Turkish Coffee Grinder

"Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love"
(A Turkish Proverb)

Turkish ibrik

Turkish coffee is an unusual concoction in the world of coffees. Rather than being pressed through a filter, the grounds are sprinkled on top of a pot (traditionally an ibrik) of cold water and sugar before heating. Done properly, the grounds should coat the surface of the water and create a layer of foam during the brewing process.

Why is the grinder important

In order to effectively coat the surface of the water and create this foam, though, the coffee must first be ground to a fine powder. Blade grinders are not adequate to this task. Some of the better burr grinders, such as the Rancilio Rocky, will grind finely enough for Turkish coffee at their finest setting. If you wish to enjoy Turkish coffee frequently, however, a Turkish coffee grinder, or degirmen, may be your best bet.

What is a Turkish coffee grinder

Turkish coffee grinder These coffee grinders are smaller than most other types of coffee grinders. They are similar in appearance to pepper mills - in fact, in some restaurants they are used as pepper mills, both because their fine, consistent grind suits pepper well and also because traditional Turkish coffee grinders have an attractive scrolled metal exterior. These grinders are small for a good reason - traditionally all Turkish coffee instruments were designed to be easily carried in saddlebags by nomads.

There are two main compartments inside a Turkish coffee grinder. The lower compartment holds the ground coffee, while the upper compartment contains the grinding burrs. A small screw on the outside of the top compartment controls the fineness of the grind, which is the consistency of cornmeal at the coarsest setting, and similar to cake flour at the finest.

Selecting a good grinder

Although one might assume that the best Turkish coffee grinders come from Turkey, this is no longer the case. Like a wide range of precision mechanical devices, the most reliable and long-lasting Turkish coffee grinders today are manufactured in Germany. The Zassenhaus brand is a particularly well constructed and reliable grinder. Most Zassenhaus grinders come with a ten year warranty and feature a solid brass crank, knob and body.

How to make Turkish coffee

Turkish Coffee Set for Four (with lids) You will need: And here are the steps: There are many variations on the recipe for Turkish coffee. Chicory is often added to the coffee grounds in Greece, coriander in Libya, and cardamom and/or rose water in many other places. Try adding cardamom seeds along with the sugar for an authentically Turkish taste. Because the grounds from your Turkish coffee grinder aren't filtered in this process, there will be a layer of sludge at the bottom of your cup. Do not drink the sludge. If you wish to follow Turkish tradition, however, you may upend your cup onto a saucer and have your grounds read by a fortuneteller!

Further Reading

Manual Coffee Grinders