Turkish Coffee and coffee grounds

Turkish coffee has always been drunk in Croatia. 

Now every cafeteria has a coffee machine to make excellent espressos and cappuccinos, but once you drank Turkish coffee everywhere. Even now, in homes, everyone makes coffee this way. The old brass and copper jugs are no longer used, more contemporary enamel iron pots are used, but coffee is still drunk in the same way.

the coffee of the past and coffee grounds

My grandmother was very good at making coffee. She had many of these small single-portioned brass jars. She always ground coffee at the moment, and she had her own way of turning the coffee into the pot. Her small hand and the spoon formed as a single magical instrument, with a rhythm and a sound all of her own. 

Every time someone came to visit her, she already had the kettle in her hand.

For many years my mother continued to use these same brass pots, but then they got oxidized and over the years they became knick-knacks.


To make this type of coffee the beans must be ground very thin. But it is not only a matter of fine grains, coffee is less toasted than what is commonly used in the West, and the taste remains softer, almost with a hint of chocolate and hazelnut.


Once you have tasted this coffee it is difficult to go back. One day I prepared this coffee in the office where I worked in Italy, and from that day I had to prepare it every day, everyone wanted Turkish coffee. They called it the coffee with sand. I always carried boxes of coffee and jugs with me.


Oh yes, we should also talk about the sand, or rather, the coffee grounds. And about this, there is a funny episode to tell. 

When my mother was young, it was common practice to read the coffee grounds left in the cup. My mother was against it, and only once did an elderly lady read her coffee grounds. She was still very young, and the lady told her she would be married far away and there would be many letters. Years passed and my mother forgot about it. Then she met my father, Italian, and they wrote many letters, until they married in Italy. Only later did she remember the episode.

One thing is certain: nobody has ever read my coffee grounds, because I did not want to.


Of the small objects of my grandmother's daily use, I have little left. The two brass jugs and the tiny copper jar she used only for the small spontaneous violets she collected in the yard (that has fallen many times, and it's all dented).

How to make a good Turkish coffee


Now I will try to explain how to make Turkish coffee. Of course everyone has his way of making this coffee. My mother does it one way, my aunt in another, and both say they do it like my grandmother used to do.

I think I will give you both ways.


First of all, get a little toasted coffee with a chocolate smell. Let it grind very thinly, or grind it yourself until you get a coffee powder. if you do not have a coffee pot you can also use one of those jugs to boil water that is taller than wide.


To avoid mistakes I always use a measure for water. A small cup (80 ml), a small teaspoon of sugar and a larger one of coffee per person. Naturally the amount of sugar depends on your taste. 


In any way you make turkish coffee, in the end the result is always the same: the liquid rises magically and forms a thick foam. And another thing that never puts anyone in agreement: how many times you have to put the pot on the fire and wait for it to get up. Many say two, some one, some even three (maybe just for fun). I do it only once, because I don't like cooking too much coffee.


Once ready, wait until the coffee has settled on the bottom, and then you can serve. I usually serve immediately, the coffee settles on the bottom of the cup. You just have to be careful towards the end, not to eat sand.


In my experience, coffee made in this way keeps more awake than coffee made with other machines. It is forbidden for me to take it in the afternoon, because I risk not sleeping at night.



My mother's method:

1. put the water to boil in a separate pot (not the one where you will make coffee), 80 ml per person;

2. place a generous teaspoon of coffee per person and a very small amount of sugar per person in the coffee pot, and mix the two ingredients together;

3. when the water boils pour it on the coffee and sugar and turn well;

4. put on low heat and wait for the liquid to rise (see the video);

5. remove from the heat.


My aunt's method:

1. boil the water together with sugar, directly in the coffee pot;

2. when it reaches the boil, remove from the heat and add the coffee and turn it well;

3. put on the fire and wait for the liquid to rise, once or twice;

4. remove from the heat.


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