Making Turkish sand coffee is very similar to making “ordinary” Turkish coffee. Of course, “ordinary” Turkish coffee is not very ordinary at all. The big difference, and what has recently become a wildly popular method recently all throughout the West and Europe, is that making Turkish sand coffee involves using – you guessed it …
Sand is heated to extremely hot temperatures in which to brew the coffee. The curators who proffer this method claim that the sand offers a more consistent, even heat than normal brewing in a pot directly over a flame.
What You Will Need for Making Turkish Sand Coffee:
Most of the tools that you would use to make regular Turkish coffee are the same as what is needed for making Turkish sand coffee. You will need-
- some cezves (pictured on the left: small, wide bottomed, narrow top pots with one or two spouts, and long handles
- some demitasse cups (for serving)
- a long handled, large wooden or metal cooking spoon
- high quality Turkish coffee, either ground extremely fine (even finer than espresso), or whole beans
- If you buy whole beans, a good quality coffee bean grinder
- sugar (optional)
- clean, fine sand
- a wok
- pure water
Note: you could brew the coffee over smoldering hot wood embers, which is the ancient Turkish traditional method, and still practiced today in many places – including specialty restaurants and coffee shops. But you can achieve the same results using a wok over a gas flame or electric heating element on a stove cooktop. The important thing is that the sand is heated evenly and the heat remains consistent.
Directions for Making Turkish Sand Coffee:
- Fill your wok with sand, to within about 3″ space from the top of the rim; Place the wok on the burner, turn the heat up to high, and let the sand get so hot you cannot put your bare hands within 2″ to 3″ from the surface.
- If you have whole beans, grind them at the finest setting on your grinder. They should be ground even finer than espresso grounds, so that they will sink to the bottom of the cezve during the brewing.
- Pour 1.7 ounces of purified water into each cezve; if you are adding sugar, put desired amount in now. Float 2 teaspoons of the coffee grounds on top of the water.
- Once your cezves are filled with water and coffee grounds, nestle them a couple inches deep into the hot sand.
- Use your spoon to scoop hot sand up around the sides of the cezves.
- As the water starts heating up, stir gently to ensure the coffee grounds are distributed evenly – you don’t want any lumps.
- Wait until the mixture is foaming and almost – but not quite – boiling.
- Carefully scoop the foam off the top of the Turkish coffee and either discard it or place it in the demitasse cups – this is a matter of preference.
- Now gently pour the coffee into the cup, being careful to not scald yourself on the hot metal. If you put the foam in the cup, pouring slowly and gently should allow it to rise to the surface of the coffee.
- Before serving, allow the coffee to sit undisturbed for two to three minutes – this will let the grounds to settle to the bottom. Note: Never strain Turkish coffee – it will disturb the delicate balance of flavor.
- Once the coffee and the grounds are well separated, serve and enjoy your coffee!
Here is a very short video, if you would like to see making Turkish sand coffee in action. I apologize for the background noise, but just turn the sound down or off, as it is not narrated anyway, and is just a good visual representation of the process.
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