Ibrik – Why we love this small guy

Maybe you may be wondering what’s an Ibrik after reading my last post. Of course it’s easy to say that I’m a big fan of ibrik or cezve so let me introduce you my lovely little copper friend.

Cezve (let’s use the Turkish world for it) is the name of a pot with a medium-long handle that is used to serve and pour Turkish coffee. Traditionally it is made of copper with a silver inside. Copper, as you know, is the best conductor for heat. It means that heat spreads equally and rapidly thanks to this material, making your beverage warm in short time and it helps to create the tipical “crema” on top of it.

This way to brew coffee is one of the anciest ones and the name ibrik or cevze is the name of the pot. It is well know in all the Middle East countries and in the Mediterranean and Balkans. The names can slightly change from country to country but if you use cezve/ibrik or briki in Greek you will get your coffee in the copper pot. For sure.

“Turkish” coffee is the common name for the method as we said above. It is made brewing very finely grounded coffee. My advice is to invest in good coffee beans that can be grounded at home with a hand grinder, because electric home devices are not suitable (as they tend not to grind so fine). The powder is so brewed with water and brought to boil over gas stove (you can also use the electric one, induction stoves, but the top won’t be so frothy as required by the drink).

Originally this preparation was made adding sugar and bringing to boil up to three times the coffee because the tendency was to use bad quality coffee beans. So adding sugar or spices (like clove) was the best way to cover the unpleasent coffee flavours.

In my competition I’ve used a very simple recipe: 9gr of coffee, 90ml of water. Mix the ingredients, directly into the copper, simply using a spoon. Put your ibrik on gas stove with medium heat, turn it lower and wait until the first bubbles come on top of it. Serve pouring in proper cups and wait a cuple of minutes so the temperature will be lower and it will allow the coffee ground to sit, avoiding the chance to drink them once you sip your coffee. This is the easiest way to make ibrik at home, even if it is the first time and you don’t have any way to check the temperature (water was at room temperature and I’ve brought it up to 85C), you don’t have mini whiskers or you don’t have enough confidence with this preparation.

The nice and folkloristic thing is that in some places, Greece included, you can find cafes where they “read” the coffee cup. After you drink your coffee, the remaining ground (that are all the time in your cup, remember!) are turned on the saucer and old ladies read your future looking inside your cup. Wen I was a little girl, and this is how I approached ibrik first in my life. I was six and I was living in Greece with my yiayia (grandma in Greek) was Always having guests at home. So she was brewing ibrik several times a day. I was looking at this small pot making bubbles on top and it was fascinating, so she was making me a small one with sugar. I was sitting with this old ladies in our big couryard sipping coffee with them (actually eating more cookies – koulourakia – thank drinking coffee) and then I was asking Susanna to read me the cup. Susanna was from Smirne, Turkey, and everytime she was inventing tales when reading my future.

Who knows the next cup what has written in it…

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