If you’re a genuine coffee lover, then the taste of Armenian coffee is what you’ve been missing. This potent, black potion can be hard to find at coffee shops, but it’s ‘reasonably easy’ to make at home. Before trying, read on to learn everything you need to know about how to make Armenian coffee.
Don’t let its simple appearance fool you. Making a good cup of Armenian coffee is not difficult, but it requires learning, time, and undivided attention. Read on to nail making the perfect cup of Armenian coffee every time.
What is Armenian Coffee?
Armenian coffee is made of finely ground, almost powder-like coffee beans, measured water, and optional sugar. All ingredients are added to a special coffee pot called jazzve. Then, it’s cooked over direct flame until the crema appears and rises. If it gets over-boiled, the crema disappears, and the taste won’t be right.
To make good Armenian coffee, you need a traditional coffee pot. The pot called jazzve has a unique shape that helps create the perfect cup of coffee. If you can’t get your hand on an original Armenian coffee pot, try looking for one in Middle Eastern or Russian stores. They come in different sizes, with the smallest one having two cups capacity.
If there’s something Armenians know best, it’s their coffee. It was the Armenian merchants from the Ottoman Empire that opened the first coffee houses in Europe(1). They served a strong, black coffee in small espresso cups that had everyone coming back. Your best chance at trying this traditional brew is at any social gathering at a friend or relative’s house. It’s a social drink for real coffee lovers, and it’s rarely made for someone to have it solo.
How to Make Armenian Coffee?
Learning how to make Armenian coffee is a tad longer but a fun process that includes many failed attempts. Get your coffee, water, and eventually sugar ready, and leave all distractions aside. Get some company, so you can share a cup when you perfect the process.
Gear You’ll Need:
Armenian Coffee Pot
(Or a small pot with spout)
(Long for stirring)
- Coffee: 1 teaspoon, finest ground
- Water: 2 oz
- Sugar (optional)
- Cardamom: 1 pod (optional)
- Fill your espresso cup (2 oz) with cold tap water and pour it into the coffee pot. Don’t use hot water or any other liquid when making the original Armenian coffee.
- Next, add one heaping teaspoon of finely ground coffee to the pot. If you’re having your coffee sweet, add a small amount of sugar. Stir the pot to combine all ingredients.
- Turn your stovetop on low heat and place your coffee pot. Keep a close eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over. A boiled-over Armenian coffee is no good.
- If you want to add a spicy note to the taste, add a cardamom pod into the empty cup while you wait for the coffee to brew. The coffee now begins to form bubbles on the edges and rises. Don’t let it boil over!
- Remove the pot from heat quickly, stir it and return it to the stovetop and watch it closely. Repeat this step one to two more times before completely removing it from the heat.
- Remove the pot from the heat and gently pour the coffee into the espresso cup. Don’t pour it too fast; you don’t want to ruin the crema. Enjoy your perfect cup of Armenian coffee.
What Does It Taste and Look Like?
Armenian coffee is suitable for real caffeine lovers who enjoy a bold and robust taste packaged in a small cup. It has a lighter crema than espresso; it’s unfiltered, almost gritty, and leaves a slushy residue on the bottom of your cup.
The exact flavor notes depend on the coffee ground you’ll decide to use and their origin. The taste varies as you use dark, light, or medium roast of Colombian, Ethiopian, or other coffee beans. Overall, the coffee has a bold flavor, smooth consistency, and no bitter aftertaste. If you’re using sugar, the flavor gets more rounded out.
Armenian coffee will fill your kitchen with a vibrant, rich aroma that captivates your senses. It shouldn’t smell of anything else, even less burned. If you can sense a burned aroma, you’ve probably overboiled it. If you decide to use cardamom, it will give the coffee a floral smell.
Reading Your Fortune
Coffee reading is a centuries-old tradition that goes right after you’ve finished your coffee. You need to flip the cup and let the muddy residue drip down the sides. Then someone, usually an older person, looks at the shapes in your cup and explains your fortune!
Armenian coffee has a thick, almost slurry-like consistency. Since it’s unfiltered, once it’s poured into the cup, you should wait for the coffee grounds to fall to the bottom before consuming. The coffee is drunk until you reach the residue at the bottom.
Armenian coffee’s crema depends on the brewing technique. By stirring when it starts bubbling, you help develop a thick and rich crema that doesn’t disappear once transferred into cups. The perfect cup will have a thick head of crema. Coffee connoisseurs and traditionalists enjoy the rich crema.
Wait for a minute after pouring to drink your coffee. Sip it slowly since it’s unfiltered and you don’t want to swallow heaps of coffee grounds. Don’t stir, mix or swirl your cup while drinking. Once you can see the sloppy bottom, you’ve finished your coffee.
In Armenian culture, learning how to make coffee is considered an essential step towards independence and adulthood. It’s a social drink, a ritual that bonds families and neighbors together. The best way to learn how to make it is to keep trying. Remember to measure, pour and stir your ingredients before putting them on the stove. Don’t leave its side until it’s raised and ready for serving.
The best place to pick up Armenian coffee is an Armenian specialty store or order it online right from the motherland. You can also use any coffee, but you should finely grind it. You can’t use pre-ground espresso since it’s more coarsely ground. The perfect coffee roast for Armenian coffee is a medium to dark roast or a blend from both.
Armenian coffee is really strong, similar to espresso. It falls under the same category as Greek and Turkish coffee. The amount of coffee packed in a small serving size delivers a powerful punch. It originates from the Middle East, where small cups of really potent coffee are preferred. If you’re not keen on strong coffee, you’ll find it overwhelming.
Wondering where your info comes from? We totally understand. Hey Joe only obtains our information from reputable sources. Contents from this article are sourced from the following publications:
- European Coffee House: https://bunaa.de/en/armenia