I like to make this coffee on weekends when no one is yet awake.
Sleeping is boring but apparently everyone in my house believes otherwise. This gives me time to spend on this luxury without being bothered and enjoy watching another gorgeous sunrise or when the sun rises later than me – just to appreciate the tranquility of the moment.
The art of cooking coffee in jezve – Turkish coffee pot (a.k.a Ibrik, Cezve) – is quite elaborate and involved. You are committing to engage in a very involved process that requires undivided attention, lots of manual effort and making all the right moves at the right time to get to the creamy end result. As you get better at it, the desire to continue learning and experimenting with different varieties and methods only increases.
First we need to do some ground work and prepare the material.
The best coffee comes out of freshly roasted beans ground just before brewing. I use a manual coffee grinder with ceramic burr capable of making fine powder out of the grains, much finer than the espresso sold in stores. A manual grinder is the choice of coffee connoisseurs because there is a midwife tale that electric ones heat up the grains resulting in loss of flavor. I really don’t know if its true but manual grinding feels more authentic to me. Besides, I don’t mind a bit of an exercise. Tense core stomach muscles while at it and here it is – two-three minutes of a very nice core workout.
Once the stage is set up – we are entering the critical phase that doesn’t forgive distractions from the main objective.
- Heat it too fast and the coffee will not have enough time to release its flavonoids into the water.
- Let it boil and it will leave a bitter taste in your mouth and the froth will disappear which is a huge disaster.
- Pay little attention to brewing process and the coffee will escape leaving you with a mess.
Similar to what the experts say about love making – be observant, cognizant of every little hint of a movement and act quickly to pull out from the fire at the right moment.
Now a tip that every decent coffee making site mentions but very few actually tell or show how to achieve it.
It is given that we want our coffee strong and flavorful but the trick is to make rich froth (a.k.a. crema) on top of it. The froth starts developing as coffee in the jezve gets hotter. Sort of like when she creams when seriously excited (do not mix up with her getting wet). So that thick gooey froth is the best sign of a great coffee they say. In fact in many countries in the East the amount of the froth served indicates respect to the guest. This is not all. Things apparently get more complicated. The froth shouldn’t have any bubbles in it – rather look like a thick gooey substance. Getting rich froth of this consistency is challenging but if I would be looking for easy ways to get my pleasures .
There are five parts to making great froth:
- Super fine ground coffee beans. Powder them to the tiniest particles.
- Sugar – definitely helps keeping the shape and consistency.
- Quick reaction and intuition – boil it and the froth will disintegrate.
- Collection of froth as it appears into serving cups ahead of pouring (Not everyone recommends doing it).
- Pouring techniques. I need to practice them to recommend something that worked for me.
The brewing process essentially consists of slowly teasing the coffee by allowing it to heat up but never boil. Unlike sex, unless you love to practice orgasm denial, we don’t want our efforts to culminate in an uncontrollable burst and overflow. The objective is to have adequate time to infuse water with the best flavors and taste the coffee can offer. As mentioned above – that requires time, slow build up of heat and precision to remove the brew from heat just on time before it boils.
I prefer to fill jezve with cold, filtered water. 1 1/2 amount of water that fits in my demitasse cup. Three heaping tea spoons of freshly ground coffee powder goes on top of the water. There are lots of variations, however. Some folks like to heat up the jezve then add coffee into it and roast it a bit before adding cold water. Some pour hot water on top. Some mix, some don’t mix. The varieties are so vast and tasty,
Anyway, for this particular coffee – fill the jezve with cold filtered water and leave space for three teaspoons of ground coffee that goes on top of cold water. If sugar is used, mix it with cold water prior to putting coffee.
Leave the coffee powder unmixed. Hot water will soak it all. Most recipes suggest mixing it in. Up to you. I found no difference but may be I wasn’t searching too deep.
Place the jezve on a very slow fire. Like a fine lady – the brew has to warm up to the occasion slowly but surely.
You’ll know when things are getting real in about 10 minutes when similar to her belly shaking through the very first series of micro orgasms the surface in jezve will begin showing signs of being alive.
It is important to catch the moment when slow appearing foam transforms into a fast moving mass attempting to escape with rapid speed out of jezve.
As I mentioned earlier. We cannot allow the brew to boil or to escape! Be on the lookout.
Quickly remove jezve from the fire before the froth gets filled with air bubbles and make sure nothing spills.
Scoop up the foam into your coffee cup, add a pinch of ground pepper into jezve.
After that return the pot back on slow fire and let it raise again removing from fire just in time to avoid the spillage and boiling.
Repeat this 3 times making your coffee go crazy but never letting it get out of control each time scooping up the foam like you would do with your partner – carefully and gently but firmly and without wasting much time.
After the 3rd time – add a pinch of good quality salt and a small piece of good butter.
Let it dissolve, then pour and enjoy.