How To Use A Turkish Coffee Pot : Ibrik

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How To Use Turkish Coffee Pot

Today, we will talk about brewing coffee with Turkish Coffee Pot called ibrik. The ibrik method is one of the oldest coffee brewing methods in the world, if not the oldest. But I can’t introduce ibrik to you if I don’t talk about the legend of Kaldi and his goats first. The legend says that Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd noticed that his goats became very energetic after eating coffee cherries. This led him to the discovery of the caffeine properties of the cherry which he then mixed with animal fat and rolled into a ball so he could eat it himself.

Kaldi and his goats eating the coffee cherries

This is a very famous legend amongst the coffee community as it tells the story of how coffee was discovered. It is of course just a legend but as it is with legends there is probably some truth to it. Even today, there are debates amongst coffee historians regarding the name ‘coffee’. Some suggest that it takes its name from the Kaffa region of Ethiopia while others support the view that it comes from the arabic word ‘qahwa’, which means wine.

According to this second view, even though the coffee bean itself was first discovered in Ethiopia, that is not where the first coffee drink originates from. It was the Sufi mystics in Yemen that brewed the first cup and used it for concentration purposes during their long spiritual chanting ceremonies. Whichever story you choose to believe, one thing is for certain: ibrik coffee is undoubtedly one of the oldest coffee brewing methods in the world.

Turkish hand grinder (left) and Ibrik coffee pot (right)

All you need to brew it is water, coffee grounds, an ibrik and sugar. It is a very simple form of brewing coffee and dates back to the late 16th century before other equipment like the espresso machine or the chemex ever existed. Ibrik is the most popular name that is used today to describe this brewing method. That is because this is the name of the coffee pot people use to make the coffee. Another popular name you might encounter these days is ‘Turkish coffee’.

Introduction to Ibrik Coffee Culture

Ibrik coffee is very popular in many countries such as Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Armenia, Bosnia
Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Macedonia and Cyprus. In many of these countries this coffee has a very big significance in social life. For example, in Turkey men would be given a cup of coffee by potential brides. The man would be able to judge if he would like the woman as a bride, if the woman knew how to brew a good cup.

However, if the woman didn’t want to marry she would purposefully make the coffee without sugar. Another popular aspect of ibrik coffee is found in the fortune-telling method of Tasseography. This method describes telling one’s fortune by interpreting patterns in the coffee grounds.

Coffee fortune-telling is still popular today

As you can see for yourself, ibrik coffee has a long history and tradition in many countries that other drinks such as espresso or filter coffee don’t have. All that is left now is to show you how you can make it at home.

Brewing Coffee With Turkish Coffee Pot

You will need

  • An ibrik
  • Sugar (optional but recommended)
  • Finely ground coffee
  • Water
  • A stovetop

If you are grinding your coffee beans at home you have to make sure to grind them very fine, like powder. The best way to do this is with a Turkish hand grinder. However, you can also buy ground coffee from a Turkish deli or market. If you go there, you will also probably find an ibrik but if there is no such place nearby you can easily find ibrik coffee and the ibrik pot online.


  1. Use an espresso cup as a measuring device and pour 3 or 4 cups of cold water into the ibrik.
  2. Then I recommend adding 2 or 4 teaspoons of sugar
  3. Put the ibrik on the stovetop.
  4. When the water boils, take it off the stove and add 4 teaspoons of coffee.
  5. Mix it well
  6. Put the coffee back on the stove and keep an eye on it.
  7. As soon as it starts to rise and reaches the top of the ibrik, quickly take it off the heat and let it settle.
  8. Stir the surface with a small spoon to get rid of the bubbles. Then quickly return it to the heat.
  9. After it boils for a second time, take it off the heat and let it settle for 30 seconds.
  10. Then pour the coffee into a small espresso cup until it’s about 5 mm off the top and enjoy your coffee!
Finjani – a small porcelain cup traditionally used for ibrik coffee

Regarding the service method of the ibrik coffee, it’s easy to use an espresso cup although in the old days people would use a finjani, which is a small porcelain cup. Another thing to note is that if you are ordering this coffee in a shop you have to specify how much sugar you would like. There are usually three levels that you can choose:

  1. Unsweetened
  2. Medium sweet (1 teaspoon)
  3. Sweet (2 teaspoons or more)

If you are having your coffee without sugar I recommend enjoying it with something sweet on the side.

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Another Way Of Brewing With An Ibrik

Apart from that, there is also another way to brew ibrik coffee by using sand. The sand is added in a big pan and when it heats up it is easier to move the ibrik on the sand to adjust the heat. Although the stovetop method is cheaper and more popular, you can buy a sand coffee maker online and try which method works better for you.

The sand method of brewing ibrik coffee

So when you try ibrik coffee remember is not only a drink but also a ceremony that gave birth to cultural spaces and social values. Its history goes so far back to the opening of the first coffeehouses in Turkey.

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What is very interesting is that coffee shops are still the places where people go to socialise, spend time with each other and share life stories. In many ways, ibrik coffee has become a symbol of connection, hospitality and community. As Turkish people say: “the memory of a cup of coffee lasts for forty years.”

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