Coffee Around the World: Turkish Coffee

Image by  Michelle Maria

Hi, guys. Bridgette, here.

ICYMI: I am off on a journey around the world with Remote Year. Some of the things I’ll be writing about right here on Life in the Fasting Lane during this trip include fasting and low-carb feasting around the world. If you’d like to keep up with my non-fasting related adventures, be sure to check out BridgetteHardy.com

I’m currently in Split, Croatia. Split is a summer town off the coast of the Adriatic Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean. The olive oil is unbelievable! Along with the seafood and the ocean views.

What’s not unbelievable? Instant coffee.

What’s a person to do?

A good majority of the coffee I’ve run into in Croatia is instant. After day 1 of that, I knew I had to find another solution. In my quest, here are some of the solutions I attempted before discovering Turkish coffee:

No, that’s just not going to work

No, that’s just not going to work

  • Buying a French press for a DIY approach.

    • Verdict: 0/10. I could not find a french press at any home goods store in the Mall of Split.

  • Spending 10 Kona ( ~1.50 USD) on espresso at the local beach bar each day.

    • Verdict: 4/10. I really miss the routine of making coffee at home in the morning (but these views are 10/10!).

  • Using the coffee vending machine at the co-op working space.

    1. Verdict: 2/10. It comes with sugar and took me 4 attempts to get a basic, black espresso. It is only slightly less terrible than instant coffee from the jar.

Then, I was introduced to Turkish coffee.

I noticed this funny looking pot (?) in my apartment and had no idea what it was used for. I also noticed a ton of them at the home goods stores in the mall, but honestly I was avoiding the language barrier to ask for more information. Here is a modern one but traditionally they are made from copper.

Upon talking to a local, I discovered that most Croatians make Turkish coffee at home and it’s the preferred method of coffee here. The woman I was speaking with had no idea how to use a drip coffee machine and had never owned one. I’m not exactly sure why Turkish coffee is a thing in Croatia, but my guess is that it goes back to the Ottoman Empire who reigned over the area at one time. IDK.

Another fun fact about Croatia and coffee: they drink very strong, short coffee. Espresso, Turkish coffee, etc. Very efficient! There is no leisurely enjoying a cup of coffee over breakfast as we do in the states. Nope. They get the job done ASAP.

How do you make Turkish Coffee via Croatia? Lucky you; been there//done that.

  1. Fill up your pot equal to the amount of coffee you want; I aim for 60% full but that is a full up and not espresso-sized as it should be

  2. Bring to a light/medium boil

  3. Remove from fire

  4. Add coffee (~ 1 teaspoon per serving)

    • After some experiments, you will find what works for you

    • I won’t say I told you so: It’s incredibly strong, use less than what you think to start

  5. Lightly stir

  6. Place back on fire, watch carefully as foam rises

  7. Right before it boils over, remove from fire and pour into a cup

  8. Enjoy - don’t worry about the grounds, they will form a sludge at the bottom you don’t even notice until you get there

Because I’ve been there // done that here is some unsolicited advice:

  • This stuff is strong! At 30 years old I have never in my entire life gotten jittery from coffee. Until my first cup of Turkish Coffee. It’s 2:00 PM and I’m already questioning my ability to fall asleep tonight. I drank my Turkish coffee at 8:00 AM.

  • The grounds should be extremely, extremely fine.

  • If you add sugar, you should do so as the water is boiling so it is fully dissolved when you add the coffee.

  • Because the grounds are still in the coffee, they will form a sludge at the bottom - be careful of stirring sugar or cream in post pour.

  • It’s typically served with a glass a water to clear your pallet but also because the coffee is so strong it helps to drink both together

Try it; give it a go, and let me know what you think. Know any more Turkish coffee tips and trips? Drop me a comment.