Try anything other than pour over coffee? Crazy talk, amirite? In all seriousness, I’ve created a list of 3 coffee brewing methods and instructions that are definitely worth checking out, if nothing else watch the video on Turkish Coffee from Seatle Coffee Gear (not an affiliate), it’s just so awkwardly funny. From the three methods mentioned in this article, the Cuban Coffee method is probably the easiest one to get into since it just requires, brown sugar, coffee and technique with no fancy additional coffee devices.
[RELATED POST: Pour Over Coffee Maker Roundup]
But hopefully, you’ll give some of these other methods a try since they don’t really require additional coffee equipment, what you have at home will probably be good enough so let’s jump right into it.
The Slow & Low: Turkish Coffee Method
What is Turkish Coffee?
Turkish coffee is a method of brewing coffee using finely (almost powder) ground coffee beans to make unfiltered coffee. The method requires the following items, Turkish Coffee, Ibrik or Cezve (essentially the coffee pot) and a heating element. There are also optional spices and sugar depending on your preference and taste. The method itself will take about 15-20 minutes to brew a cup of 6 oz. Turkish coffee and you’ll end up with a strong foamy coffee with rich caramel notes, it will taste stronger than espresso.
Turkish Coffee Fun Fact
First appearing in the Ottoman Empire, under the strictest interpretations of the Quran the strong coffee was considered a drug and its consumption was forbidden. Due to the immense popularity of the beverage, the sultan eventually lifted this prohibition.Turkish coffee Wiki
How to make Turkish Coffee
This is simply the funniest video on the Turkish Coffee method on YT. It’s awkward, adorable, but very informative. If you don’t have the time to watch the video, I’ve listed the steps below on how to make it. You can use any type of coffee bean for making Turkish Coffee, the ground size and technique is what makes Turkish Coffee unique int his case, so Arabica / Robusta or combination of beans is acceptable to use. Although Arabica beans are generally more popular for the Turkish brewing method. There’s a lot of variations to the Turkish coffee method and can be enjoyed in many different ways. You may find yourself loving the brewing method, but coming up with your own flavors and recipes as you progress through your Turkish coffee journey. If you have a recipe to share, please don’t hesitate to comment below!
8 Steps to Making Turkish Coffee
- 1. Measure out how many cups you’ll be making. Turkish coffee is usually made in a smaller cup (roughly around 4-6 oz cups) rather than the usual 8-12oz mugs most North Americans are used to. A good starting point for measurement is 7-8 grams of ground Turkish Coffee (superfine grounds) for every 6 oz of water.
- 2. If you’re buying already ground Turkish Coffee, just measure with a scale ~7 grams of ready-made Turkish Coffee grounds.
- 3. Pour cold water right into the Ibrik
- 4. Once you’re done with your measurements, pour the Turkish Coffee in Ibrik (cezve), let the coffee form a seal on top of the water
- 5. Add additional spices or sugar to your Turkish coffee at this stage
- 5. Set your heating element in low & place the Ibrik on the heating element. The key here is to NEVER let the layer of coffee perforate or boil over
- 6. Do not stir the coffee. Resist the urge. You’re looking for foam, small bubbles. Scoop out the foam into a cup. You may need to repeat the process 2 or 3 times.
- 7. After about 12 -15 minutes (up to 20 mins), pour the rest of the coffee into your coffee cup, be careful not to break the foam
- 8. Drink responsibly and enjoy it!
Cuban Coffee: The Secret is in the Sugar:
This method is more about getting the right consistency of the sugar mixture first than the actual brewing method itself. The Cuban Coffee is traditionally brewed in a Moka Pot or an Italian stovetop coffee brewer, if you don’t know what that is, check out this link on Amazon, it’s a Bialetti Moka Pot. But when I tried this out, I just used a very strongly made pour over coffee, basically to the point of over-extraction, giving the coffee a slightly bitter taste, but not disgusting. You could also do this with an espresso shot if you prefer, there are a few variations of the Cuban coffee and will differ depending on where you buy it. In the U.S. most Cuban coffees are made with white sugar, rather than brown sugar. Whereas traditional Cuban coffee drinkers will tell you it’s best to use brown sugar to really get the extra flavors from the brown sugar infused in the coffee. When I was doing research before I made Cuban coffee, people suggested for me to buy Cafe Bustelo, brand coffee. I couldn’t find any in my local store, so I just went with my old tried and true local roaster beans. When I was making this, I had to make the sugar/coffee mix twice since the first time I put way too much coffee for the mixture to thicken properly. I would suggest adding a little bit of coffee into the sugar first and adding more as needed. Your goal is to have the right consistency, if it’s too watery you won’t get that crema/froth on top of the coffee.
