Have you ever tried Turkish coffee?
Apart from being served in a traditional Turkish coffee set, there are other characteristics that make this coffee unique and different. The typical strong aroma and taste come from the special way it is prepared. And one of the crucial parts of the preparation process is grinding the coffee beans into an extra fine powder.
Because the size of the grind is even finer than when making espresso, most of the grinders aren’t equipped to perform the task. And if you buy a standard coffee grinder, you’re risking that the powder won’t be fine enough to make an authentic Turkish coffee.
What is the best grinder for Turkish coffee? Are manual grinders suitable or is it better to invest in an electric one? And once you have the coffee ground for the correct grind size, how do you make Turkish coffee?
What Is Turkish Coffee?
Coffee serving in Turkey comes with a long tradition that is linked to hospitality. And reading one’s fortune from the grounds at the bottom of the cup dates back over 500 years. Originating in the Middle East, this style of coffee drinking is popular in Iran, Greece, as well as many European countries.
Turkish coffee is prepared without any filter and is consumed while the coffee grounds are still inside your cup! For that, you need the coffee beans ground into extra fine flour-like consistency that is even finer than the grind when making an espresso.
Standard grinders aren’t always able to grind the coffee so finely and when the grind is incorrect, the Turkish coffee you brew is gritty and unpleasant since the coffee grounds are getting into your drink rather than settling at the bottom of your cup.
How To Prepare Turkish Coffee?
The story of making mystical Turkish coffee doesn’t end there. The extra-fine coffee grounds need to go through quite a particular brewing process to achieve the characteristic resulting taste.
Start With A Strong Ratio
The coffee is usually made in a special container called Cezve or an Ibrik and the brewing is done on the stove. The process starts with a stronger-than-usual ratio with 14 grams of coffee used for every 120ml of water. This is around 1:8 coffee to water ratio. In comparison, when brewing coffee using a pour-over method, 1:16 or 1:17 ratio is used.
Add Sugar First
When making Turkish coffee, the sugar is typically added with the coffee grounds at the beginning, rather than after the coffee has been brewed. In the Middle East, it is also common to add spices like cardamom or cinnamon with the sugar.
And anyone who likes milky coffee, bad news! No milk or cream should ever be added to Turkish coffee and it is only meant to be consumed black.
Brewing With Bubbles
As soon as small bubbles start to form when you’re heating the water and coffee on the stove, mix them together. As the coffee keeps brewing, allow the foam to form while keeping it away from boiling. This is how more subtle flavors can develop.
The final step of this specific preparation process is letting the coffee sit for a few minutes. This brings the coffee to a slightly colder, drinkable temperature and lets the grounds settle at the bottom of the cup.
Things To Consider When Buying A Grinder
What are the things you should look for and consider when looking for the best Turkish coffee grinder?
Extra Fine Grind
As we’ve made clear already, one of the most important things is that the grinder will be able to grind your beans into an extra-fine flour-like grind. That’s the reason you need to look for the best Turkish coffee grinder to enjoy an authentic cup of this unique coffee.
As it is the case with any coffee grinders, they vary in capacity. While some manual grinders can only handle making ground coffee for one cup at the time, others have enough capacity to store coffee grounds for up to 3 cups.
Consider how many cups you’ll be brewing at the same time every day before you settle on a grinder. Together with its long-winded brewing process, you don’t want to make the coffee-brewing last even longer.
Construction And Durability
Crushing the beans into an extra fine powder is not an easy task, that’s why look for the grinders that have a sturdy construction and quality burrs and will be able to get the job done and the grinder will be durable enough to last you a long time.
Because making Turkish coffee is such a traditional process, the grinders also often come with traditional authentic designs. This might not be for everyone and probably would look out of place in a modern kitchen, so there are also options that offer a more neutral design.
The best Turkish coffee grinders come with a variety of prices. You can get a well-functioning cheap Turkish coffee grinder for $20 but an electric grinder designed especially for grinding Turkish coffee can cost you up to $900.
Manual Or Electric?
If grinding Turkish coffee is such a demanding task that requires a decent amount of work from the caffeine-deprived individual as well as the grinder, why not just get an electric grinder that would grind your Turkish coffee at the push of a button?
