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Israeli-Style Coffee

So-called Turkish coffee is made and served differently in each country. In Israel, both Jews and town-dwelling Arabs brew their coffee in open pots with a wide rim–pots the Israelis call finjan, though this word simply means cup in Arabic. The Bedouins roast and grind their own coffee and serve it plain. Town-dwelling Arabs grind their coffee with cardamom seeds, so that it has a gloriously perfumed aroma. Israelis simply drop a whole cardamom pod into each tiny cup, or add a couple of pods to the pot.
To make Turkish-style coffee, grind the coffee beans to a fine powder. This can be done for you, or you can take ready-ground coffee and grind it again in your own machine. The best coffee for this is dark roasted and comes from the Arabian peninsula. You could do what many Israelis do, and simply pour boiling water over a spoonful of finely ground coffee, as if it were the instant variety. This leaves a thick sludge in the bottom of the cup or glass once the grounds have settled. It is therefore no surprise to learn that Israelis call this kaffay bots, "mud coffee."
Here is the longer but more satisfying method. Use a Middle Eastern coffeepot, which can be bought at specialty stores, because the shape helps to trap the steam and makes the grounds drop to the bottom. If you take sugar, you cannot add it later and stir; it must be added during the brewing. Vary the sugar to taste, or use none, like the Bedouin.

ingredients

serves 4
4 green or white cardamom pods
1 1/2 cups water
4 heaping teaspoons finely ground Turkish-style coffee
4 teaspoons sugar (optional)

method

1. Have tiny cups ready, and put a cardamom pod in each one.

2. Pour the water into the coffeepot.

3. Spoon the coffee and sugar, if using, onto the surface of the water and do not stir, but let it sink down naturally.

4. Put the coffeepot over medium heat, holding it by its long handle and watching it constantly.

5. The coffee will foam and start to boil over.

6. As soon as the foam rises, remove the pot from the heat until the liquid drops down.

7. Return it to the heat until it rises again.

8. Repeat twice more. Pour into the cups, distributing the foam (which is a delicacy) as evenly as possible. Serve immediately.

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