What you’ll need for Cuban Coffee
- 1. Moka Pot (traditional method)or your choice of brewing method, just make sure to brew a strong but not too bitter coffee. You may also use an espresso machine
- 2. 4 Tablespoon of brown sugar
- 3. Coffee Cups (10-12 oz)
8 Steps to Making Cuban Coffee
- 1. Measure out 4 Tbs of brown sugar (white granulated sugar is okay too)
- 2. Start making your coffee of choice, strong, but not bitter
- 3. Measure out roughly 1 teaspoon of coffee from the first drops, usually the strongest
- 4. Mix 1 teaspoon of coffee with 4 Tbs of sugar and mix it well for about 4-5 mins. I just used a standard tablespoon
- 5. Once you have the consistency of creamy peanut butter, smooth, thick but still malleable and easily scooped
- 6. Take a spoonful of creamy sugar and spoon into your mug
- 7. Add hot coffee, as you pour coffee into the cup, you should see a frothy / crema start to build on top of your cup
- 8. Marvel at your work, and enjoy responsibly.
Cuban Coffee Variations
Cortadito is a variation of the Cuban coffee which uses a standard espresso shot and basically combines steamed milk at a 75/25 coffee to milk ratio. You’ll use the sugar/espresso mixture in the process above, but add steamed milk + espresso shots. The amount of sugar added to the Cortadito is based on your sweetness preference. I’ve had this variation in the past, but I’m not really into sweet coffee, so I just used a tiny bit of sugar to get a slightly sweet Cortadito.
Vietnamese Coffee: Pour Over Style
I wrote about this coffee method a few weeks ago and finally had the chance to try it today. Basically we had four egg yolks left after making some fancy icing, so I knew I had to try Vietnamese coffee and not let the egg yolks go to waste. If you’re squeamish about eating raw eggs, this method is probably not for you. Again like most of the methods or recipes on this site, I converted the coffee brewing method to a very strong pour over coffee, rather than espresso. The method calls for strong coffee but usually made with a shot of espresso or a really strong french press. I would say this method was very enjoyable, I’m not much into sweet coffee, but I did drink an entire 12 oz mug, happily. I just don’t know if I can do it all the time, making Vietnamese coffee that is.
What you’ll need for Vietnamese Coffee
- 1. Coffee of your choice, French press or espresso preferred
- 2. Condensed Milk
- 3. 1 Egg
- 4. Whisk
- 5. Sugar (optional)
How to Make Vietnamese Coffee
- 1. For pour over, I measured out 35 grams of coffee beans for 18 oz (used a little bit to clean the filter)of water to 205F degrees
- 2. Made my normal pour over coffee method, extracting the coffee a little bit longer
- 3. While coffee is brewing, I mixed condense milk (3 Tablespoons) + 1 egg yolk
- 4. Using a hand mixer (you can do this manually with a whisk), I mixed the egg/condense milk until smooth and creamy
- 5. Once the mixture is done, pour coffee into your favorite mug, about 90% of the coffee
- 6. Pour the egg/condensed milk mixture on top of the coffee (adjust if you don’t love sweet coffee), only pour half
- 7. Pour the rest of your coffee into the cup
- 8. Marvel at your handy work, enjoy responsibly
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Having tried all three at home, I have to admit my favorite is probably the Turkish coffee method. I really did enjoy the coffee and it’s super simple to do. I ended up watching a couple of videos on YT just to get some ideas before making my first Turkish coffee, but once I did a few times, it was pretty easy to get the hang of it. I also really enjoyed the Vietnamese style coffee, although the sweetness was a bit much at the end. I don’t suggest you try all three in one day, you may end up in a sugar coma.