This blog is brought to you by David Fasman, our barista trainer.
As I crossed the border into Jordan, a small souvenir shop was to my right, directly across from the border patrol office. The shop was more of a shack, in that it didn’t have a front wall and there were holes randomly scattered in the other walls. The shop was full of cheap merchandise and nothing particularly caught my eye. That is until I saw an elderly gentleman near the back of the store, wearing an eye-patch, sitting on a stool, next to a wood fire, moving some sort of pitcher with a long handle in and out of the flames, with some intense concentration. Needless to say, I was intrigued; and not because of the indoor fire or one eyed barista, but the brew method. I’d never seen Turkish Coffee prepared before.
I approached the man to investigate and as I got close he looked at me and said, “Coffee?” Being 7:15am, and on our way to Petra for a long day trip, I happily obliged. He said, “One Shekel,” which is approximately $0.25. I gave the man a dollar and told him to keep the change. He proceeded to pour six ounces of thick liquid into a small Styrofoam cup. I looked in the cup and noticed a large amount of sediment. I allowed for it to settle, and in the end, there was about three ounces of liquid and three ounces of sludge. I was slightly put off (as I had never had Turkish Coffee before) but everything changed when I stuck my nose in the cup.
The most beautiful and intense aroma wafted out of the cup: a sweet aroma, with notes of coffee, cardamom, and cinnamon. It was like nothing I’d ever smelled. And after I took my first sip, it was like nothing I’d tasted either. It was the most incredible balance of all of the flavors I noted. It made me wonder how he was able to make such an exquisite beverage. And then it made me wonder how many other brew methods existed around the world that produced delicious coffee that I hadn’t tried yet. The drink I had that day was my “aha” moment with coffee and is the inspiration for the Turkish Latte.
Cardamom and cinnamon were some of the earliest flavor pairings with coffee and after tasting them together it is easy to see why. It’s like the flavors were meant to be together. The Turkish Latte is espresso and steamed milk, prepared with a cardamom and cinnamon simple syrup that we make in house. Not overly sweet, it is the perfect balance of coffee, cardamom, cinnamon, and sugar. We hope this drink can help facilitate a coffee “aha” moment for you and help spread the joy of the holidays to everyone.