The first and most important part of brewing a delicious cup of espresso is grinding the beans properly. Coffee beans prepared for standard drip coffee will not work for brewing espresso. To make espresso properly, you must grind coffee beans to a very fine consistency. When espresso beans are prepared properly, their consistency resembles that of powdered sugar.
Espresso is brewed by a process of quickly passing water that is boiling through very tightly packed (tampered) ground coffee that has been very finely ground. Espresso is brewed for a much shorter time than is standard drip coffee (21 seconds is perfect).
Espresso machines force the boiling water through the coffee beans using pressure & temperature. Crema (the top of the espresso which resembles foam), is a result from certain coffee components. The result should be a sweet aroma, full bodied, with earthy undertones with an astringent finish like a fine cabernet.
Turkish coffee is a very flavorful, and often strong, coffee. It is prepared in an ibrik, a small pot that holds either one or two servings. Traditionally, the pot was placed in the hot sands of the Mediterranean for cooking, you can use a gas stove.
Turkish coffee uses the finest grind you can have. Yes, finer than an expresso. The coffee becomes like a powder. On most machines, it is the finest grind possible.
To begin brewing add the sugar first. For an 8 oz. ibrik, use anywhere from 1 level tablespoon (=3 teaspoons) to 2 rounded tablespoons. You will need to decide how you like your Turkish Coffee. Some people use a packet of equal or splenda.
Next, fill your ibrik with water up to the point where the ibrik’s “neck” starts. The water should come up to, but not into, the neck.
Then, put in the coffee. In a small ibrik (4 oz.) use 2 heaping teaspoons (and we mean heaping). An 8 oz. ibrik, use 3. A 12 oz., use 6. The coffee grinds will float on the water. This is important, DO NOT STIR.The grinds actually act like a “seal” between the water and the air. This is important!
Heat the coffee very slowly. Some people heat it medium to high heat. MOST IMPORTANTLY DO NOT WALK AWAY! fter a few minutes things will start to happen. If the water starts to boil, you did not use enough coffee. The coffee should never boil … toss and start again.
The coffee should start to foam. The difference is the foaming is slow, boiling is fast. You should see the foam grow from around the coffee and start to fill the neck. DO NOT STOP WATCHING! The foam will start to fill the neck and work it’s way up. When it is almost to the top of the ibrik, remove the ibrik from the heat source.
Carefully stir the coffee and the foam will subside. Put the ibrik back on the heat source. It will start to foam again, this time more quickly. Again, remove from the heat source, “stir down” the foam, and replace. Repeat a third time (some people do it a fourth time). After you remove the last time do not stir.
Next, scoop out the foam with a spoon and either 1) place it all in your cup, 2) place an even amount of foam in each cup, or 3) gently place it in the drain of your sink. Let the ibrik sit about 30 seconds so some of the grinds will settle. Then pour as much of the coffee as you want. Don’t pour out the entire pot because the bottom of the ibrik will be sludge. The grinds will settle to the bottom of your glass so you will need to be careful not to drink this.