How to make Turkish coffee

 Here’s everything you need to know” about Turkish coffee: the type of coffee used in Turkish coffee, how to brew Turkish coffee in a kanaka, how to serve Turkish coffee, and also an “instant method” for making Turkish coffee with boiling water directly in your cup.

How to make Turkish coffee on the stove with a kanaka

What are the ingredients in Turkish coffee?

Turkish coffee, also known as Greek coffee or Arabic coffee, is made from Arabica beans that are very finely ground. Some also grind in cardamom along with the coffee beans, imparting floral, spicy, and citrus notes when brewed. The cardamom makes Turkish coffee even better in my opinion. Turkish coffee is enjoyed in many Middle Eastern and European countries, such as Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Iran, and Egypt. Many will serve traditional shortbread cookies (kahk) or baklava with Turkish coffee.

 How to make Turkish coffee on the stove

How do you make Turkish coffee?

Equipment needed to make traditional Turkish coffee

  • Turkish coffee pot on a stovetop: Though there isn’t really a Turkish coffee maker per se, the kanaka (also known as cezve, briki or briki, or also rakweh) is the traditional method for brewing Turkish coffee on the stovetop. It’s a small, but tall pot with a handle and a pouring spout.
  • Small coffee cups for Turkish coffee (like these on Amazon) or small espresso cups of 3 to 4 ounces (like these on Amazon)
  • Optional: either a small saucepan OR a kettle to boil water if you don’t have a traditional Turkish coffee pot

How do you make Turkish coffee without an ibrik or kanaka?

If you don’t have an ibrik or kanaka, you have two options for making Turkish coffee without the ibrik:

  1. The “instant” method to make Turkish coffee without an ibrik or kanaka: My aunt taught me that now it is quite common to make “instant” Turkish coffee theses days, just by stirring the coffee grinds with boiling water directly in your coffee cup. So for this all you need to do is bring water to a boil in a kettle or in a pot on the stove.
  2. Make Turkish coffee in a saucepan on the stove if you don’t have an ibrik: purists will mock, but if you don’t want to buy an ibrik, this is your best option.
  3. Use an espresso Moka pot to make Turkish coffee without an ibrik: the trouble with Turkish coffee is the beans are very finely ground so if you brew Turkish coffee in an espresso pot, the Turkish coffee grinds may escape through the pores. Still, most who drink Turkish coffee are used to the grinds left behind in the cup, so this is also a great option. You can buy the Moka pot on Amazon.
 How to make Turkish coffee on the stovetop with a kanaka

How is Turkish coffee served?

When the coffee is ready, Turkish coffee is poured into small cups, much like Italian espresso, and most of the wet coffee grounds are transferred to the cups. The coffee grounds settle to the bottom of the cup before drinking. Turkish coffee is often served with lots of sugar, though many enjoy it plain and unsweetened. Milk isn’t added to Turkish coffee. While some cultures remove the foam that forms when the Turkish coffee is brewed, in Egypt, the foam on the coffee is called the “wish” (i.e. face) and it is good luck, so the Turkish coffee is served with the foam on top. The best method for achieving the most foam when making Turkish coffee is on the stove.

Some say the coffee grounds left at the bottom of the cup can be used to tell your fortune. The cup is inverted onto a saucer and the residual coffee grounds are used for fortune-telling, also referred to as tasseography.


Brew the perfect cup of Turkish coffee featuring a kanaka or ibrik and a espresso cup of coffee with a little foam

However you choose to make it, Turkish coffee is delightful. It is sweet, slightly floral from the cardamom, and not at all bitter so you can enjoy it hot, without milk, and even without any sugar. And if you love Turkish coffee, try these Turkish coffee buns, sweet Turkish-coffee-flavoured bread buns.

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How to make Turkish coffee

Here's how to make Turkish coffee, the fast way with boiling water and the slow way with a kanaka on the stove.
Course Drink
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Turkish coffee
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 20kcal
Author Janice



  • The “instant” way:
  • Place coffee grinds and sugar (if using) in a small coffee cup. Top with boiling water.
  • Stir the mixture, going around 23 times with your spoon (not 19 or 27 times!). Stirring is important so that the coffee grinds hydrate better and sink to the bottom so that you aren’t drinking grainy coffee later.
  • Let the coffee settle for a few minutes and sip while hot.
  • The “traditional” way in Egypt (please note: this method requires a kanaka)
  • Place coffee grinds and sugar (if using) in the kanaka. Top with cold water.
  • Place the kanaka on the stove and heat on low very slowly until the mixture just begins to boil (if it boils too much, you will lose the foam, and possibly your good luck, especially when the coffee erupts out of the pot).
  • Remove from heat and let sit 1 minute before pouring into a small coffee cup.


Here's a Turkish coffee you can buy on Amazon
For a kanaka, you can try this one from Amazon)
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!


Calories: 20kcal

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16 Responses to How to make Turkish coffee

  1. mayssam @ Will Travel for Food May 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    I love Turkish coffee, the smell alone brings me back to my childhood! Nice post!

  2. Charlotte May 3, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    mmmm, Turkish coffee! It’s been too long. I had it first in Germany, encouraged by my friend’s Albanian boyfriend. I should look into getting a kanaka.

  3. Jeannie Tay May 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Sounds delicious! Hope I could try some! Don’t know if I can get this type of coffee here:P

  4. Iced Coffee Recipe October 3, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    The aroma and smell makes you more energetic and lively during the day.

  5. Anonymous October 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I worked in an Egyptian restaurant and I saw the chef boil the water first and add a sprig of sage. Then he would add the coffee and the sugar. I don’t know this was his style or a traditional approach??? I have since put in a tiny bit of sage. It’s good!

    • Janice Lawandi October 22, 2013 at 1:25 am #

      I’ve never tried it with sage. This is so exciting! Thank you for the tip 🙂

  6. HASSAN BATOGY January 13, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Very delicious

  7. Shofiul Shohag January 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Coffee is an essential part of our lives and it helps when we need the boost at work or at my site

  8. Susan van Heerden May 15, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    Hi! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article above, about making Turkish Coffee! You are funny and smart, and I will certainly bookmark your page and visit it again 🙂

    Also, THANK YOU for providing a link for Turkish Coffee and for the kanaka, both of which I will now purchase from your links.

    Have a wonderful day!

  9. Pétur Albertsson May 17, 2020 at 11:43 am #

    Thank you for this very informative guide. I had to make a few attempts at making Turkish coffee before i got it right. There was some problem over boiling and I ruined the crema the first few times. I then got it right and now i can enjoy Turkish coffee whenever I want to. Thank you.


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