Turkish coffee Turkish coffee Israeli Kitchen Photo: Hayati Kayhan/Shutterstock

Turkish coffee

Anywhere in Israel and anytime, you'll find people sipping cups of Turkish coffee.

  • Yield: Serves 1
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes

Turkish coffee is taken for granted all throughout the Israeli day. I’m amused to see a recent advertising campaign – billboards showing that little glass of black liquid integrated into the graphics of the words “at work,” “at home,” “on vacation.” It seems superfluous. Nobody needs to be reminded to boil water for Turkish coffee, in any situation.

Sometimes, walking downtown at around 3 p.m., I see the saleswomen taking a break in the shop doorways – each one sipping languidly from a glass of Turkish coffee. Go into any workshop – carpenter, metal worker, printer – and you’ll glimpse that same glass on the desk between the receipts and the phone.

Bank clerks and secretaries automatically offer to bring fellow workers coffee as they jump up to get their own caffeine fix. Visit friends in the late afternoon and most likely they’ll offer you cookies and a cup of that same Turkish coffee.

Myself, I drink one cup a day, at breakfast, and with milk, which isn’t traditional but is the way I like it.

Turkish coffee is traditionally made in a finjan – a special pot with a long handle, wider at the bottom so that most of the grounds stay behind when you pour the coffee out. In Israel, they’re for sale everywhere. But if you don’t have a finjan, you can make it in any small pot.

It can be coffee from any bean you like. The important thing is that it be finely ground. A coarse grind won’t give you the aroma and flavor of the real thing.

You’ll often smell cardamom in the Turkish coffee as you go past someone’s steaming cup. I’m not fond of cardamom in coffee myself, but many like it very much. I’m including the spice in the recipe for you to use at your own discretion.


  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 heaping teaspoon extra finely ground coffee (experiment with less or more, according to taste)
  • 1/8 ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


Turkish coffee

Bring water and sugar to a boil in the pot.

Remove from heat and add coffee and cardamom.

Return pot to the heat and allow the coffee to come to a boil, while stirring. Remove from the heat when the coffee foams.

Pour the coffee into a cup or glass. Drink immediately; the finest aroma is considered to be in the head of froth.

Related Topics: Desserts

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