Turkish coffee

July 28, 2010  •  Category:


Whoever thinks that money is an essential ingredient for happiness has not met Elie, the owner of REEL, internet café in Deir el-Qamar, Lebanon.

I have always known Elie as a rather quiet, serious person; one night, I noticed a small  coffee machine and asked him about it; his face lit up; he got up from his desk chair  and opened up the machine with a  key, inserting a 500LL (35 US cents)  to show me how it could make me Turkish coffee to order, customized the way it is done all over Lebanon by a human.

He went on to explain that this was no ordinary Turkish coffee machine, which makes  it in one big container  and reheats the coffee each time. His face beaming from ear to ear, he said ” this machine is made in Lebanon, invented by four engineers atNajjar! “; he pointed out the little pot inside, known as rakweh; he said, contentment all over his face:  ” I love my coffee and I want it strong, the way it should be! Look, how do you likeyours? with sugar, a little sugar, no sugar?” He adjusted the knobs; then we watched, mesmerized, the water and the coffee boiling furiously; a minute later, the rakweh was tilted and coffee poured. Elie gave me a look of intense satisfaction and pride. My Turkish coffee was served.

Every morning Elie added,  his buddies come over for a cup and a little visit; a Lebanese tradition, a sobhiyyeh.

Happiness for 35 cents.

TO MAKE TURKISH COFFEE: insert 500LL in slot; select sugar level; wait 1 minute for a to-order cup of Turkish coffee.

For details on how to make Turkish coffee by hand, please watch for a future post; although these days, I am tempted to give up the manual habit altogether after discovering this machine.


29 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. peter says:

    Joumana, send me the inventors’ contact info…they could do big biz in Greece. The kaimaki (foam) on the coffee is not bad.

  2. Rosa says:

    Turkish coffee is so good! I never drink anything else now…



  3. Gloria says:

    We love turkish coffe! For us is the most delicious! x gloria

  4. brian_in_gib says:

    good post! I laughed out loud with your instructions for making Turkish coffee…

  5. Sylva says:

    Hillarious!!! Love the invention 🙂

  6. Susan says:

    What a cute story of Elie and his Turkish coffee machine 🙂 Does Turkish coffee resemble espresso?

  7. Mary says:

    What a wonderful post. I’ve always wondered how it’s done. Your photos are a delight. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Faith says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard of a Turkish coffee making machine! Does it taste like Turkish coffee made by hand?

  9. Nadji says:

    Quand je vois ça, je regrette beaucoup de ne pas être buveuse de café.
    Je montrerai tes photos à mon frère qui ne jure que par le café turc qu’il boit comme du goudron tous les matins.
    A bientôt.

  10. Anita says:

    That’s some fancy machine..and I’m laughing at Elie (how endearing that he’s so excited about it). Do they have a machine that reads fortunes in the empty cup?? 😉

  11. Suman Singh says:

    Hi Joumana, there is an award waiting for you at my blog, please come and collect the same. Thanks.

    Coffee looks great! Can I have that cup??

  12. Sarah says:

    what a fabulous invention!

  13. Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says:

    Perhaps I can meet Elie when I’m in town… He sounds like a lovely man indeed. And, yes happiness is in the simple things.

  14. Tony says:

    haha, I love it! That is a brilliant machine. Now all they need is to teach the machine how to read the coffee cups 😀

  15. Sophie says:

    That coffee looks indeed very tasty!! yeah!!

    Thanks forsharing with us!

  16. Adelina says:

    That is the coolest invention. I started making coffee for my family since I was 7 years old. This machine would have helped our family so much!

  17. Joanne says:

    As a coffee addict who has never had Turkish coffee..I feel ashamed. I need to find someone with one of these machines. Pronto.

  18. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    How cool! Wonder how much one of those babies costs…

  19. SYLVIA says:

    I have seen machines that grind, and make all the sorts of coffee, including demitasse espresso at fancy car dealers, I never knew that there was one for middle eastern coffee. I like how the coffee has a fine foamy top, and it is a skill to assure that each guest receives a fair share of the foam.

  20. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – I love it when people all over the world use modern technology to nurtuer ongoing traditions like this turkish coffee right here! I can never get over how strong and thicker it is than regular coffee…love it!

    This is such a great story.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  21. FOODESSA says:

    The only time I experienced the awkward texture of Turkish coffee was in Yugoslavia many years ago. Maybe, they didn’t know how to make it well…because the experience was to say the least unpleasant.
    I would have to give it another try…maybe from that machine you’re so impressed about ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  22. Doc says:

    Love it, can you make hommade red pepper paste. Havng trouble posting to the post of the dy, I can’t seem to get a link until another post is up. I am straling your potato salad recipe sans wlanut (nut allergy in the potential consumers), fair warning too yummy not to do!!

  23. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    I’ve not had Turkish coffee before, but Elie’s enthusiasm is contagious – I want some! Can’t spy any Turkish coffee machines around here though, so I guess it’s the old fashioned way for me.

  24. citronetvanille says:

    J’adore le café turc et maintenant je vais aller me faire un petit espresso (c’est tout ce que j’ai à la maison), sympa cet Elie! Il en faudrait plus comme ca!

  25. Grapefruit says:

    Love Turkish Coffee — looking forward to your post!

  26. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Well, what can I say? we have been in the Balkans for three weeks and Turkish coffee is what everyone drinks… unless they are young. Then it is Nescafe… which SHOCKS me. Nes, they call it. Vanja was raised on this coffee. It is not for me, though I can appreciate it. He now prefers his espresso at home, and I like my filtered coffee, or a good cappacino. But, one must have a Turkish coffee at least once…. and definitely see it made by hand. The crema on the top is the secret of the good maker, so that machine looks like a gold mine to me!

  27. mudasir faizan says:

    can i ask the price of turkish coffe machine automatic?????

    • Joumana says:

      @mudasir faizan: if you mean the coffee itself, it is very inexpensive, like 50 cents or so. As far as the machine itself, I don’t know, but the folks at Najjar would since they distribute it.

Add a Comment