October 23, 2011

Turkish Coffee - Persian Armenian Style

As a kid I used to see my mother drinking ghahveh turk (Turkish coffee) in small coffee cups with her friends and neighbors during their gatherings while talking about almost anything under the blue sky. They usually would meet for an hour or two in the morning in between sending their kids off to school, tidying up the house and preparing lunch for their husbands who would come back home for lunch. My mother learned to make Turkish coffee from her Armenian neighbor when she was just a young newlywed and had moved to a new home and a new town. This warm and friendly Armenian family with grown kids welcomed her to the neighborhood and their home. They eased her sense of loneliness and in them my mother found the family that she had left behind for marriage. That's where she had ghahveh turk for the first time and from then on she enjoyed drinking it as an occasional treat.

Over the years, my very dear Armenian friend Flora and I have developed a routine of meeting each other for breakfast, which is always at her place. Well she offers and I accept, you know they say never to refuse a good offer! She usually makes a delicious omelet with all kinds of vegetables with warm barbari bread, hot fresh brewed tea, and a tiny cup of  قهوه  ghahveh (coffee) at the end of our gathering just before I leave. Besides the good food and her warm hospitality we both have enjoyed our many deep an heartwarming conversations.                             

Having Turkish coffee at my friend Flora's house

Lighthearted fortune telling is a fun part of drinking Turkish coffee. We like to look for patterns and images on the walls of these tiny cups, anything that might resemble faces, birds, roads and valleys

Here's Flora's recipe for kofe/soorj:

Serves 2

2 heaping teaspoons powdered roast coffee
2 cups water  (small-size coffee cups)
1 teaspoon sugar, may be adjusted to your liking 

  1. In a small pot with a long handle combine finely powdered coffee, cool water and sugar. stir well.
  2. Place the pot on medium heat and bring to a boil, watch closely as the coffee starts to rise in the pot and foam, remove the pot from heat and pour into each cup and serve.



  1. Took me back to the Armenian pastry shops in the Armenian neighborhood from Tehran.Don't they make the best cakes? I was buying my coffee from an Armenian shop as well,freshly roasted and they always had to double check to see if I understood that it was the strongest coffee the one I was buying. The house soon filled with the amazing smell of fresh coffee.
    How nice that you have this morning
    ritual with your friend.

  2. would love a good cup of coffee :)

  3. Thick and luscious. The coffee pot is sooo beautiful.Thanks for sharing.

  4. It reminds me a magnificent cup of coffee at Cafe Naderi in Tehran.:-) Thanks for sharing Azita joun.

  5. Turkish coffee is so fragrant and flavourful... I can nearly smell it by looking at your pretty pictures. Thanks for bringing back nice memories...

  6. Ah the memories of Turkish coffee! I come from a Lebanese background and your memories are exactly the same as mine, and still present.

  7. Turkish coffee is such a favourite of mine. I'm loving this post, and your blog even more!

  8. I first had Turkish coffee in Iran (at Cafe Naderi) and was instantly hooked. Now I have the pots in three different sizes (all purchased in Iran), but they are not as lovely as the one in your photo. Thanks for sharing your memories of this special brew!

  9. Wow. Looks so delicious. I need to find myself a little Turkish coffee pot so that I can make some one day soon. What was the fortune from your cup? So fun :)

    Thank you, Azita joun.

  10. Turkish coffee is one of my favorites, I learned to make it from a Jordanian couple who owned a coffee shop where I went to college - I spent so much time there and they treated me like family, it was wonderful. I add cardamom to my coffee, I've also had it with date sugar and rose water, and I serve it to my friends whenever I can :)

  11. you have a wonderful blog , I love all the recipes you have in your blog . Thank youia for reminding me our FB Persian cuisine :)

  12. Turkish coffee with anisette sugar- so good! A bit of Turk-Italian fusion!

  13. love it, thanks for sharing this. I remember going to "Lord" patisserie in Vila street with my high school friends to drink Turkish coffee. It felt like a debutante for us in those days, like we were grown up because of it.