Israeli Cardamom Coffee, a twist on middle eastern mud coffee- as found in Israeli coffee shops- is a delicious, sinful, spiced coffee that is easy to make and a unique pick me up! Normally served in small espresso cups to show off a light, fluffy foam- it also serves as a strong, flavorful mug for mornings you need more of a pick-me-up!
The first time I had “mud coffee”- the sludgy, dark stuff popular with many of my Greek friends- I was a little confused. It’s strong- which is very much my style- but a lot of Greek coffees you can find in America (the pre-ground beans that are so fine they are more of a powder than crumbly grounds) are a little rough to transition to. They can be bitter (if made with cheap beans), and you absolutely do not want to drink to the bottom of your cup- or you’ll get a thick, paste-like sludge of the coffee grounds, since this traditional method of preparation does not include filtering beans. It’s also made with a super-fine, almost powder like ground which can be hard to get in a traditional coffee grinder (if you have a burr grinder, its much easier- I recommend this Capresso Ceramic Burr Grinder).
It wasn’t until a recent trip to Krakow that I found the most delicious preparation of mud coffee ever in an Israeli coffee shop (attached to a Hebrew University in the Jewish District) and had the shop owner tell me all about Cardamom Coffee, and how to make it. While I’ve had lots of Turkish and Greek coffees- sometimes with cardamom- I’ve never had the unique spice blend I had at a few Israeli coffee shops in Europe and Eastern Europe. Google provided very few clues for me to replicate the drink at home, so I experimented with some spices and found a blend that tastes just like the coffee I enjoyed so much.
While in Krakow at flea markets and later in the Caucasus region, I made a point to look around for a traditional Finjan like we drank our coffee from at the Cheder Cafe. I still haven’t found one I really love, so in the mean time, I grabbed this beautiful Copper Stovetop Turkish Coffee Pot (or Ibrik) from Sur La Table. It’s perfect for making cardamom coffee- and is really pretty on display in the kitchen, too.
Ibriks are Turkish Copper pots which use the same method of preparing coffee. I’ve found some turkish coffees in shops with hints of cardamom blended in, but never with the hints of cinnamon I found at the Israeli coffee shops I passed by in Europe and Eastern Europe.
There are many parts to a perfect cup of mud coffee- but let’s face it, sometimes, you just need caffeine, and you need it now. I’ve paid close attention to the method and also let myself make up different steps along the way- it always ends up pretty delicious. For example, in the photos, I used a large mug because I didn’t have any espresso cups (I was at my family’s new beach house, and so much of the kitchen is still yet to be setup) – and I just wanted to have my ritual of a large mug in the morning. It was fantastic! I think I need some more of these beautiful Bodum® Bistro Espresso Mugs!
If you’re a stickler for tradition and following the steps of this 500 year old method, you’ll end up with a fantastic cup of coffee. But if you just want to enjoy something unique and delicious, you’re still going to get something great even if you rush the steps a bit, don’t get the grind quite right, or dont have the right cup.
The only things you need to really be sure you follow when making this is to not let the coffee boil over (because that is messy and dangerous), and to not drink the sludge at the bottom of the cup (because that is just kind of gross). As for the rest- you can use a 500 year old tradition, or find your own tradition!
This twist on middle eastern mud coffee- as found in Israeli coffee shops- is a delicious, sinful, spiced coffee that is easy to make and a unique pick me up!
- 8 oz water
- 20 grams ultra-finely ground coffee
- 4 cardamom pods, grounded (I grind them along with my coffee beans)
- 2 dashes cinnamon, under 1/4 tsp- I do two shakes out of a container of ground cinnamon- two pinches works, too
- 1 dash grated ginger
- sugar, if desired
- Add coffee, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, sugar and water to your copper pot, making sure you do not fill to the top- you want a little room in case it boils up.
- Give a good stir to incorporate- this is the only time you'll stir the coffee so you dont disturb the grounds at the bottom.
- Heat the copper pot on a low flame over a stove. As it becomes hot, watch it closely- you do not want it to boil, or it will go everywhere! I like to pull it off the stove just before boiling.
- Let it sit for about 20 seconds, and then add back to the heat- pulling it off again until near-boiling. Repeat once more if desired.
- Let cool briefly, then serve in small cups (like espresso or demitasse cups)
Amount Per Serving Calories 30Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 13mgCarbohydrates 8gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 2gSugar 5gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 0g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.