My wife asked one morning, wouldn’t be great if we had an electric Turkish coffee maker, as we have for drip coffee, or espresso or the old and faithful percolator? Her question took me by surprize, and I couldn't believe I didn't know any electric coffee machines specially designed for this brew.
I love Turkish coffee, and my wife loves it even more than me. I love all types of coffee brewing. As an Eastern European, however, Turkish coffee is the method of brewing coffee of my choice. As opposed to the popular belief, brewing a cup of Turkish coffee is not as simple as it seems. It does require a little knowledge, and you need to know what to aim for. Just boiling some water with ground coffee doesn’t necessarily result in the special cup of joe that the entire Middle East prizes so much. No, it’s not rocket science, but it’s not a walk in the park either. The biggest problem for us though, is not the knowledge, but the equipment. In the house where we live now, there is no gas stove, and this is very common in North America. The electric stove that we use is calibrated for heavy cooking, so there is no way to control the temperature for a delicate operation, such as brewing Turkish coffee.
Turkish Brewing Tips, or Why You Need an Electric Turkish Coffee Maker
The temperature for brewing the perfect Turkish coffee, according to Turkishcoffeeworld.com, is around 158 F or 70 C, which is probably one of the lowest brewing temperatures, with cold brewing the lowest.
Why such a low temperature for brewing? It’s all about the taste. Turkish coffee, or Greek, or Arabic, or whatever you like to call it, emphasizes taste and aroma, the caffeine content is not that important for this type of brewing. If you need more caffeine, you can brew another one. What does that mean, really? Well, caffeine is optimally extracted at higher temperatures. The closer to boiling point, the more caffeine we extract. That is all great and simple, but at boiling temperatures all the great stuff in coffee, such aromatic oils, and other compounds that impart it the great taste, evaporate.
How do you tell a coffee is ready, and you can stop the brew cycle? The best sign is the light colored froth that forms when the coffee reaches the right temperature. Ideally, you should keep it at this temperature for a few seconds, to form more foam. This is when the good stuff comes out of the ground coffee and dissolves into your coffee. However, when you let it heat up just one degree over the right temperature, all the froth will disappear, and with it all the coffee goodness.
Beko - Electric Turkish Coffee Maker
Coming back to my wife’s wish, to have an electric Turkish coffee maker, I had no idea it was invented, until she asked the question. For a few minutes, I even dreamt about creating the first brewing machine for Turkish and Greek coffee. My subsequent research, however, lead me to discover the absolutely amazing Beko - the Electric Turkish Coffee Maker. I admit, I was not impressed at all at first, and I was very reluctant. I started to read all the Amazon reviews, to see why was it so greatly rated. I don’t blindly trust Amazon reviews for a few reason, out of the scope of this article, but I have a few way to spot untrustworthy reviews. The reviews for Beko were coming from people whom I could truste. I took a leap of faith and ordered it, and I am so happy I did. I am using this great brewer two times per week and my wife uses it every day. We still like to brew in an ibrik, the traditional way, but that’s very difficult with the electric stove. I bought a lower power portable electric stove, that burns colder than the big stoves. But even with that one I don’t have the precision I need.
Beko solves all the problems with timing the brew, and ensures the prized froth is not lost by over heating. In fact, there are so many inventions incorporated into this nifty brewer, it is almost amazing. This brewer won the iF Award in 2005 at Cebit; Turkish coffee is big in Europe…
Here are the features that made me fall in love with the brewer from Arcelik/Beko:
- SpinJet is the water jet mixing system, that automatically mixes the ingredients for a thick froth and proper brewing.
- CookSense is a cooking temperature system, with sensors to determine the right brewing temperature.
- AntiSpill is a boil-over prevention system to ensure that coffee does not overflow. You don’t need to stand by the coffee maker to avoid spillages. Turkish coffee overflows very easily when you brew it in the traditional cezve.
- Brewing interruption function
- Status light indicator, for easy operation and troubleshooting, (coffee is ready, carafe not placed properly, etc...)
- 1 - 3 cups of coffee brewing capacity
- Non stick carafe
- Automatic standby
The Turkish coffee brewer will prepare a single cup in about 1.5-2 minutes, and two cups in about 2.5 to 3 minutes.
This machine is very compact, it taks almost nothing on a kitchen counter. Compared to most of the single serve it is tiny.
- If coffee doesn’t have froth, or it has too little, your beans must be old. Only freshly ground beans will ensure great results.
- Another reason for a poor cup is the grind size. The Turkish grind size is the finest possible, finer than the finest espresso grind, almost a powder. Check this page about grinders for Turkish coffee for more information.
- If the taste of the final cup is not that great, consider checking the water quality. While coffee is pretty resilient to bad water, very bad tasting water will result in a bad cup of coffee. Brackish water will certainly not be good for brewing any coffee.
- Do not fill the carafe above the maximum fill line.
- Make sure the carafe is placed properly in its cradle. The special design of the cradle requires precise positioning, or it won’t work.
- If the machine stops brewing, wipe the brewing sensors to clean them.
- There is an optical sensor on the inside top of the machine, make sure that is clean, if you have any problems.
Cons of the Beko Turkish Coffee Maker
People complain about the fact that they have to precisely position the carafe in its holder. Some find it annoying. My answer to them is: “If you find that annoying, make a Turkish coffee on your electric stove...” LOL.
Price is often mentioned, and I have to agree on this. There aren’t many places where you can buy it, so the price stays up. I almost didn’t buy it, because of the price. My wife, who usually stops me from impulse buying was the one who pushed me to buy it this time. If you don't want to spend the 100$ on this machine, you can still brew it the old traditional way, check my Turkish coffee brewing guide.
Some people complain about the carafe not having a proper spout. I personally didn’t find this a problem. I can pour properly without any problems. I guess this is just a matter of technique.
The Korkmaz A365 Turkish Coffee Maker is a great alternative to the more sophisticated Beko machine. It is composed of a heating base, similar to kettles, and an ibrik. The base is slightly larger than a mug warmer, and the heating element is designed for providing the right temperature for Greek, or Turkish coffee.
Unfortunately, there is no North American version of this, so make sure you have a power converter, if you live in US.