Turkish delight: sampling Turkey’s oldest brand of coffee

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When I was invited to try out some authentic Turkish coffee myself at home recently, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never tried Turkish coffee before, but I love trying out new things and so I happily accepted the offer.

As Turkey’s longest-running coffee brand, Ozerlat has been producing real Turkish coffee in Cyprus since 1917. Two blends of coffee are available, Mozaik and Heritage, and each batch is prepared at the company’s headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus, to a traditional, artisan method. Both blends are 100% Arabica, with no artificial flavours or preservatives added.

Ozerlat even has its very own Head Roaster, Dervis Ozerlat, to oversee daily production, select and roast beans and grind and package coffee.

How to make Turkish coffee

As Turkish coffee is very finely ground, you don’t need to use a cafetiere or a filter coffee machine to brew it. It’s prepared over a hot stove, and all you need for one cup is a heaped teaspoon of ground coffee, sugar to your tasting and about 70ml of cold water.

Ideally, Ozerlat recommends that you should use a traditional Turkish cezve (a long, tall, handled pot) to brew Turkish coffee, but you can also use a small pan, similar to a milk jug. I used a small, non-stick milk pan.

Add the water, coffee and sugar to the pan, place it over a medium heat and give it a stir. You can’t add any sugar at the end because this is the last chance you’ll get to stir your coffee, so remember to add it at this stage.

 
Keep an eye on your coffee to make sure it doesn’t start to boil – you just need it to be at that point right before it starts to boil, when the foam begins to rise at the edges. As soon as this happens, life the pot away from the heat and carefully pour or spoon the froth into your cup.
 
Return the pot to the heat and wait for the foam to rise again, immediately lifting it away from the heat when it does. Pour the contents into your cup, taking care to maintain the foam as it rises to the top. With Turkish coffee, a creamy foam on top is a sign of quality.
 

Heritage

This is Ozerlat’s classic coffee blend, concocted from an exclusive selection of Brazilian Arabia beans.

Topped with a velvety soft foam, Ozerlat claims that Heritage offers “dark chocolate and freshly baked biscuit aromas over complex flavours of bitter chocolate and rose.”

The description of Heritage given by Ozerlat is pretty accurate: it was smooth, chocolatey and rich, although I could also detect a strong woody tone, which reminded me of the smell of a timber yard. This was definitely the stronger of the two types of coffee produced by Ozerlat.

Mozaik

Turkish coffee as reinvented for the modern coffee lover, inspired by the taste of Italian espresso.

According to Ozerlat, Mozaik has “sumptuous roasted nut and red berry aroma, with a buttery palate showing hazelnut, cranberry and tangy citrus notes.”

While I agreed with Ozerlat’s description of their Heritage coffee, I couldn’t disagree more with what they have to say about their Mozaik variety.

It tasted very similar to the Heritage coffee, only not quite as strong, but I certainly couldn’t detect even the slightest taste of nut, cranberry or citrus tones.

I enjoyed trying out Turkish coffee for the first time, but it definitely won’t be replacing my regular coffee any time soon; it was time-consuming to have to stand over the stove and wait for the foam to rise up so that I could pour it into my cup – it took me a good 10 minutes just to make one cup!

With hindsight, I definitely think you need to use a taller, narrower pan than the small milk pan that I used. This may help to speed up the process of spooning the froth off the surface of the coffee, as if there was a smaller surface area then you’d expect the layer of froth to be thicker, and perhaps easier to collect.

These products were provided to me complimentary by Ozerlat; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review. 

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