I had the pleasure of travelling through Greece and Turkey in September 2010 – and one of the lowlights of the trip was the coffee. Every cafe we discovered in both countries proudly served Nescafe Instant. One cafe even served cappuccinos that turned out to be one of those Nescafe satchels. At one trendy looking coffee bar I ordered a capuccino – only to be served an iced coffee with cream that was made on a shot that was poured for about a minute, using coffee grounds from an overfilled doser (that had obviously been ground hours ago). It was terrible.
But there was good coffee to be found – especially if you were prepared to brave the Turkish Coffee experience, or the Greek Coffee experience. They’re exactly the same – just geographically bound (and don’t make the mistake of ordering one when you’re in the other’s country…).
I had the pleasure of a “how to” session with a lovely Greek lady named Mima, who hosted our group for a lunch in her house.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Finely ground coffee
- A saucepan, or ideally, a little Turkish coffee pot
- A gas burner or stove.
- Sugar. Lots of sugar.
- A stirring spoon. There’s lots of stirring.
Basically you are trying to make coffee that is almost toffee.
You start by measuring the amount of water you want for your cup.
Then you add two and a half teaspoons of sugar to your heating water.
And two and a half teaspoons of very finely ground coffee.
Then you stir. And stir. And stir. Forty times clockwise, then forty times anti-clockwise.
You wait for the coffee to visibly thicken – like the first sign that sugar is caramelising.
Then you serve it immediately.