The problem with standard electric grinders is that they’re not designed to produce such as fine grind as is required for Turkish coffee. And the electric grinder for Turkish coffee specifically can be extremely expensive as well as exceptionally bulky.
The choice between the electric and manual coffee grinders will depend on how much coffee you expect to be going through every day but as a general rule when making Turkish coffee, electric grinders tend to be avoided.
If the price is not an issue and you want to be enjoying your Turkish coffee without the hassle of manual grinding, go for it, but we think that, in most cases, a manual grinder should be sufficient. The electric grinder is more fitting to a commercial setting with a serious daily demand for traditional Turkish coffee.
The Best Turkish Grinders
Pepper Mill Imports Turkish Pepper/Coffee Mill
When preparing coffee in such a traditional way, why not choose a manual coffee grinder that would reflect and enhance the unique character of Turkish coffee?
Originally designed to grind pepper and spices and fittingly named “pepper mill“, this coffee grinder doesn’t only offer authentic design but also a solid performance that can crush your coffee beans into the desired consistency.
While it’s small and portable, the grinding requires a decent amount of muscle. Its limited capacity can produce ground coffee for no more than one cup and it’s one of the more expensive options out of the best Turkish coffee grinders. But with the authentic design, your guests will be impressed before you even start brewing.
Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill
Zassenhaus offers a slightly larger capacity of around 2-3 cups and a smooth seamless grinding performance.
European-made traditional design with a mahogany finish offers a retro look but it might not be fitting for every style of kitchen. The wood material can also be tricky to use and may cause some ground coffee to stick to it.
The sturdy construction is showcasing the German craftsmanship where this manual grinder is produced. It comes with a generous 25-year guarantee that makes it one of the best Turkish coffee grinders with exceptional durability. The quality comes with a slightly more expensive price tag too.
Silva Manual Coffee Grinder
Silva manual coffee grinder presents a more minimalistic and simple design but the capability of meeting the grind size expectations similar to other Turkish coffee grinders at a much more affordable price.
The high-quality burrs ensure good grind consistency and 18 settings ensure that you can use this manual grinder for many different brewing methods including the French press, Aeropress, espresso, or Chemex.
The grinder is powerful enough even to crush peppercorns and spices for cooking and the sturdy stainless steel construction makes it exceptionally durable, backed up by a lifetime warranty. The grinding experience with Silva manual coffee grinder is easy, the operation is quiet and the grinder is compact enough to make a new camping companion.
Crystalia Turkish Handmade Copper Grinder Mill
Another Turkish coffee grinder for those looking for an authentic look, the handmade copper grinder mill looks like a work of art rather than a grinder. If you plan on grinding your coffee beans with this grinder, we insist that you buy a traditional Turkish coffee serving set to complete the look.
For a coffee grinder that looks like a design piece rather than functional coffee-making equipment, the Crystalia Turkish coffee grinder has a good capacity, fast performance, and high-quality metallic burrs that can crush your coffee beans even for an extra fine grind.
The compact design makes it one of the most portable Turkish coffee grinders and will attract some attention if you take it on your next trip. It is also adjustable, so it can grind your coffee beans for a pour-over too.
The main concern with this coffee grinder is its durability and it might susceptible to wear and tear over time. But for such an affordable price, it still offers good value for the money.
The BUNN 1-Pound Bulk Coffee Grinder
We’ve established that when it comes to Turkish coffee grinders, most of the time, it’s best to stay away from the electric ones and the manual grinders prove to be sufficient enough for home use.
However, if you own a cafe that serves a lot of Turkish coffee or in your household you drink so much Turkish coffee and you don’t mind spending big bucks on a Turkish coffee grinder, we’ve also included our best pick from the electric grinders.
While pricy and bulky, the BUNN grinder is among the best Turkish coffee grinders that are able to produce a suitable grind size at a high speed. With the help of the superior performance of this coffee grinder, you’ll be able to crush 1 pound of coffee beans with 30 seconds. Now, that’s efficiency!
Apart from its expensive price tag, this coffee grinder is bulky, and let’s be honest, pretty ugly. So if you want to put it in your kitchen, make sure to clear out a decent amount of kitchen space and be ready to be looking at its not very attractive design every day. That’s the price for convenience.
Khaw-Fee HG1B Manual Coffee Grinder
If you’re not convinced by the traditional design of Turkish coffee grinders but want something more than a plain stainless steel grinder by Silva, the Khaw-Fee manual coffee grinder offers an alternative to the mix.
