Turkish Coffee vs French Press: Similarities vs. Differences

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Coffee has a long history stretching across continents. The earliest mentions of people grabbing a cup of joe are from the 15th Century, and by the 16th Century, the drink was known in many countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Persia, Syria, and Turkey.

Drinking coffee back then was as much a social activity as it is today; the first coffee houses became places to catch up on the latest news, exchange ideas, and listen to music. The trend spread to Europe, and from there to North America, where the drink eventually replaced tea as the favorite beverage.

We’re taking a look at a traditional method for preparing java, developed by the Turks, to see how it compares to the more modern European method with a French press. We have all the information you need to know which method you should try and how to go about it.

Turkish Coffee vs French Press Review

Turkish coffee is traditionally made using the Arabica bean. Since the 1500s, this beverage has been an important part of Turkish culture. It is so much more than a cup of joe, with attention being paid to the preparation, unique brewing techniques, and the social element when it comes to drinking it.

The French press is much younger; thought to have been invented in the 1850s, the design was patented in the 1920s. Sometimes known as a coffee press or cafetiere, it quickly became a staple in households across the world.


Turkish coffee is prepared in a cezve or ibrik, a small pot typically made of copper with a long handle. Traditionally, this pot was placed in a large pan of sand over an open flame. However, it can also be prepared in the pot on a stovetop.

The French press is made up of two components, the carafe or cylinder and the plunger. The cylinder is typically made of glass, but can also be made of stainless steel, plastic, or a ceramic. The plunger has a  metal mesh filter screen attached.


Turkish coffee is all about preparation! Water is added to the cezve or pot. It’s sweetened at the preparation stage, and never after, so sugar is added after the coffee. You heat the water and sugar until it is boiling.

To make coffee in a French press, the plunger needs to be removed and set to one side. The grounds are placed in the bottom of the carafe, and then hot water is poured in on top of the grounds.

Brew Process

When brewing Turkish coffee, once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and add the coffee. Sometimes spices like cardamom are added at this stage too. The pot is returned to the heat until the liquid is boiling. Remove it from the heat, then return it to the heat and allow it to gather plenty of foam before serving.

You’ll need to let your coffee sit in hot water in your French press for around 3 minutes. This will help you achieve a good brew. Steep it for longer if you prefer a strong cup. When the brew is finished, press down gently on the plunger to separate the grounds from the liquid. Serve as soon as possible.

What Type of Grind Should Be Used

Traditional Turkish coffee is made with the Arabica bean. The beans used is finely ground, almost like sand. You can grind your beans or purchase them already ground. If you can’t find a very fine grind in your regular grocery store, you can buy beans from a coffee shop and ask for it to be ground fine for Turkish coffee.

For a French press, you will need to use a coarse grind, but some models can handle a medium grind or a medium-coarse grind. You can grind your beans or purchase pre-prepared grounds. Avoid fine grounds as they might pass through the filter, resulting in a gritty cup of joe.

Getting the Best Results

Always start with cold water when making Turkish coffee. Measure out one cup of water and add one teaspoon of grounds for each cup. Let your cup sit for a minute or two so that the grounds can settle.

After serving the coffee, don’t stir it, and if you want to keep it traditional, don’t add cream or milk. Serve in a small cup or demitasse with a glass of water and something sweet.

For the best results with your French press, rinse it with some hot water to warm it up before brewing. Try to serve your coffee as soon as possible; if it sits for too long in the cylinder, it will grow bitter. We recommend one tablespoon of coffee grounds and one cup of water for each serving.


You can expect to have quite a few grounds at the bottom of your cup, which are a popular way of telling your fortune in Turkey. Both cup and pot will need to be rinsed well to remove the grounds and then washed with dish soap.

To clean the French press, remove the plunger and add some water to the cylinder to loosen the grounds. It is easiest if you use a strainer to pour the water out and then dispose of the grounds in your compost or garbage. Add dish soap and water, then replace the plunger and push it down several times to get the water moving. Wash with a sponge or brush and rinse.

Turkish Coffee


  • Strong taste and intense flavor
  • Special cultural connections with preparation and brew process


  • Quite bitter
  • Involved process

French Press


  • Full-flavored brew process
  • Fast manual process


  • Difficult to clean


We hope this detailed Turkish Coffee vs French Press coffee helped you find out which one you will like better. Turkish coffee is wonderful for really taking your time and paying attention to the process, which is great for special occasions. For relaxed, everyday brewing, the French press comes out on top.