How To: Using Authentic Yemeni Coffee for Turkish-Style Brewing

Some days are especially long. Turkish-style coffee can give you that extra kick you need in the morning or evening when nothing else is doing it for you. This blog post is to teach people: 1) What is Turkish coffee? 2) How do you make it, featuring a how-to video from a real Turkish PhD student

1) What is Turkish coffee?

Obviously it must be from Turkey right? Wrong.

Turkey doesn’t really grow coffee. The word “Turkish” is a reference to the Ottoman empire, which championed control over a majority of the Middle East beginning around the 1400s. Legend has it that the Turkish governor of Yemen, Ozdemir Pasha, discovered that coffee was being grown and shared it with Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultan at the time.

Being early innovators, the Sultan’s staff made a new way of preparing the coffee by grinding the coffee very, very finely, and brewed the coffee inside a pot called an Ibrik.

An image of a traditional Ebrik.

So, the term ‘Turkish coffee’ actually refers to the grinding style and brewing process. However, Turkish coffee was actually grown in modern-day Yemen! How confusing!

This is a problem, because now many people get confused and don’t realize what they are drinking. If you go to the Middle Eastern supermarket store, you get Turkish-style coffees that are from Brazil! These coffees are much cheaper, and more bitter, leaving a false impression that Turkish coffee is a very bitter drink.

Yemen’s unique arid climate, however, leads to coffees that are sweeter and more chocolatey. It is very hard to get Yemeni coffee nowadays, but through our store, you can get the REAL thing, grown in the Haraz mountains, for a fair price.

Manakha, Yemen

Fun Fact: Turkish coffee is judged by the foam it makes on top. Not having enough foam was grounds for divorce in the Ottoman empire. So get it right.

2) How do you make Turkish coffee?

Check out this great video from a friend who helped show us how to do the real thing. If you liked it, subscribe to her channel! She makes really cool vlogs! You can also find the recipe below.


Ingredients (Makes 3 cups)

  • 3 tsp. fresh Yemeni coffee
  • 3 cups of water (less for that thick, chocolately texture)
  • 1 tsp. sugar (optional)
  • Ibrik or pot
  • Coffee/spice grinder
  • Cream/milk (optional)


  1. Grind Coffee Sheikh’s authentic Yemeni coffee for 30 seconds using a typical coffee/spice grinder. If you don’t have one on hand, you can even use a blender.
  2. Pour the coffee into the Ibrik
  3. Pour the water into the Ibrik
  4. Add sugar
  5. Swirl two circles and no more
  6. Heat Ibrik on low-heat for a fire stove and on medium-heat for an electrical stove
  7. Wait for coffee to foam (15-20 mins). The longer, the thicker and stronger. But, don’t turn up the heat to high.
  8. It’s ready! Add milk/cream/vegan substitute if you want! Or drink it black to get those cherry chocolate notes.

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