This is a conical burr-style grinder that features an adjustable grinding mechanism, making it suitable for brewing espressos and Turkish grind coffee. The bean hopper is wider and comfortable to hold while the glass bowl that collects the coffee grounds earns this grinder extra convenience points.
This is one of the cheaper options among the Turkish coffee grinders and it is functional, easy to clean, and noise-free. Made out of durable stainless steel, and ceramic materials, you can expect this coffee grinder to last you for a good while.
What Kind Of Beans To Use For Turkish Coffee?
Contrary to what you the name implies, Turkish coffee beans are not required to brew an authentic Turkish coffee. The name only refers to the mode of preparation, which is so particular and unique. So rather than Turkish coffee beans, the Turkish coffee grinder and a traditional preparation method are much more crucial to the brewing.
The coffee beans coming from Brazil are commonly used in Turkey. However, no specific beans are associated with Turkish coffee, so feel free to experiment with your favorite coffee blend or single origin to find the flavor profile that works best for you when using this method.
Why Does Turkish Coffee Taste Different?
The main contributor to the different taste of Turkish coffee is the method of extraction. Rather than water passing through the coffee grounds, as is the case with espresso, or being filtered by a paper filter, as is the case with Aeropress, Kalita Wave, pour-over, and other brewing methods, the coffee grounds are steeped with water without being filtered, similar to French press.
But while with French press coffee, you still use the plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the drink, when making Turkish coffee, the grounds are left inside your cup. And while a French press needs a coarse grind that allows for slower extraction, the fine grind in Turkish coffee contributes to its strong and robust flavor profile.
The coffee grounds for Turkish coffee are so fine that some of them dissolve in water as you brew the coffee. So when drinking the coffee, you ingest some of the coffee beans. That’s why this intense beverage is traditionally served in small cups.
How Strong Is Turkish Coffee?
We’ve all heard stories that Turkish coffee is exceptionally strong and not for the faint-hearted. And the notorious Turkish coffee drinkers like to boast that not everyone can handle the strength that is hidden within their cup.
We’ve decided to put this popular notion to the test and looked closely at the caffeine content of Turkish coffee. We’ve found out that there is approximately 85mg of caffeine in a cup of Turkish coffee. That is not breaking any records. In comparison, the espresso can contain 30-60mg of caffeine and a cup of cold brew coffee can contain around 200 mg of caffeine.
The cup of Turkish coffee is exceptionally strong because of the brewing method and the absence of a filter. These attributes make it strong in terms of flavor intensity, not in terms of caffeine content. So the next time a Turkey coffee drinker tries to tell you that they’re more hardcore than you, hit them with the facts!
Is Turkish Coffee Bad For You?
As it is the case with French press coffee, drinking five to eight cups of unfiltered coffee can raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, and the addition of sugar in Turkish coffee may have negative impacts on your health. But both of those concerns can be easily avoided if you drink your Turkish coffee in moderate amounts.
Because Turkish coffee is unfiltered, it contains higher levels of chlorogenic acids, which are types of antioxidants. These can be actually beneficial to health and help stabilize blood sugar levels, fight chronic disease, and inflammation. The addition of cardamom can also contribute to reducing inflammation and help to fight cancer.
The Brewing Style Born Out Of A Tradition
Turkish coffee has been around for hundreds of years and is closely connected to tradition and a crucial part of Turkish hospitality. What makes it even more interesting is the particular method of its preparation.
Brewed without a filter, with a grind size finer than that of espresso and consumed without milk or cream, Turkish coffee is bound to tickle the fancy of any coffee aficionado who hasn’t tried it before.
Because of the necessary flour-like grind that standard coffee grinders are not able to produce, the coffee demands for its own Turkish coffee grinder.
The Bottom Line
We’ve researched the best Turkish coffee grinders online and provided you with the list of our favorite picks. While some match the rich tradition of this coffee with an equally traditional design, others are made of stainless steel, look sleeker, and suitable for any kitchen.
It is a general rule to stay away from the electric grinders but we’ve included the best one in case you’re not bothered about its high price tag or you’re looking for a grinder that would fit a commercial setting.
Have you found a Turkish coffee grinder that would fit into your kitchen?