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A 500-year-old story a truly nostalgic treat is the newest popular favourite at the Covent Garden!

You may have seen a viral video, have heard someone mention it or perhaps been to the Covent Garden Farmers Market and noticed a new craze - Turkish Coffee made in hot sand.

It definitely is an interesting concept and it deserves an introduction of what it is , its roots and what makes so it much more special than our regular cup of morning java (I mean coffee in case some might think I am speaking of Java, Indonesia)

First, a bit about how coffee became a favourite for me – I was just starting grade 10 in a new high school in Kingston after only 2 years of being in Canada. Sitting in business law and wondering if I will like this class because I certainly was challenged in Math, Science and English (eye roll). All eager sitting in the front row trying to impress both the teacher and myself.

Mrs. Gerritsen used to drink coffee and asked if anyone would be willing to get her coffee from the cafeteria. Wanting to impress the teacher, I put my hand up. She gave me some money and said what she wanted and asked me to get something for myself as well. Being Persian and familiar with tarof at first I hesitated to be polite. She then waved it me off saying go and get one for yourself and try it. I got a cup for her and one for me - I cant remember how she took it but I think she said just cream because that is exactly how I love my coffee to this day. Anyway, it was Love at first Taste. If I could marry coffee, I would live happily ever-after (haahaa).

What I really got accustomed to was Colombian coffee from then the local coffee –'the second cup' with cream (no sugar) or a cup of the old Timmy’s. I also loved Country Style or basically any doughnut brew. At that time, while I knew of Turkish coffee, it really did not have a place in my life – as it was not a thing in Canada.

Until, I went back to Turkey (this time as a young adult) to visit my family and there I was introduced to Turkish coffee, a thick brew that tasted bitter but sweet – smooth like velvet and the last sip a bit grainy (because I sipped some of the sludge at the bottom of the cup which we are not supposed to) served in a small china cup called fincan

So, what exactly is Turkish Coffee?

Did you know that Turkish coffee is the mother of all coffees today? It is what started the coffee industry back in the 1500’s when some Syrian merchants brought coffee to Turkey and introduced it to the Ottoman empire. At first it was outlawed for it’s intoxicating effects, but it was favourited by so many and the popularity within the King’s consorts (haram) that eventually the law was lifted. It then gained its popularity first in Europe then the rest of the world.

It is believed that the method of making coffee in hot sand was then used by sultans and nobles. The method allows for a more consistent and thorough heat to brew a smooth creamy consistency.

Today, Turkish coffee is typically made in households on stove top or more modernized ways such as an electric Turkish Coffee maker. However, it still tastes as good as Turkish Coffee should. The biggest distinctive part of what makes a good cup of Turkish Coffee is that the beans are not filtered – they are ground down to powder, mixed in with water and heated over a heat source to brew.

Turkish coffee grounds are from Arabica beans roasted in a secret special way (still trying to crack the code on this lol). So, whether it is made in hot sand, on a stove top or automatic coffee maker – the water powdered beans are brewed to the same consistency of velvety cup of coffee with froth on top.

How to make Turkish Coffee at home:
  • Measure a small espresso cup (2.5oz) with filtered water into the cezve or ibrik (the special coffee pot);

  • Add in 6-7grams of Turkish coffee; sugar to taste; stir to mix well

  • Place on medium heat; just before it reaches boil, pick up the pot allowing the liquid to go down; put back on heat and repeat 2 more times. Don’t let it reach a rolling boil or the froth will be lost and we no longer have Turkish Coffee.

  • Gently pour to the side of the coffee cup – a good layer of froth on the top of your coffee cup symbolizes a perfect cup of coffee. Note: don’t let it boil or the essence of traditional Turkish Coffee will be lost.

  • Patience is key to making a good cup of coffee – try to speed it up and it just doesn't work to how it is supposed to be.

Also, did you know that a Turkish coffee cup has a 40-year-old memory? Fortune tellers that can read coffee cups can shed light on your life. So, next time you have a cup of Turkish coffee, ask if someone can read a cup 😊.

If you like to try an authentic Turkish Coffee made in Hot Sand, you can come visit us most Saturdays at the Covent Garden Farmers Market in London, Ontario. We are typically there 8am to 1pm. To make sure we are there you can always DM us to ask or follow our stories on Instagram.

Perhaps you would like to incorporate Turkish Coffee in an event?

We would absolutely love that. We love making Turkish Coffee as it incorporates history, culture, uniqueness and it still gives us the jolt that we love to get from coffee.

For special corporate events; weddings and celebrations please send us a message to find out more details.


This is the video of the last visit to Turkey when I visited my niece - we were at the Izmir bazar having coffee, the khave-usta (barista) was raving about how he is the first in Izmir making sand coffee and i raved about being the first in Canada lol.

-source: Polina Shadman Izmir adventures, 2019

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