American-style. (Of course, we were on a tour and only superficially 'in' Turkey...)
This brings back good memories of Istanbul....:)
CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING COVER!!!! This calls for a hot, steaming cup of freshly ground, brewed Arabica with a healthy shot of raki. No? I've become something a coffee nut. Grind my own beans (a local roastery - fresh weekly) with a hand grinder (crank looks just like the one you show here, but my grinder is...um...somewhat less ornate) and French press the nectar after four-minutes of steeping. No sugar, no cream. Gawd, but it gets me off to the right start every day.

Your recipe looks like it might make a good dessert, with a healthy shot of raki, of course! (r)
finally, a recipe I can do. Thanks fusunA.
Another great Post! I drink a lot of coffee, but have never drank Turkish. The stronger the better!
I met my husband when I was working in a department store and he came in to buy demitasse cups for his then-girlfriend, for making Turkish coffee. I bought a pot, a brass grinder just as shown in the photo, and learned to make baklava. I already had my own set of demitasse cups.

Make coffee, catch a husband. Some things never change.
@ Myriad: You are right. Tea is really the national non-alcoholic beverage of Turks. First thing in the morning is to put the kettle on and the tea seeps all day long. Since so much of it is consumed, we drink it in small hour-glass shaped glasses which display the crimson-ruby color of the tea. Nowadays, although Turkish coffee is still very much popular, there's also a trend toward "American" coffee. Funny thing is, much of that is what is ordered as Nescafe.
This is fantastic. I love the fortune telling ritual. Gives 'going for coffee' a whole new meaning.
"Make coffee, catch a husband. Some things never change."
@ ladyslipper: It's interesting that you point that out, because in older days when a suitor and his family came to ask for a young girl's hand, it was her duty to make coffee and serve it to her prospective in-laws. The ritual provided a chance for the young people to see each other and the in laws to evaluate her culinary ability (just by the quality of her coffee). How innocent and naive were those days !
@Clark: My friend, I'd hold off the raki till later in the evening. However, Turkish coffee is usually served with Turkish Delight, known as "lokum". Another option is a piece of baklava as shown in the video. Whether you like your coffee stright, strong or dark, when you speak Turkish, you just cannot get away from the sweet:o)
My sister-in-law is Georgian and introduced me to this DELICIOUS coffee. Enjoyable post! Rated.

Thanks for posting, I bought the ability to make this, the parts and pieces that is, at a charity silent auction years back, yikes it came without instructions and it was before the appearance of the internet.....I was lost. I still have the lovely cups. Rated.
This looks fantastic. I love coffee!
About a million years ago I went to dinner in Tenafly, NJ at the home of my girlfirend's mother. The family was Armenian and we had an incredible dinner followed by Turkish coffee. We all turned over our cups and moments later, Mom offered to read fortunes. She looked into her daughter's/my girlfriend's cup and said "I see a man down on one knee." Talk about a relationship-killer...days later, my girlfriend and I were no longer together. It was a great last meal though.
Csok merci! I remember having my coffee cups read often.
This is a beautiful post. I love Turkish coffee but have never had my fortune told. _r
I love Turkish Coffee. Two notes on preparation: ideally, the coffee should be really, really, really finely ground. Finer than for espresso. It should feel something like talcum powder. Many supermarkets have heavy-duty commercial grinders for your use. These will make a good fine ground. Home grinders less so. I've been taught to bring up the foam, stir to stop the foaming, bring it up again, stir, then bring it up a third time and don't stir, but take off the heat. I imagine this produces a stronger cup than a single foaming. You may want to experiment. Don't be shy about putting sugar in it. This is the only form of coffee I use sugar in, and I think it's really a must.
@replicnt6: Thank you for all the great tips. I agree with your advice and hope that readers will take a note of it. Foaming thrice does make a stronger layer on top; and I do recommend using sugar in this case as well - or a piece of Turkish delight to accompany.
Thank you ! Merci mille fois! For this wonderful and enticing post! Lucky me–– I have the cezve, as in your photo! I inherited it from my world traveler aunt who went to Turkey and brought back that and some grinders ( but somebody stole those , alas!) In my family I hold the title as the most fanatic coffee drinker. I have compared coffee in Paris to Florence and Rome–– in Vienna to Budapest; but I am well aware that the Turks really brought coffee to Vienna, and actually to Europe! Always wanted to make this. I have to satisfy my interest with visits to a local restaurant until now... Hooray!
This is so well thought out and elegantly presented, Mme.Atalay!
Oh, and in your comments you mention Turkish delight. I adore Turkish delight, or the americanized version that comes out of Washington state. I'll have to try Turkish coffee and ruby red tea in hourglass shaped glasses sounds delightful.
Thanks for this - Turkish coffee is great - open, full flavored, just what it is without cream, flavorings or pretense - just like Turkey.
What surprised me in Turkey is that you can't get Turkish coffee for breakfast.
Heck 90% of the time, you get Nescafe powder in hotels, b&bs, etc.
The real stuff they serve after dinner.
And they drink tea with their breakfasts.
A great post :) Thank you Fusun. I'm very insterested in Turkish coffee too. Actually, I'm writing a blog solely about it (Turkish Coffee Blog - http://www.turkishcoffeeblog.com).

If you want to prepare Turkish coffee at home, why don't take a look at my recipes. It's much easier than you think! :)
So happy to see a recipe. Excellent, Füsun!