Ibrik Brewing Instructions from Sweet Maria's!


Brewing with an Ibrik (Turkish, Greek, Arabic Coffee)

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Thanks for purchasing an Ibrik from Sweet Maria’s. These are intended as a "starting point" for Ibrik brewing - ultimately you will figure out the best and most convenient ways to use these brewing devices, so please remake, twist, turn, distort, decompile, torch, grind and brew these instructions to suit your own needs!.

Basics:

  1. You can use electric or gas heat source for the Ibrik. Use a low to medium flame, which also helps avoid blackening the the Ibrik
  2. Before using the Ibrik for the first time, fill it halfway with water, put unwanted or spent coffee grounds in it, and allow it to brew until it nears a boil. Discard, rinse, and you are ready to go!
  3. With the ibriks lined with tin (the copper models), you will notice that the tin will darken with use. This is normal and does not need to me removed.

Brewing:

  1. Fill with the correct amount of good fresh water: you have either a 8 oz., 10 oz. or  12 oz size. That’s liquid Oz. as you find on a measuring cup. You want to have room for the coffee to nearly boil up – so do not overfill with water or you will have a mess later.
  2. Put the water on a low to medium heat for one to two minutes. Add coffee: 7 grams (about two slightly rounded Tbs..) per 2 -4 oz. water, or to taste. The coffee should be powderized ... that is, the finest grind possible. (In fact, this is ONE thing that those whirling-blade type grinders do fairly well).
  3. If you want cardamom or sugar in it, add it with the coffee. Give the mixture a stir, or agitate it otherwise to get the grounds wet.
  4. When the heat setting is right it should slowly rise up to near boil-over in 2 minutes or so. As it rises to the rim, quickly remove it from the burner for 20 seconds and let it settle back down.
  5. Turn the burner down to the lowest possible setting. Put the ibrik back on, and let the coffee rise again, and remove it as before. Repeat this one more time.
  6. Allow the coffee to settle for a minute and serve in very small 2 oz cups. If you want crema, you can scoop this off the top of the brew into each cup, then pour the remainder. Pour very slowly to trap as much grind as possible in the bottom of the ibrik.
  7. Brewing should take 7 minutes or so. If it takes longer, try raising the heat a bit next time.
  8. Enjoy!

Care Instructions:

  • Do not wash with an highly-abrasive scouring pad or steel wool. Use only a soft sponge
  • It is best to hand-wash the unit. Do not use a dishwasher.
  • Never allow the pot to boil dry – the tin lining can melt.
  • Use wood or plastic spoons to stir the coffee.

Brewing Turkish coffee
( courtesy of customer Raj Apte 1/19/06):

When brewing Turkish coffee, the foaming occurs at around 70C, much cooler than boiling, which is why it's possible to foam the
coffee repeatedly without boiling it--higher than 75C the coffee becomes over-extracted. Much has been written about the number of times the coffee foams: once, thrice, &c. This is very confusing: just as in other brewing, the time spent at brewing temperature is your best guide.

Instead of foaming and cooling cycles, I modulate the flame to maintain a continuous foam for the duration of the extraction time. To me it seems simpler and more consistent to use extraction time, as in other brewing styles.

Procedure:
Room temperature water with sugar, coffee, and spices stirred in is put onto the gas at medium heat. At two minutes, when foaming starts at the edges of the ibrik, slowly begin reducing the heat. The goal is to keep the coffee foaming, but not to let it rise more than a quarter of its volume. If you turn the gas down
too quickly and the foaming stops, just turn it back up. The goal is to foam for 3 additional minutes (5 minutes total time). At 6 minutes total the coffee tastes overextracted, and at 4 it can be thin. The temperature at the end of 5 minutes should be around 75C. At the end of extraction time, add just a touch of room temperature water to end the brewing--10% should be plenty.

I swirl the ibrik gently to help the grounds caught in the foam subside and place the ibrik in a saucer of water to cool. After 1-2 minutes of settling, pour the coffee gently to retain the grounds. With a good brew, you should have enough foam to cover most or all of the surface of a demitasse cup.

Coffee amount:
Between 7-10% of initial water mass. At 10% the body is heavy and many will find it harsh. 8% is very nice. This method of brewing can accentuate the acidity of the beans--the coffee is very different from french press in flavour profile (this is not surprising since the extraction temperature is so much lower).

Sugar amount:
0-4% of water mass. I find using half the mass of coffee is just about the maximum to balance the bitterness and really let the acidity shine.

Grinding:
I like the Zass turkish mill. Mine is set 3/4 of a turn past french press--the burrs brush lightly when there is no grist.


FYI: Our long handle frothing pitchers can double as an Ibrik



Detail photos of the Indian Ibriks we used to have...