A Guide to Making Turkish Coffee, Dolce Gusto Cortado, and Frape
Someone may wonder what a post related to making coffee has to do with a travel blog; well, the reason is very simple – sometimes travelers find themselves in kitchens where they don’t know how to make the most of what’s offered there because they simply don’t know how. The idea for this post was given to me by Milena, who’s an Airbnb host in Skopje and often has to explain the process of preparing Turkish coffee or how her Dolce Gusto machine works.
Several times during her hosting adventures she’s found a mess in her kitchen because guests didn’t know what to do with the ground coffee beans used for making a Turkish coffee or weren’t aware how to properly insert the coffee capsule in the Dolce Gusto. A whole different story seems to be the Frape maker, which is often misused as an ingredient mixer.
Therefore, we decided to prepare this post in which you’ll find step by step instructions on how to prepare three different types of coffee that are available in Milena’s kitchen in her Cosy Debar Maalo Room in Skopje.
Turkish coffee seems to be the most problematic to travelers, especially to those that have never tried or even heard of this concept. I must say that Turkish coffee is popular across the Balkans, but many countries have changed its name and made it theirs. For example, in Macedonia you’ll hear some locals calling it Macedonian coffee, in Serbia it’s Serbian coffee, in Greece, it’s Greek coffee etc. Nevertheless, the concept is the same and this is how to make Turkish coffee.
First, you should know that Turkish coffee is very similar to basic black coffee; however, it’s made without filtering the ground coffee beans. In order to prepare it, you’ll need the ground coffee beans, a cup – not a mug (usually a small one like for tea, which is widely known as “fildzan” in the Balkans), the special pot called “gjezve” in the Balkans and sugar (personal preference).
You start by adding water to the coffee pot for each person that wants coffee (for measurement purposes fill the cup with water and pour it into the pot). Sugar is added before the boiling and I usually add it right after I add the water – if all the drinkers prefer sweet coffee, otherwise put the sugar in each individual coffee cup.
Then, you add the ground coffee beans; this step varies, and some people add the coffee in the cold water, while others wait for the water to reach a pre-boiling condition. I personally do it just before the water starts boiling. When the coffee is added, you’ll need to stir in order to get a nice, smooth and brown liquid, and then wait until it starts “growing” as a result of the boiling process.
Finally, the coffee is poured into the cup and, usually, served with a cookie. Some people also pour the coffee into two steps i.e. they first pour around two-thirds of the liquid, then place the pot on the heat again for a while and pour the rest into the cup. I don’t usually do this because I’m lazy and the coffee is great anyway.
Cortado from a Dolce Gusto Machine
If I’m not mistaken, all the Dolce Gusto coffee machines work the same way. The things that vary are the amount of water you can add, while the part of inserting the capsules and preparing the coffee is generally similar.
So, for this guide, I decided to prepare a tasty Cortado, but you should follow this process for any other capsule. Just keep in mind that certain drinks, such as the cappuccino and macchiato are prepared with two separate capsules; one usually is the milk and the other is the coffee. So, if you’re not sure whether you need to use one or two capsules, just ask your host or simply ask Google.
Anyway, this is how to make a coffee that’s made with a single Dolce Gusto capsule using a Dolce Gusto coffee machine. For this process, you’ll need a Dolce Gusto coffee maker and at least one coffee capsule as well as some water and sugar (personal preference).
First, you add water in the water container; I usually measure the water with a coffee cup, so I don’t have to empty the container afterward. However, you can just pour a lot of water and after you’re done simply remove what’s left. You should never leave the water inside the container since it can damage it.
Next, you add the capsule in the appropriate place (like the photo shows) and then close the lid; you may need to push a bit harder so that the needle that releases water goes through the capsule’s cover.
Then, you should push the power button and wait until it turns green; until that point, it will just flash in red color. Once the power button is green, you can turn the lever to the right; right is hot water and left is cold water. For most of the drinks, you’ll need the hot water.
Soon, you’ll notice that a nice creamy mixture is poured from the machine into the glass and a wonderful smell of coffee will fill out the room. You can serve the cortado with a cookie and spice it up with a bit of cinnamon.
Many of us are familiar with the hot Nescafe, made with hot or boiling water poured over Nescafe Classic or Nescafe Gold. However, in Macedonia and across the Balkans you’ll often hear people ordering cold Nescafe; in Greece, this is often called Frape and it’s also sometimes marketed as iced coffee or ice coffee. This is a great drink for hot summer days and it’s best friends with ice-cream. Most importantly, it’s prepared in less than 5 minutes if you have the appropriate tools. Here’s how to make it.
In order to make a Frape, you’ll need a coffee mixer, Nescafe Classic or Nescafe Gold, milk and sugar (personal preference).
The process is fairly easy, with the coffee and sugar being added first; I usually add a single teaspoon of coffee and a half teaspoon of brown sugar. Then, you add a little bit of water and mix with the coffee mixer. You’ll get a tick and light brown foam; this is when you can add one or two cubes of ice. Finally, pour the milk carefully, so you won’t spoil the foam.
This drink is best served with a straw and something sweet; it goes great with cookies and ice-cream. Some people even add the ice-cream inside the coffee and serve it in a large glass topped with whipped cream.
Guys, these are the types of coffee you can prepare in Milena’s home in Skopje. I hope that all travelers, especially those using Airbnb and staying at other people’s homes with kitchens that include these appliances, will find this text useful. After all, having a delicious morning coffee is a very important part of every travel adventure, isn’t’ it?