Turkish Coffee

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This is basically espresso. My family called it Turkish coffee because they had immigrated from Eastern Turkey. Others call it Armenian, Greek, or Arabic coffee. The preparation is basically the same, and it’s easy because it relies on a 1:1 ratio. Growing up, my grandma served it with milk to us kids, and then proceeded to read our fortunes in the dried coffee grounds. As an adult, I have assumed the role of fortune teller. It’s a great shtick for dinner parties, and I generally find something relevant, even piercing, in the various patterns I see. Some of my secrets are in this very recipe.



Turkish coffee

I make this coffee for myself in the afternoons because it perks me up for dinnertime and evening activities. Since every ingredient follows a 1:1 ratio, simply multiply the ingredients times the number of people you are serving.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Arabic, coffee, Turkish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1 tsp ground Arabic coffee (add cardamom if desired)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 demitasse water


  • Put all ingredients into an Arabic coffee pot and set over medium flame.  Stir constantly as you bring to a boil, then quickly remove from heat. Boil again if you want foam. 
  • Pour into demitasses and serve.
  • When finished, turn the cup upside down onto its saucer and then spin the cup around three times, clockwise. Let it dry for at least 5 minutes.
  • To learn your fortune, first lift the cup up and see if sticks to the saucer such that the saucer rises in the air (as featured here). Since the drinker of this cup will experience the ultimate good fortune, there is no reason to continue reading the cup. The session is over.
  • If the cup breaks free of the saucer, you can look inside for interesting patterns and images in the grounds. You can also look for interesting patterns on the saucer itself. If you are drinking with me, I will gladly read your cup at this point. I promise you will hear something thought-provoking and fanciful!

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